This past month, something awesome has been happening at down at RiffTrax. The second month of 2016 has been officially dubbed “Film Crew February.” Now what the hell is The Film Crew? Well, that's what makes it interesting and awesome that these things are finally seeing the light of day. In 2006, near the beginning of the existence of RiffTrax, Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett hosted a riffing show for Rhino Entertainment called “The Film Crew.” The premise was the the three of them worked together for an off screen character called “Bob Honcho” who paid them to provide commentary for films he liked that had no such commentary. The three of them would don headsets and the movie would play. And, like MST3K and unlike RiffTrax, there were extended off-movie skits and sketches that elaborate on and build the fictional world of TFC. The movies riffed were...
Hollywood After Dark, an exploitation film starring Golden Girls star Rue McClanahan.
Killers from Space, a science fiction film starring Peter Graves.
The Wild Women of Wongo, a very strange island tribal flick.
Giant of Marathon, a foreign sword-and-sandal film based on the Battle of Marathon.
Only these four episodes were produced and production of new episodes ceased when, as the legend goes, Jim Mallon of Best Brains, the then-owner of Mystery Science Theater 3000, threatened to pull future releases of the cult television show from the distributor unless they unceremoniously dumped Mike, Kevin and Bill. He claimed that the concept was too similar to MST3K, what with three guys (the same three actors from the Sci-Fi era, no less) watching and riffing bad movies at the behest of an off-location authority figure. Why he thought The Film Crew was any threat to the sales of MST3K, we'll never know, but being without a DVD distributor, the death knell of digital projects before the advent of widespread and cheap online streaming, TFC was essentially dead.
Three of the four episodes have been previously released on Hulu, and if you were lucky you could find used copies of all four DVDs from different sellers on Amazon. But now, presumably connected with the sale of MST3K to Joel Hodgson and the sale of classic episodes on RiffTrax.com, The four lost Film Crew gems are now taking their rightful place as part of the RiffTrax catalog! My personal favorite is Wild Women of Wongo, but they're all great and you can pick them up at RiffTrax through the links below!