Teams Edward and Jacob aren’t the only ones eagerly awaiting the arrival of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 on VOD and DVD. Thanks to Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy, the mopey vampire series has found a dedicated audience among Twilight haters. The trio’s downloadable commentary tracks, RiffTrax, transform the series’ teenage melodrama into comedy gold. We talked to the RiffTrax team by phone about why they love sinking their teeth into this franchise.
How did you come to RiffTrax after your time at Mystery Science Theater 3000?
Michael J. Nelson We had always talked about being able to do [make fun of] blockbuster films. We did a summer blockbuster special and got to do Titanic back in the day. People responded so well to it and we enjoyed it so much, we just waited for technology to catch up with the idea. MP3s allowed us to do that.
What do you think it is about your riffs for the Twilight films that makes them so popular?
Kevin Murphy I saw one of these [films] and I came into the office and said, “You guys, we’ve got to do this!” It seemed like a perfect storm of melodramatic dumbness. So much of it was so earnest and over-the-top. Truly, we had found the modern-day Margaret Dumont.
Bill Corbett Yeah, they are really silly movies that take themselves utterly seriously. They’re so clunky because they’re trying to be true to the books, and they leave a lot of space [for us to talk]. There’s a lot of moony glancing at each other.
KM My God, is there any romantic lead douchier than Edward?
BC And, you know, the performances are really kind of bad.
KM It’s been almost daily that we sit down here, while we’re out here in San Diego, and watch the last five minutes of the new Twilight film. It’s just so delightful.
Do you think there’s some built-in comedy with three middle-aged guys poking fun at a movie that’s clearly aimed at preteen girls?
MJN When it was suggested that we do it, former RiffTrax CEO David Martin said, “This does not seem like a good fit. Guys doing this.” And I said, “No, you gotta watch it.” He insisted that it was not good, and he bet a sushi lunch on it. So I really enjoyed that sushi.
Before working on the riff for Breaking Dawn, were you aware of the crazier turns the franchise takes in this installment, such as Edward impregnating Bella and Jacob “imprinting” on the baby?
KM Yeah, just read a synopsis of it. It just sounds so freaky. And Bill went and saw it in the theater—
BC I was with my nieces! My wife made me aware that a weird thing happens—a turn for the dark and weird. Then I went to see the movie. To this day, I don’t know exactly what I was supposed to believe happened. It’s just some general yuck around the baby.
KM I do think they should have dropped the song “Baby Love” in there.
Are you at all relieved there’s only one more Twilight movie you’ll have to watch?
KM I’m hoping something equally goofy will come along for us. It usually does.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn—Part 1 comes to VOD, DVD and Blu-ray Saturday 11. RiffTrax can be purchased at rifftrax.com.