Let’s all take a trip back to 1997, a time when the name Casper Van Dien didn’t automatically elicit flurries of chuckles or confused stares. This was the year that Paul Verhoeven released Starship Troopers, the masterful adaptation of Robert Heinlein‘s satirical and controversial novel of the same name. 16 years later, the trio behind Rifftrax (former Mystery Science Theater 3000 alums Michael Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy) are bringing their views on Starship Troopers to a theater near you for a live, one-night-only event. You would be a total Van Dien if you decide not to sit this one out.
Rifftrax Live: Starship Troopers takes their humorous commentary to the Belcourt Theater in Nashville, but will be telecast to theaters across the country on Thursday, August 15, presumably so they don’t have to compete with Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Kick-Ass 2 the next night. And while this sounds like something of a niche affair, it’s actually playing in a plethora of cities, so even us small town folks won’t have to drive very far.
The trio held a Kickstarter campaign some months back to secure the rights to Twilight so that they could riff the shit out of it. And while they ended up raising over $200,000 more than they needed, the people from Summit Entertainment screamed, “Too soon,” over having their mega-successful franchise given the reaming it so richly deserves. Thankfully, Sony stepped in and allowed them the chance to goof on a flick with much higher quality.
If you need a quick reminder on what Starship Troopers is about, the Rifftrax description is pretty spot-on:
Starship Troopers is the tale of young trooper Johnny Rico, played by the impossibly handsome Casper Van Dien, star of this and…well, Starship Troopers 3, mostly. He’s joined by the impossibly darling Denise Richards, who plays plucky pilotess Lieutenant Carmen Ibanez. Together they go pretty much straight from their high school prom into the galaxy-wide gooey mess that is the Bug-pocalypse. They’re joined by the impossibly nice guy Neil Patrick Harris, who is amazingly easy to believe as an intelligence officer with psychic abilities that help him communicate with the giant bug aliens. Throw in Michael Ironside, because duh, it’s a war movie, you’re gonna need Michael Ironside, and Jake Busey, because duh, he just showed up on set and wouldn’t leave, add a love triangle, heaps of alien splatter, and you’ve got the great sprawling high-energy madness that is Starship Troopers!
And here’s one of the original trailers, which treats the film a tad too seriously.
This isn’t the first time the Rifftrax guys have performed live, as they’ve given audiences laughter pains while for Plan 9 From Outer Space, Reefer Madness, House on Haunted Hill, and Birdemic: Shock and Terror, among others.
If you’ve never heard them before, and I seriously doubt anyone reading is unfamiliar, take a listen to some of their greatest hits from their commentary for The Phantom Menace, everyone’s favorite Star Wars movie.