REVIEW: “StarTrek VI RiffTrax”

I must admit I had two slight reservations about the rifftrax for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

I wasn’t worried about Mike Nelson & company making fun of one of my favorite movies. Though I love (most of) them, even I must admit that all of the movies we cover here on The Film Frontier are ripe for riffing. Maybe that’s part of their appeal.

The great thing about rifftrax on a movie you love is that you can enjoy the movie even when the zingers occasionally aren’t top-notch.

My first reservation, though, was Bill Corbett, who joins Kevin Murphy and Mike on this rifftrax. Bill took over for Trace Beaulieu as Crow when MST3k moved to the Sci Fi Channel way back when.

There’s only one Crow. For me, the show was just never the same after that.

Though similar in some ways, RiffTrax is also quite different from MST3k. Mike and Kevin are funny here, but I already expected that from listening to them on the Star Wars: Episode I rifftrax.

I’m pleased to say that Bill was funny, too. Why the difference? Because he’s Bill here, not Crow. Having three on the commentary seems to work better, too. Joel Hodgson was on to something, all those years ago. From the trio, the jokes just keep rolling.

Not long ago, I mentioned how Things We Thought We’d Never See tend to come about eventually. Another item that should’ve been on that list was MST3k-style riffs of Star Trek. Thanks to RiffTrax, we finally have that one, too.

Star Trek VI is actually the second Trek film to get the rifftrax treatment. Star Trek V: The Final Frontier was one of the first rifftrax released, back in August. At the time, I was still on dialup so my Internet connection was so slow that had I started downloading it back then it wouldn’t have been finished until, well, right about now.

One of the best riffs comes early on in Star Trek VI. Sulu mentions that the Excelsior has been cataloging gaseous anomalies in the Beta quadrant.

“Turns out all the gaseous anomalies came from Scotty.”

As I’d always suspected.

Not much time to laugh, though, because it’s soon followed up with another soon-to-be classic, “Starfleet instantly regrets their whole ‘Let’s make Sulu a captain’ idea.”

My other reservation was that I was half-expecting a couple hours of non-stop Shatner bashing. I was glad to find out that there are plenty of jokes to go around for the whole cast, though. These guys are the riffing pros, after all.

As far as I’m concerned, Paramount should make these commentaries available on the actual Star Trek movie DVDs. And why not? They’re fun and add a new layer to the film. Won’t happen, but at least we have the RiffTrax option.

Incidentally, this rifftrax is for the two-disc “Special Collector’s Edition” of Star Trek VI, which is a slightly different edit than the one-disc version (which, itself, was a different edit than the theatrical version . . . gotta love Paramount).

I have finally downloaded that Star Trek V rifftrax, and I’m actually looking forward to that one even more than this one. If ever a movie begged for the rifftrax treatment, it’s Star Trek V.

As for Star Trek VI, this rifftrax is definitely worth checking out, too. If you frequent this site, the odds are you already own this movie. So download the rifftrax and enjoy it like never before.

(Overall Experience: 8 out of 10)

Link: Mike Nelson’s RiffTrax