Now fans can download a RiffTrax commentary track for The Walking Dead’s first episode from the comedic minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Over the past six years, The Walking Dead has become a staple of the horror genre. While it may be a television series rather than a movie, it’s proven itself to be among the greatest of filmed horror entertainment.
A television series that is known for poking fun at horror (and science-fiction) movies was Mystery Science Theater 3000. Now, you can get a taste of what Mike, Tom, and Crow might have to say about The Walking Dead — more or less. RiffTrax has just released a new comedic commentary for The Walking Dead’s very first episode, ‘Days Gone Bye.’
From Mystery Science Theater 3000 to RiffTrax
After Mystery Science Theater 3000 was canceled in 1999, former head writer Michael J. Nelson and comedians Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy created RiffTrax. It’s essentially the same concept as Mystery Science Theater 3000, except you have to supply your own movie (or TV episode).
Nelson also hosted Mystery Science Theater 3000 after creator Joel Hodgson stepped down in 1993. Kevin Murphy was the voice of Tom Servo starting from Season Two. Corbett voiced Crow T. Robot in the final three seasons.
The show featured Joel/Mike and the two robots being forced to watch a series of terrible B-movies by a mad scientist. Rather than be tortured, the trio would instead just make fun of the movie throughout. The audience watched the film with Joel/Mike, Tom, and Crow. The silhouettes of the three were always visible on the bottom right corner of the screen.
A New (and Broader) Beginning
RiffTrax takes that same idea but separates it from the actual movie. It can be expensive to license the rights to a film or TV show. And some studios may not want their films to be subjected to ridicule. With RiffTrax, Nelson, Murphy, and Corbett record their commentaries and sell them directly. Fans can download them and then sync them up to their own copies of the movie being lampooned.
As a result of this arrangement, RiffTrax has been able to spoof way more than B-movies. They’ve taken on blockbusters and beloved classics, too.
The Walking Dead, RiffTrax-Style
For $3.99, fans can now download the RiffTrax commentary to the very first episode of The Walking Dead, ‘Days Gone Bye.’ You can even use the free RiffTrax app to help sync up the audio with the show.
CNET got a sneak peek at the new recording. Here’s a sample of the best bits:
As the light from outside the abandoned hospital blasts a newly wakened Rick, Murphy cracks, “When gamers have to run errands during the daytime.” When partner Shane, in a flashback, tells Rick his troubles with wife Lori are just a phase, Nelson adds, “A phase, like the popularity of zombie stuff, I thought.” As hungry walkers pursue a galloping Rick on horseback, Nelson says it’s “the equivalent of when the buffet guy puts out a fresh tray of crab legs.”
With all the doom and gloom going on in the wake of Negan’s arrival this season, maybe it’s time for a look back at how The Walking Dead began? And what better way to lighten the mood than a hilarious track from the minds behind Mystery Science Theater 3000!
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