Cinematic Titanic was a project by Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) creator and original host, Joel Hodgson. The project involved "riffing" B-movies, in a manner similar to that of MST3K. Joining Hodgson were some of the original MST3K cast, as well as some cast members who joined later in the show's run. These included Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff and Mary Jo Pehl. It was first performed live on December 7, 2007 and first aired on December 22, 2007.
Cinematic Titanic logo
|Written by||Joel Hodgson|
Mary Jo Pehl
J. Elvis Weinstein
Mary Jo Pehl
J. Elvis Weinstein
|Distributed by||Cinematic Titanic|
|December 22, 2007|
|Approx. 90 min.|
On February 16, 2013, it was announced that the touring portion of Cinematic Titanic was going on an indefinite hiatus. According to an email sent out to members of the site, due to "5 people living in 5 different cities with different lives and projects, it has become increasingly difficult to coordinate our schedules and give Cinematic Titanic the attention it requires to keep growing as a creative enterprise and a business." The final tour began on September 23, 2013.
Like Mystery Science Theater 3000, the series used black silhouettes of the riffers placed over the films, but in the case of Cinematic Titanic they sit on both sides of the screen rather than just on the lower right. Visual gags are frequent (such as Beaulieu's use of a cherry picker in The Oozing Skull), and there are two or three host segments per episode, all performed in silhouette.
The actors essentially play themselves as they participate in an experiment for some unknown (possibly shadowy) corporation or military force. The story currently provided to the cast is that there is a tear in the "electron scaffolding" that threatens all digital media in the world. Their experience doing MST3K is key to the organization's plans. The riffing for each film is recorded to a "nanotated disc" and inserted into a "Time Tube" by Hodgson that descends into the frame at the end of every episode. The unknown organization is very firm on keeping the cast focused on their duties, providing no time frame for completion and requiring them to stay within the facilities at all times. They apparently have massive resources and an autonomous military force, which they use to keep the cast in line. The cast is inquisitive of the true purpose of the experiments but have no major problems as, aside from having to watch bad movies, they are well-treated.
Relation to RiffTraxEdit
When asked about potential collaborations with those involved in RiffTrax, Hodgson told New York magazine, "I don't know. I think those guys—Bill, Kevin and Mike—are really talented, obviously. I think anything’s possible, but I thought it might get confusing to try to merge them together or do crossover projects. I would never rule it out because it's all kind of the same universe. But RiffTrax, the idea of riffing on topical movies, is a different thing. And I like that the movie-riffing universe got bigger when they decided to do that, but we just do weird movies you've never seen before."
Studio / "Live" DVDsEdit
In a question and answer session at the Tivoli Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri, it was announced that Cinematic Titanic would begin to release recordings from their live shows as "Live" DVDs in an effort to bring the energy of their on stage antics into people's living rooms and further promote the stage show. When asked if this meant the demise of the studio produced DVDs, J. Elvis Weinstein said, "No, studio releases will return at some point in the future." The first of these "Live" DVDs to be released was East Meets Watts, which was recorded in front of a live audience during one of the group's performances in Los Angeles.
The first live performance was a private show for employees of Industrial Light & Magic on December 7, 2007. After the live show, the cast reworked some jokes, delaying the original December 10 release date. The first episode of Cinematic Titanic was released on DVD to the public at midnight on December 21, via the download-to-burn company EZTakes. According to the Cinematic Titanic website, due to rights issues, the episode was not available for download until April 2, 2008.
Both the private show and the first release feature the B-movie Brain of Blood. One of the original film's producers, concerned that creating multiple versions of the film could create marketplace confusion, requested that Cinematic Titanic's version have a different name. To alleviate his concerns, Cinematic Titanic retitled their release The Oozing Skull.
In June 2012, the first ten DVDs were made available for free viewing on Hulu.
In March 2013, Cinematic Titanic sold the last of their on-hand DVD stock and ceased pressing their own discs. From then on all releases were either in digital format, or through Amazon.com's print-on-demand service.
Releases have been available to purchase as a physical DVD, and also as a download and burned DVD version.
|Movie||CT Released||Original Release||Notes|
|The Oozing Skull||December 21, 2007||1972||Original release called Brain of Blood, changed per producer's request.|
|The Doomsday Machine||June 19, 2008||1972|||
|The Wasp Woman||August 7, 2008||October 30, 1959||A film by the "B-Movie King" Roger Corman|
|Legacy of Blood||October 9, 2008||March 17, 1971||Original release called Blood Legacy.|
|Santa Claus Conquers the Martians||November 20, 2008||November 14, 1964||The film had previously appeared on an episode of MST3K and was later done by Rifftrax.|
|Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks||January 8, 2009||February 19, 1974|
|Blood of the Vampires||March 19, 2009||1966||Original release called Whisper to the Wind.|
|East Meets Watts||December 16, 2009||May 1974||First DVD featuring a live performance rather than a studio version. The film was titled The Dynamite Brothers at the live shows.|
|The Alien Factor||February 23, 2010||1976||Second DVD to feature a live performance.|
|Danger on Tiki Island||June 15, 2010||1968||Third live DVD; originally titled Brides of Blood.|
|War of the Insects||December 2, 2011||November 9, 1968||Also known as Genocide.|
|Rattlers||July 17, 2012||April 23, 1976|
List of live showsEdit
The following is an incomplete list of live performances by Cinematic Titanic.
|December 7, 2007||The Oozing Skull||San Francisco||CA||Private show for Industrial Light & Magic employees.|
|April 26, 2008||The Wasp Woman||Dallas||TX||Public show (sold out) as part of the 2008 USA Film Festival in Dallas, Texas, at the Angelika Film Center, Dallas. The crew, sitting in the front row of the theater, with microphones and scripts, announced that the performance was being recorded for an upcoming DVD release. They signed autographs for the enthusiastic crowd after the show.|
|June 21, 2008||The Doomsday Machine||Hollywood||CA||Public show (sold out) as part of the 2008 LA Film Festival in Hollywood, California, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Movie shown was scheduled to be The Wasp Woman, but changed without prior announcement to The Doomsday Machine. No screen interaction, the team sat onstage with their scripts.|
|October 25, 2008||Blood of the Vampires||Minneapolis||MN||Public show at the State Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The movie Blood of the Vampires was shown for the first time. Dave (Gruber) Allen was the warm-up act.|
|November 1, 2008||Santa Claus Conquers the Martians||St. Charles||MO||Public show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians was the film shown, and Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.|
|December 18, 2008||Santa Claus Conquers the Martians||Chicago||IL||Public three-night series in Chicago, IL at the Lakeshore Theater. The December 18 show at 7:30pm featured Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, the December 19 shows at 7:30pm and 10:30pm featured Blood of the Vampires, and the December 20 shows at 7:30pm and 10:30pm featured Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks. The latter two movies were promoted as 'Unreleased Titles' until a few days before their Chicago appearance. All five shows were reportedly sold out, according to J. Elvis Weinstein through the Cinematic Titanic email Newsletter. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act. As this appearance marked the first anniversary of Cinematic Titanic, a "Best of" reel was shown after each performance.|
|December 19, 2008||Blood of the Vampires||Chicago||IL||7:30 pm show|
|December 19, 2008||Blood of the Vampires||Chicago||IL||10:30 pm show|
|December 20, 2008||Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks||Chicago||IL||7:30 pm show|
|December 20, 2008||Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks||Chicago||IL||10:30 pm show|
|February 13, 2009||Blood of the Vampires||San Francisco||CA||One public show at the Marine's Memorial Auditorium in San Francisco, CA.|
|February 14, 2009||East Meets Watts||San Francisco||CA||East Meets Watts was billed as Dynamite Brothers. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act, the "Best of" reel was shown.|
|February 19, 2009||War of the Insects||Royal Oak||MI||Two public shows at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak, MI. The first show was War of The Insects, followed by Samson and The Seven Miracles of The World. 30 minutes into the first film, the screen went black. Music Theatre staff scrambled for 5 minutes or so to re-establish visuals, giving the group time to ad-lib (most commonly at Detroit's expense). Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.|
|February 19, 2009||Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World||Royal Oak||MI|
|February 20, 2009||Blood of the Vampires||Somerville||MA||Two public shows at the Somerville Theatre in Somerville, MA. The February 20 show featured Blood of the Vampires. The February 21 show featured Dynamite Brothers. Both shows were sold out, according to an on-stage announcement. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act, the "Best of" reel was shown.|
|February 21, 2009||East Meets Watts||Somerville||MA|
|February 27, 2009||Blood of the Vampires||Cleveland||OH||The Hanna Theatre|
|February 28, 2009||East Meets Watts||Cleveland||OH||The Hanna Theatre|
|March 7, 2009||East Meets Watts||Austin||TX||The Paramount|
|March 13, 2009||Blood of the Vampires||Seattle||WA||King Cat Theater|
|March 14, 2009||East Meets Watts||Seattle||WA||King Cat Theater|
|May 22, 2009||East Meets Watts||Mesa||AZ||Two public shows at the Mesa Arts Center, Dynamite Brothers billed as East Meets Watts, and Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber) Allen and the "Best of" reel.|
|May 23, 2009||Danger on Tiki Island||Mesa||AZ|
|June 12, 2009||The Alien Factor||Philadelphia||PA||Two public shows at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia, PA, with The Alien Factor and Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber) Allen and the "Best of" reel.|
|June 13, 2009||Danger on Tiki Island||Philadelphia||PA|
|September 10, 2009||East Meets Watts||Chicago||IL||Three public shows at the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago, IL, with East Meets Watts (movie title of Dynamite Brothers), The Alien Factor, and Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber) Allen and the "Best of" reel.|
|September 11, 2009||The Alien Factor||Chicago||IL|
|September 12, 2009||Danger on Tiki Island||Chicago||IL|
|December 31, 2009||War of the Insects/Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World/Legacy of Blood||Glenside||PA||A 3 movie marathon performed in Glenside, PA at the Keswick Theatre. Performed on New Year's Eve, the first two movies were performed before midnight, and the third after midnight. Dave (Gruver) Allen opened.|
|January 30, 2010||Danger on Tiki Island||San Francisco||CA||One public show at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, CA. Warm-up material provided by Dave (Gruber) Allen, Frank Coniff, and Josh Weinstein.|
|February 20, 2010||War of the Insects||Milwaukee||WI||Two public shows in Milwaukee, WI at Turner Hall. The 7:00pm show featured Genocide billed as War of the Insects, and was sold out, according to the Turner Hall website, and an announcement at the start of the show. This show is notable not only as a return for Joel to his home state of Wisconsin (he was born in Stevens Point, and grew up in Fort Atkinson and Green Bay,) but also because it was his 50th birthday. The enthusiastic crowd sang "Happy Birthday to You" for him. The 10:30pm show featured Samson and the 7 Miracles. Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act, with a special appearance at the 10:30pm show by actor/comedian Patton Oswalt, who had just finished performing in town, and was recommended to come see the performance. Oswalt gave a short opener prior to the start of the film. Cast members were on hand to sign autographs after both shows.|
|February 20, 2010||Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World||Milwaukee||WI|
|April 15, 2010||Danger on Tiki Island||Northampton||MA||One public show at the Calvin Theater in Northampton, MA with Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.|
|April 16, 2010||War of the Insects||Princeton||NJ||One sold-out public shows at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ, with Genocide billed as War of the Insects.|
|April 17, 2010||Danger on Tiki Island||Manhattan, New York City||NY||One sold out public show at the Nokia Theater in Manhattan, NY, with Brides of Blood billed as Danger on Tiki Island, with Dave (Gruber).|
|August 3, 2010||War of the Insects||San Francisco||CA||One public show at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, CA. Warmup material by Mary Jo Pehl & Dave Gruber, Frank Conniff, and Trace Beaulieu & J. Elvis Weinstein.|
|October 15, 2010||War of the Insects||Washington||DC||Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University|
|October 29, 2010||Rattlers||Boston||MA||One public show at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA, where they premiered their treatment of the movie Rattlers.|
|November 13, 2010||Rattlers||St. Charles||MO||One public show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO.|
|January 29, 2011||The Alien Factor||Concord||NH||Two public shows at the Chubb Theatre in Concord, NH, where patrons could buy tickets for either an early (7:00PM) show or a late (9:30PM) show. There was a discounted "double feature" price for those wanting to see both shows. The early show was the movie The Alien Factor and the late show was the movie Genocide billed as War of the Insects. J. Elvis Weinstein, Frank Conniff, Trace Beaulieu and Mary Jo Pehl, in that order, all performed warmup material.|
|January 29, 2011||War of the Insects||Concord||NH|
|February 19, 2011||Rattlers||Milwaukee||WI||One public show at the Pabst Theater|
|March 30, 2011||Blood of the Vampires||Newark||NJ||One public show at the Victoria Theatre.|
|March 31, 2011||The Doomsday Machine||Newark||NJ||Two public shows at the Victoria Theatre.|
|March 31, 2011||The Astral Factor||Newark||NJ|
|April 19, 2011||The Alien Factor||Princeton||NJ||One public show at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ with The Alien Factor and warmup material from the cast, including a live performance of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme song.|
|May 6, 2011||Samson and the Seven Miracles of the World||San Francisco||CA||Two public shows at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, CA. The early show was Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World; the late show was Rattlers. Warmup material by Mary Jo Pehl & Dave Gruber, Frank Conniff, and Trace Beaulieu & J. Elvis Weinstein, finishing up with a performance of the MST theme song by Hodgson and Weinstein.|
|May 6, 2011||Rattlers||San Francisco||CA|
|October 27, 2011||Rattlers||Washington||DC||Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University|
|November 3, 2011||Rattlers||Reno||NV||Nightingale Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Reno. Warmup material by Mary Jo Pehl, Frank Conniff, Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein and Joel Hodgson, finishing up with a performance of the MST theme song by Weinstein. A meet and greet followed the performance.|
|January 20, 2012||Rattlers||York||PA||One public show at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Theater in York, PA. Warmup material by Mary Jo Pehl, Dave Gruber, Frank Conniff, Trace Beaulieu, J. Elvis Weinstein and Joel Hodgson, finishing up with a performance of the MST theme song by Weinstein. A Meet & Greet followed the performance.|
|July 5, 2012||Rattlers||Ann Arbor||MI|
|July 5, 2012||The Doll Squad||Ann Arbor||MI||100th Cinematic Titanic performance and world premiere of The Doll Squad.|
|August 19, 2012||The Doll Squad||Beverly Hills||CA||Part of the Everything Is Festival at the Saban Theatre.|
|November 17, 2012||The Doll Squad||St. Charles||MO||Public show at the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. The Doll Squad was the film shown, and Dave (Gruber) Allen performed as the warm-up act.|
|May 31, 2013||The Astral Factor||Arlington||VA||7:30 PM show at the Arlington Drafthouse|
|May 31, 2013||The Wasp Woman||Arlington||VA||10:00 PM show at the Arlington Drafthouse|
|June 1, 2013||The Doll Squad||Arlington||VA||7:30 PM show at the Arlington Drafthouse|
|June 1, 2013||Danger on Tiki Island||Arlington||VA||10:00 PM show at the Arlington Drafthouse|
|October 19, 2013||The Doll Squad||San Francisco||CA||Two public shows at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco, CA. The early show was The Doll Squad; the late show was The Astral Factor. Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Dave (Gruber) Allen, Frank Conniff, and Trace Beaulieu. J. Elvis Weinstein was not present as he was suffering from cancer and had a kidney removed not long after. Dave (Gruber) Allen took over Weinstein's riffs during both performances.|
|October 19, 2013||The Astral Factor||San Francisco||CA||Warm-up material by Joel Hodgson, Mary Jo Pehl, Dave (Gruber) Allen, Frank Conniff, and Trace Beaulieu. Warm-up also included a showing of the short film The Frank, starring many Dave (Gruber) Allen and former Mystery Science Theater 3000 cast members including Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Mary Jo Pehl, Bill Corbett, and Beth "Beez" McKeever. J. Elvis Weinstein was not present as he was suffering from cancer and had a kidney removed not long after. Dave (Gruber) Allen took over Weinstein's riffs during both performances.|
|November 1, 2013||The Wasp Woman||Concord||NH||Capital Center For The Arts (7pm show)|
|November 1, 2013||The Doll Squad||Concord||NH||Capital Center For The Arts (9:30pm show)|
|November 2, 2013||The Astral Factor||Northampton||MA||Calvin Theater (8pm show)|
|December 30, 2013||The Wasp Woman and The Doll Squad||Glenside||PA||Keswick Theatre (farewell performance)|
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