What would normally be a collection of eight boring, underwhelming, and just plain weird shorts are set into the stratosphere of comedy thanks to the hilarious commentary by Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett in their latest release, "Rifftrax: Shorts to Go".
This collection of shorts differs somewhat from previous Rifftrax DVDs in two significant ways, first, six of the eight shorts were made fairly recently as in, after 1960. All but one are shot in color, bad color, but color nonetheless. And finally, five of the eight shorts deal directly with children, which make it even more disturbing.
We start with the hilarious "Seatbelts: The Life Saving Habit" which feature a group of annoying idiots that whine at how seat belts "take too much time to hook up" or "they wrinkle my clothes" which only makes you want to deliberately run them down. "Watch out for My Plant" is a mostly silent short about a kid who places his new plant so close to the walkway, it's a surprise only to him that it gets run over, think of the classic "Red Balloon", only a lot more boring. "Family Teamwork" is a howler and shows parents who force their kids to do menial and sometimes meaningless choirs because it's "the right thing to do".
"Whatever the Weather" is a very helpful short for those who have no idea what snow, rain, or any other type of weather condition is like. "Are All People the Same?" is apparently for those who are totally color blind. We follow with the confusing "Things Are Different Now" in which, I think, a kid goes through 20 years of trouble in five minutes all because his Dad split town, probably because of his mother's choice in pants.
The "Shorts To Go" collection ends with two real winners starting with "William's Doll", where a fey little boy wants a doll and his bearded, beer-bellied Dad refuses until the fey little Grampaw steps in, buys the boy a doll and probably a one-way ticket to "getting pants around the track for life" town from his less understanding friends, i.e. every kid in the neighborhood.
The second, "More Dangerous than Dynamite", reveals the heretofore unknown perils of washing your clothes in gasoline. This is the studio Rifftrax version that was shown live in another release a year ago. This version may not be quite as funny, but it's darn close. Where we learn that one gallon of gas has the explosive force equivalent to 83 pounds of dynamite...really? If so, why don't we just use gas for anything that needs 83 pounds of dynamite?
Mike, Kevin, and Bill are still in top form in this collection, the riffs works, the timing good and while not every short is a classic, the aforementioned "More Dangerous than Dynamite", "Things are Different Now" and "William's Doll" certainly are and for all Rifftrax fans, this is certainly one for your collection.
Despite the hilarity of the riffs, I am docking "Shorts to Go" , as well as "Old Tyme Shorts Roundup" one star for not have any extras whatsoever and because all the shorts have been available on the official Rifftrax site for months. Furthermore, all of the shorts found in both sets can be downloaded individually for about the same overall price. So this may be my last purchase of a Rifftrax DVD unless there is some new material on it.