Cinematic Titanic

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Cinematic Titanic: The Masters of Movie Riffing. It's like kissing god.

Cinematic Titanic was a short-lived project from Mystery Science Theater 3000's Joel Hodgson. The Cinematic Titans are Joel Hodgson (Joel Robinson on MST3K) Trace Beaulieu (Doctor Forrester, Crow) Josh Elvis Weinstein (Dr Erhardt, Tom Servo) Frank Conniff (TV's Frank) and Mary Jo Pehl (Pearl Forrester). On April 21, 2012 Dave "Gruber" Allen (formerly from the comedy trio The Higgins Boys and Gruber), who'd done the audience warm-up for the group during their live performances, filled in for Weinstein for a show in Princeton, NJ.

The Titans are standing or seated on scaffolding and filmed in silhouette in the studio recorded DVDs; on the live DVDs and shows they sit at music stands with their scripts (or more recently, an iPad). They riff bad movies, as MST3K. The actors essentially play themselves as they participate in an experiment for some unknown, possibly shadowy corporation or military force. The story currently provided to the cast is that there is a tear in the "electron scaffolding" that threatens all digital media in the world. Their experience doing MST3K is key to the organization's plans. The riffing for each film is recorded to a "nanotated disc" and inserted into a "Time Tube" by Hodgson that descends into the frame at the end of every episode. The unknown organization is very firm on keeping the cast focused on their duties, providing no time frame for completion and requiring them to stay within the facilities at all times. They apparently have massive resources and an autonomous military force, which they use to keep the cast in line. As of now, the cast is inquisitive of the true purpose of the experiments but have no major problems as, aside from having to watch bad movies, they are well-treated. There are often host segments on the studio DVDs, but unlike the MST3K ones, the players remain in silhouette in the theater.

Cinematic Titanic first performed live on December 7, 2007 at a private show for employees of Industrial Light and Magic; it first aired on December 22, 2007. In early 2013 after five years of touring, the members put Cinematic Titanic on indefinite hiatus due to the difficulty of coordinating five different people from five different cities, all with their own projects. The last Cinematic Titanic tour began in September 2013 and ended three months later. Cinematic Titanic DVDs remain available through print-on-demand, and episodes were briefly viewable on Hulu.

At one time they also had a dedicated website, but as of 2020 it is defunct and the domain has been taken over by a squatter.

Compare and contrast Riff Trax, which features a different set of MST3K alumni. The main difference between the two is that Rifftrax targets recently released movies while Cinematic Titanic riffs on obscure B-movies similar to what you'd find on the original MST3K. Also, Cinematic Titanic has a continuous storyline while Rifftrax does not. (That storyline is not referenced in the live shows or the DVDs recorded from them.)

Tropes used in Cinematic Titanic include:
  • Anti Humour: A preshow sequence had Frank Conniff use about half a dozen fat jokes about then-New Jersey governor Chris Christie ("I don't want to say Chris Christie eats large portions of food, but all of his silverware was designed by Claes Oldenburg"), followed by this gem:

No, but seriously folks, when Chris Christie sits around the house, he really passes laws that hurt working Americans.

Some Guy: Alright, let's take her in for an Autopsy.
Joel: Oh, is that what they're calling it now..

(the film's lead is battling a snake in a rock pit)
Joel: Hey, Trace? Watch out for snakes.
(audience goes wild)
(the lead is climbing out of the rock pit)
Trace: Hey, Joel? Rock climbing.
(audience goes wild)
Frank: Torgo! (audience cracks up) No, wait, that has nothing to do with anything.
Mary Jo: It's pander-monium!