MST3K lives on as Cinematic Titanic, RiffTrax

For the many fans of the late <em>Mystery Science Theater 3000</em>, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that no, they aren't going to revive <em>MST3K</em>. The good news is that the show has bequeathed equally hilarious offspring.

For we many benighted Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans who have long cursed the day our beloved movie-mockery show was canceled, we have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that no, they aren't going to revive MST3K. The good news is that almost everyone who ever worked on the show is still doing the same thing, just under different names and distribution channels.

Cinematic Titanic is MST3K-creator Joel Hodgson's new effort, and it pretty much uses the same format as MST3K, only without the robots-and-space-janitor frame story, but way, way more shadow puppets obscuring the ignominious celluloid hate crimes which the show righteously mocks. You can see the trailer above. Much of the original MST3K voice cast returns, and the series will not be held hostage by some brainless, soulless, humorless suits at some third-rate cable network. Instead, episodes of Cinematic Titanic will distributed on DRM-free DVDs and (soon) downloads, so you can enjoy them at your leisure. (Found via BoingBoing.)

RiffTrax, meanwhile, is what the man who replaced Joel on MST3K, Mike Nelson, is up to these days. It's like a downscaled version of his old gig, only for mainstream movies as well as craptastic classics. RiffTrax are MP3 commentaries (as in, MST3K-style heckling) designed to sync up to the audio of your existing library of flicks, sort of like "Dark Side of the Moon" syncs up with The Wizard of Oz. Only, you know, intentional and funny. For $3.99 a track you can shred such Hollywood sacred cows as Spider-Man, Star Trek V, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the complete first season of Heroes. Finally, a reason to buy an iPod.