In spite of not having aired any new episodes since 1999, Mystery Science Theater 3000 has maintained a steady and devoted fanbase over the years. That’s at least partly due to the show making a home on Netflix and Hulu, thus easily letting a whole new generation of fans discover the show. Episodes have also been available for digital purchase on services such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video, and Vudu. Now Vimeo has signed a deal with Shout! Factory that will put all 80 currently available MST3K episodes up for grabs at a deep discount on the the online streaming site.
As of this past week, you can purchase all 80 of the currently available MST3K episodes for only $300 — a savings of $500 over what you’d spend if you bought them individually. While dropping three c-notes might seem extravagant in this economy, that is an impressive savings, and there’s another compelling reason to make the investment. Variety reports that the Vimeo deal also gives them exclusive rights to any new MST3K episodes cleared for release in the next year, and Vimeo says a dozen or so episodes are expected to become available in the next 12 months. Here’s the best part: if you do drop the $300 for the entire collection, that purchase price will also get you digital copies of any further episodes distributed between now and September 17, 2016.
If that’s still too rich for your blood, you can purchase all the current and future episodes of MST3K a la carte as well. They’ll cost you $9.99 per episode for purchase, or $2.99 for rental.
MST3K has faced an uphill battle when it comes to digital release of the episodes, simply because its concept inherently involves using footage from other existing films. As such, there are only 80 of the show’s 198 episodes are available at the moment, although, as we said above, more are on their way. Even if you’ve already watched all the available episodes a dozen times, it sounds like you’ll definitely want to keep an eye on Vimeo so you can check out material you might not have seen in a decade or so.
Despite the cancellation some 15 years ago, the legacy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 has continued with projects like Rifftrax — the brainchild of MST3K vets Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett — and countless other imitators. The show itself may be returning in a new form as well, with Hodgson telling Wired this past spring that he’s developing an online version, with an as-yet-unannounced host.