Bad or Weird: Which is a better kind of movie to riff?

So, I’m rewatching Season 13 right now, and it got me thinking. A lot of the movies they picked aren’t BAD movies. The Mask isn’t bad, Santo and the Treasure of Dracula isn’t bad, NONE of the Gamera movies are BAD. They’re just really weird.

And it made me think, which is better to riff. A bad movie, where the acting is terrible and stupid, the writing is abysmal, and the music choices are either out of place or irritating (if there’s music at all.) Movies such as Red Zone Cuba or Monster A-Go-Go. Or, is it movies that are weird. You know, casting that’s just a little off, movies with strange choices like a dropkicking kaiju or a wrestler fighting crimes and making time machines. Movies where the music is confusing or unsettling, and the plot is convoluted but intriguing. Movies like Manos or I Accuse my Parents.

What do you all think? Can we agree that not every riffable movie needs to be bad to be riffed well?


Personally, I think weird is better, because weird can be interesting and lead to move creative jokes. That’s why my favorite episodes are things like Danger Death Ray and The Day the Earth Froze. Things that are pretty good, but just have odd choices.



It’s kind of like pornography - I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.


Well I would argue that the Treasure of Dracula cut they riffed *is bad because they edited out all the naughty bits - clearly the only reason the movie was even made to begin with :stuck_out_tongue:


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I vote for weird. Could I add the option of goofy? Some of my favorites (Soultaker, The Thing That Couldn’t Die, Riding with Death) fall somewhere in both. Those 50’s sci-fi B movies fit the bill there as well. I don’t like MST3K punching down on the obviously inept, while the goofy ones engage me throughout.


See, I agree with this.


But I love hating Hobgoblins because I can practically see the movie budget going up Sloane’s nose, lol


Ooh! And Munchie/MacNMe for being soulless cash grabs.

They all deserve their ribbing


I’m not saying it’s all or nothing. There are weird, goofy ones I can’t get into like Catalina Caper, and there are badly made ones like Hobgoblins I will drop what I’m doing to watch. I just reach for the spirit of weird most of the time.

And then there are ones that are weird and bad that I avoid (looking at you, Incredibly Strange Creatures…).


Alien in LA and the most recent Gamera one with the parasites are the only two I really, really cant stand.

For the most part I play Devil’s Advocate for any other entry, but those two hit me in the ‘no nos’

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I don’t think you can bounce a meatball, :duck: fight City Hall, or create a true dividing line between bad and weird.

But maybe that’s just me. :person_shrugging:

:notes: “Shake your heaaaad… let’s go to bed…” :notes:


Just from looking at my favorite episodes – I would have to vote Weird over Bad. But then again, a lot of my favorites are ones that are actually fairly decent movies for their time, like The Magic Sword and Girls Town. Then again again, one of my all time faves is Wild Wild World of Batwoman, which breaks the meter on both Weird and Bad.

But the ones I like least tend to be either the truly awful, incompetent, they just didn’t care types – the Roger Corman movies, basically – or the ones where the plot/characters are just really unpleasant, which is basically the biker movies. None of those are weird. They would have been much better if they were 80% weirder.


You tell me, I’m not sure. Looking at my favorite episodes

Jack Frost is weird
Beast of Yucca Flats is bad
The Painted Hills is neither weird or bad

Some are not really bad, like bad, bad, more incompetent (which can be fun) or hampered by low budgets.


Weird definitely made my life a lot easier.


You had things to comment on beyond “ugh, this is bad”?


My vote goes for weird, mainly because it opens the door for riffing to go every which way.

With that being said, bad films being turned into mst3k fodder are probably the only way they survived being turned into the next media format (for ex. film to VHS to DVD to streaming etc etc)


I mean, as many of the cast have said… There are movies that are really bad/rough, and then there are ones that, on their own, are a delight to watch (Werewolf being a prime example.)


Weird. Yeah, I guess that’s the word for it. Weird.

Although truly goofy movies tend to be even better. The thing about bad movies is that, well, most of them are bad. Sometimes you just can’t do much with them. It feels like Rifftrax has done more that fit into that category, and a lot can’t even be saved by riffing. It’s got to be the right kind of bad movie to work.


The movie has to be at least watchable. If it’s drudgery just to sit through, no amount of riffing in the world is going to help.

I guess I like the genuine movies that try to be good. Demon Squad, Doctor Mordrid, Master Ninjas, Moon Zero 2, etc, are at least watchable in their own right. The riffing just adds an extra layer of fun.