Hands down, this was the best Riffmas ever.
The Rifftrax crew of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett hosted its latest Christmas show last Thursday in Nashville, broadcasting to hundreds of theaters nationwide. They took on an alternate version of Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, one of the strangest holiday movies ever.
*** SPOILERS BELOW ***
It starts with a plot that should be a Hallmark Channel movie: Santa is stuck in a Florida beach because his reindeer flew off, leaving him with his sleigh. Kids come out of nowhere to help him, thinking a mule, horse, or a cow will be just as good.
After a while, Santa decides to tell a story about it’s important to never give up. The original version was Thumbelina, but this new version is Jack and the Beanstalk. Both were made by Barry Mahon, who produced the MST3K staple, Rocket Attack USA. Apparently, this version of Jack and the Beanstalk is set in a town that looks like a Renaissance festival, and everyone dresses as if it’s 1973.
Jack can be described as a “discount Greg Brady” while the giant looks like Lyle Alzado and sings like Pavarotti, especially when he says “fee, fi, fo, fum.” Apparently Jack tries to steal a magic hen that looks more like a football, and a magic harp.
After Santa tells the story, something called the Ice Cream Bunny saves Santa with his fire engine.
To be honest, it’s no “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”, but it was a great movie to riff on.
People who saw the original movie may have noticed most of them were used again in the live show, like these:
The elves “making toys”
When Girl Scouts join the Klan
A girl sends a gorilla to pull the stuck sleigh
Why do I get the feeling a psychiatrist will learn about this decades later?
Santa complains it’s so hot
Better strip down to my Speedo
Mike really got evil with one of his riffs. He told the crowd to watch the movie with their eyes closed while Santa tries to get other animals to pull his sleigh, and they discovered the film got really obscene. Still funny, though.
Then from the Jack in the Beanstalk section:
“Honest John”, who sells the magic beans
These were lean times for David Caruso
Jack sings about finding a magic land as he climbs the beanstalk
Hey, Paul Anka, right behind you
The giant finds his magic hen is stolen
Damn them Duke Boys
The terrible special effect where Jack hides from a projected image of the giant
Jack trying to stay hidden
First rule in a secret mission: don’t dress like Danny Partridge
Honest John selling fake magic beans
Glengarry Glen Beanstalk
They also had riffs on Rick Astley, JJ Abrams,Truman Capote, Doug Benson, The Music Man and The Far Side.
The best riff is the crew recreating how Santa is telling the story while he, er, deals with a bodily function. Pouring water is involved. You can guess the rest.
Before that, they showed three holiday shorts. The first was Santa Claus’ Story from 1945, where he talks about the Monkeys’ Christmas and even recites the famous newspaper column that assured a young girl that there is a Santa Claus. The second one was Custard the Dragon, where some kids recreate an Ogden Nash poem. The third, Santa’s Enchanted Village, shows how he gets ready for Christmas. It’s actually a cheesy short set in two Santa’s Villages in Illinois and California. It includes a skunk and a grouchy dog who sounds like an accordion when he walks. This was offered before in a special digital download.
Anyway, if you need a good laugh, this Rifftrax show is for you. It will run again on December 15th in selected theaters. You can find more info at Fathom Events’ website.