Five Favorite Films

Kevin Murphy’s Five Favorite RiffTrax/MST3K Movies

The film commentator and funnyman discusses producers hiring friends, Lemminkäinen, and why Twilight is perfect for riffing.

by | July 6, 2016 | Comments

547577927BG00002_Rifftrax_L
Photo by Brad Barket / Getty Images / Stringer

A couple weeks ago, we asked Kevin Murphy, one of the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000 and RiffTrax, to share his favorite movies with us. And now, as an added bonus in response to the  very cool RiffTrax and #BringBackMST3K’s live show that occurred on June 28th — with a repeat on July 12th — in movie theaters around the country, the comic film commentator also gave us his Five Favorite Films to riff on. So, gather round, grab some popcorn to share with your funniest friends, and check out this list of nutty, um, classics?


Space Mutiny (1988)

It starred Reb Brown. They tried to make him into an action hero and failed. This Canadian crew came down and shot on the set of Battlestar Galactica while they were dark. And one of these crew members in the movie finds out about something she shouldn’t and she gets killed and the next day she’s at her desk in the background and it’s never mentioned. She’s just there, it’s wonderful.

The Day the Earth Froze (Sampo) (1959)

This is directed by Alexander Ptushko. I think he was Russian but he did all his films in Finland because they actually had money. This is like an amalgam of Norse folk tales poured into a film. The special effects are stunning for the time of the film, and yet it is so whacked out. It’s indescribable. It seems like it was filmed with an alien culture. Nothing makes any sense of any iteration of myth or culture that you can think up in this world. It’s actually quite beautiful, and it has a hero whose name is Lemminkäinen who tries to be a hero and just continues to fail in every respect and yet he comes home and it’s “hail to the conquering hero” even though he’s a total failure. And we actually sing a song in the Riff Trax about what a failure he is.

The Guy From Harlem (1977)

I forget who turned us on to this, but it came out in the era of films like Shaft and Superfly. The guy from Harlem is supposed to be this cool suave detective fella’ who found that there were too many cool, fly detectives in Harlem and moved to Florida. That’s the whole thing. Honest to God, it’s the kind of thing — if Tim Meadows saw this, it could have been one of his characters, because nothing ruffles him but he acts like a spaz and an idiot so many times during the film that you can’t help but laugh. He’s always trying to be super suave at the same time, though, so it’s amazing. I think that it’s one of those films where the producers hired a lot of friends and family members to do onscreen performances, because there’s at least one moment when you can tell the guy on camera, he doesn’t know a single one of his lines. And yet he flubs his way through what you think is ostensibly what he’s supposed to say, and then gets to the end and that’s all he does in the film.

Miami Connection (2012) 68%

We put this one out into the world and we got hundreds and hundreds of responses saying “of course.” It was perfect for us. The lead is really sincere, and everyone says he’s a great guy. A tae kwon do champion. And he has not only a tae kwon do team — which are all these guys who he lives with in a house — but they’re also a band, and they all go to a junior college in Florida. The music is as hammy as possible and the guys never wear their shirts — even on stage, shirtless through almost the whole film. And they seem to have no compunction over killing people who get in their way, and yet they’re all, like, loving friends, and delightful at the end. Even though the trail of killing is miles long.

Twilight (2008) 49%

I’d die a happy man if we could Riff this one live. Never has a film been so perfect for us. I had heard my nieces talk about the books and how much they were going to love this film. I actually went to a movie theater to see Twilight — a grown man on my own on a Monday so no one would see me — and I came back and emailed immediately, “You guys, you guys, we have to have to have to do this film.” And it’s one of our most popular. It’s so perfect. In every turn it begs for someone to mock it. It is so dead earnest about itself, it is so serious.

RT: Important question: are you team Edward or team Jacob?

I am team mustache dad, all the way. Absolutely.


RiffTrax’s 10th Anniversary, 20th nationwide RiffTrax Live event and the return of #BringBackMST3K, RiffTrax Live: MST3K Reunion performance took place on Tuesday, June 28, broadcast live via satellite to hundreds of movie theaters across the country with an encore showing Tuesday, July 12.

Tag Cloud

historical drama Certified Fresh period drama Paramount Network Comedy Central Pirates game of thrones spy thriller Biopics political drama Action free movies E3 Hulu TCA 2017 71st Emmy Awards Apple finale zombies rotten movies we love 21st Century Fox cancelled TV series Disney Pixar DirecTV vampires Mystery Tarantino Thanksgiving Ghostbusters Family Dark Horse Comics Podcast Vudu cars HBO sequel serial killer psychological thriller casting Summer Rom-Com X-Men Election USA Network technology batman cults canceled TV shows President Logo Character Guide Country what to watch Disney+ Disney Plus Shudder Super Bowl Holidays FX Awards ABC streaming dceu Sony Pictures robots Paramount spider-man strong female leads werewolf Grammys Crunchyroll Ellie Kemper WGN Valentine's Day cinemax cartoon Red Carpet Polls and Games spanish language Hallmark talk show NYCC elevated horror Amazon Prime Video theme song Song of Ice and Fire CBS teaser slashers Set visit RT21 Trivia miniseries Turner VICE CBS All Access A&E blockbuster Walt Disney Pictures CW Seed indie Endgame revenge comic Captain marvel Lionsgate TLC space Superheroes Spike Premiere Dates Spring TV boxoffice New York Comic Con Reality The Purge History Comics on TV jamie lee curtis sitcom Horror Nominations Lifetime joker American Society of Cinematographers game show TV renewals Spectrum Originals zombie Lucasfilm Syfy Stephen King RT History movies Pride Month video 2018 ratings composers independent Video Games mutant versus USA VH1 Mary poppins binge Crackle Holiday christmas movies Quiz golden globes Women's History Month Britbox Turner Classic Movies Peacock SundanceTV TCA Epix festivals YA Comic Book El Rey Freeform 24 frames Photos Rocketman social media GoT zero dark thirty television foreign YouTube supernatural Disney Plus name the review Anna Paquin crossover cancelled sports Amazon Bravo TV Land Toys Warner Bros. Trailer BET OWN green book psycho DC Comics latino Television Academy docudrama Fall TV comiccon spinoff Apple TV+ TIFF Reality Competition adventure The Witch Teen stand-up comedy Nickelodeon LGBT transformers Interview dragons witnail Pet Sematary WarnerMedia Elton John Netflix APB Nat Geo Sci-Fi CNN Sundance Now NBC blaxploitation breaking bad true crime Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Martial Arts animated Creative Arts Emmys Disney Channel The CW Oscars politics BBC war DC Universe Universal HBO Max Mudbound Classic Film YouTube Red series AMC Avengers Tumblr discovery sag awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Marvel Studios screenings Cannes Apple TV Plus Winter TV DGA facebook crime drama Pop Sneak Peek based on movie crime unscripted MTV Musical Year in Review TCM Amazon Prime YouTube Premium toy story Rock Animation Christmas Trophy Talk Tomatazos National Geographic First Look First Reviews Film Festival anthology GIFs canceled Fox News travel Infographic The Walking Dead Opinion Marvel Television Shondaland TruTV Marvel Hallmark Christmas movies Awards Tour thriller halloween 2017 FOX Extras Binge Guide richard e. Grant Writers Guild of America LGBTQ Watching Series Chernobyl renewed TV shows TNT Starz Arrowverse screen actors guild Emmys Fantasy diversity Kids & Family Western MCU Drama Cartoon Network hist aliens harry potter cancelled television See It Skip It CMT Star Wars Netflix Christmas movies TV MSNBC Acorn TV DC streaming service natural history 007 cooking justice league cats Mindy Kaling 2020 spain hispanic cancelled TV shows crime thriller police drama book Best and Worst Food Network 20th Century Fox E! Schedule biography romance PBS Mary Tyler Moore Musicals Sundance PaleyFest Masterpiece romantic comedy Disney streaming service doctor who adaptation Ovation Comedy FXX children's TV Box Office San Diego Comic-Con Rocky A24 ITV Film 2015 singing competition BBC America dramedy Marathons Countdown quibi SXSW science fiction Brie Larson Music 2019 dc comics Emmy Nominations Star Trek The Arrangement Winners Cosplay IFC Films tv talk Lifetime Christmas movies Superheroe cops Black Mirror nature anime kids 45 medical drama Adult Swim Mary Poppins Returns ESPN disaster Esquire Showtime TBS 2016 ABC Family SDCC award winner Calendar mockumentary Heroines IFC Columbia Pictures GLAAD south america ghosts