Exclusive: Bill Corbett, Mike Nelson, and Kevin Murphy of Rifftrax Talk Wes Craven's Mind Ripper! - Dread Central
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Exclusive: Bill Corbett, Mike Nelson, and Kevin Murphy of Rifftrax Talk Wes Craven’s Mind Ripper!



In 1995, a direct-to-video film by the name of Mind Ripper was released by HBO. Starring Lance Henriksen and Giovanni Ribisi, the film went under a couple different titles, including The Hills Have Eyes III, The Hills Still Have Eyes, and The Outpost. Produced and presented by iconic horror director Wes Craven, and written by his son Jonathan, the film is…it’s not great, okay? But that’s what makes the film perfect for scathing commentary with your friends. However, if you feel that you’re not up to the task of doing the movie the justice it deserves, why not let the professionals take a stab at it!

Today, we’ve got an interview with Rifftrax’ Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett, and Mike Nelson, who you might remember as being on the classic comedy commentary series “MST3K”! We chatted about the film and why they chose it to offer their commentary, what about it appealed to them, whether or not Wes Craven’s name impacted their approach, and much more!

If you want to order your copy of Rifftrax’ Mind Ripper commentary, you can do so at their official website! Seems like it might be quite the perfect way to inject some laughs into your scares this Halloween!

Dread Central: Okay, so who picked Mind Ripper and for what earthly reason did you all agree to it?

Mike Nelson: Hey, don’t look at me! It was one of the other guys, I swear!

Bill Corbett: Let’s just say this question will be central to a whole battery of future lawsuits between us RiffTrax partners.

Kevin Murphy: Well heck, it’s got a dopey script, hammy acting, a monster with emotional problems, lots of running through damp hallways – all the nutrition a riffer needs.

DC: I think it’s incredibly important to show that not everything a renowned Hollywood person touches ends up being gold. What were your thoughts going into Mind Ripper knowing it was produced by Wes Craven?

KM: I believe the full title is Wes Craven Presents Mind Ripper, so I assume his only involvement was to present it. Like you would a pie, or a stool sample. Probably like this: “Okay here’s a pile of dung in movie form, folks, you’re on your own. I’m outta here.”

BC: What you say is true, or every Rob Schneider film would be great instead of some being just almost-great. My thoughts going in were: imagine if Wes Craven and Rob Schneider teamed up, how wonderful that would be?!

MN: Hey, he was trying to give his son a leg up, I actually kind of admire him spending his capital on that.

DC: Knowing that Craven’s son Jonathan co-wrote the film but also does his best to disassociate himself from it must have set your comedy gears into overdrive. Talk to me a bit about having that information prior to watching the film and how it set things up.

KM: When a schlock producer distances himself from one of his movies, it’s like a pheromone trail – we’re helplessly drawn to it.

MN: It’s one of those thing that I love about the movies we do; trying to unravel all the stories behind it. A lot of the times you’re guessing just from what you see on screen, and then as information comes in, or you start to do more research you realize that you’re almost always right. Good movies may have great stories behind them, but it strikes me that bad movies almost always do.

BC: I understood the Craven father-son dynamic instinctively going into this movie, since I once had to watch an abysmal stick-figure animation my young son made about ninjas tearing each other apart very bloodily. I didn’t want to discourage his creativity but couldn’t justify giving it the double thumbs-up.

DC: The film has Lance Henriksen, who is basically horror royalty, and Giovanni Ribisi, who has gone on to become quite a star in his own right. Do the stars of a film ever sway your humor in terms of how hard you’re willing to “bite”?

MN: Yes, for sure. Now, the fact that Lance was able to acquit himself with some measure of dignity speaks to his charisma and gravitas. Ribisi, well; let’s just say his popcorn making improv scene doesn’t come off well at all.

BC: I got to hang out with Lance Henriksen for a couple minutes at Dragon Con a few years back. I liked and admired him before that, and came off liking him even more after our brief hang-time. Lance was friendly and cool, he can do no wrong, and he makes everything he’s in better. As for Ribisi, if I ever meet him he’ll have to apologize for the “microwave popcorn rap” he improvs in Mind Ripper. Once he does, we can try to build a friendship from there.

KM: Having Lance in a B movie is like a Good Cheesekeeping Seal of Approval – it’s a good bet that he’ll make it fun for us. We did Stone Cold, and he’s by far the best thing about the movie.

DC: Mind Ripper isn’t exactly a well-known title in the horror community, much less the film world. What appealed to you about doing this particular movie for the Halloween season over something more known and mainstream?

KM: You mean aside from the “Wes Craven Presents” thing? When a “horror” movie presents it’s biggest, scariest reveal and it immediately makes me laugh, I know we’re onto something.

MN: There’s a lot of silliness to it that makes it a richer target than more well known or “effective” movies.

BC: We thought it would be fun to feature the great Lance Henriksen even in a real piece o’ dookie. And to be Wes Craven-adjacent, at least. And for fans of the special horror that comes with really bad, bizarre performances, I offer muscle dude Dan Blom as “Thor,” the mutant-monster with a baby voice and a ridiculously phallic mouth-proboscis. Yes, I know what I just said.

DC: Obviously Rifftrax is its own thing but many fans know you from the MST3K days. How do you balance your want to be original while still going after that same charm that got you all those fans in the first place?

KM: With Rifftrax it’s entirely up to us – we don’t have silly characters or adorable Bots to endear us to the audience, so we strive to makes the riffs as funny as we can. Without really funny material I’d just come off as an Aging Former Puppeteer, whereas Mike and Bill retain an Olympian god-like youthfulness.

MN: I think we’re pretty careful to match the jokes to the actual content: that is, if we just showed a good movie and sat there and ripped on it, it obviously wouldn’t work because it wouldn’t be in any sense true. It may be harder to see, I grant you, when we’re mocking a movie you actually like, and I get that. But for the most part we’re pretty lighthearted about everything we take on because in the end we love film and we even delight in them when they fall short. I’m looking at you, Birdemic.

BC: We still have fans?? Hooray!! But to actually answer your question: we loved our time on MST3K and will forever be grateful for it, and to our wonderful fans of course. With RiffTrax we try to keep it as fun as ever but we do have a bit more flexibility to try different kinds of material, from super-weird-and-bad movies that probably wouldn’t have made it on the air on MST3K – e.g. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny; Fun in Balloon Land; Whizzo The Clown – to movies that are actually good, where we shift gears into a joke commentary that DOESN’T rely on the movie being ultra-cheesy. It’s challenging but a real blast, and keeps us on our toes. I hope fans of MST3K are still enjoying it! You’ll let us know, won’t you?

DC: What else is coming up in the future that us horror fans should be excited for?

BC: I read an article recently that Lionsgate Films might be making more Twilight movies. How’s that for horror?!

MN: I don’t want to tip my hand but I just screened a film that makes Manos: the Hands of Fate look like On the Waterfront.

KM: I’m going to the theater this week to see Geostorm AND The Snowman, So you don’t have to until we riff them. You’re welcome.

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own



Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…



Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January



Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.


Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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