With Mystery Science 3000, creator Joel Hodgson and his crew of quick quippers invented astute and clever movie-riffing as entertainment and even won a Peabody Award. Since 2007, the group has been known as Cinema Titanic and has been playing select dates to ever-growing live crowds. Hodgson, along with Trace Beaulieu (Crow, Dr. Forrester), J. Elvis Weinstein (Tom Servo, Dr. Erhardt), Frank Conniff (TV's Frank) and Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester), focus their wit on 1973 stinker The Doll Squad. Why pick on that film? Hodgson says he was visiting Alpha Home Entertainment near Philadelphia, home to "a fine collection of audio and video rarities." Acquisitions director Steve Kaplan, asked for a good film for Cinematic Titanic, offered up The Doll Squad by Ted V. Mikels. "I was familiar with Mr. Mikels' work on films like The Astro Zombies and The Corpse Grinders; however, I had never seen or heard of The Doll Squad," Hodgson says. "Once I got to screen it, I liked it very much: It had some great elements and it looked like there was a good print available, too. So I then sent it to the rest of Cinematic Titanic for their approval. Everyone seemed to think it would be a great film to riff. Ted V. Mikels was very nice and let us license the print. Just so you know, it's usually not that easy." Does he ever hear from the filmmakers after a film has been Cinema Titanic'd? "If all we did was make fun of the work, people wouldn't want to spend 80 or 90 minutes with us it's just too negative. My theory has always been you are companions with the viewer, and if you are too negative it just isn't going to be fun to watch for an extended amount of time. But yeah, regardless, sometime the filmmakers don't like it." Part of Everything Is Fest; see Film. Saban Theatre, 8440 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills; Sun., Aug. 19, 7 p.m.; $20 & $25. (310) 655-0111, cinefamily.org.
Sun., Aug. 19, 7 p.m., 2012
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