Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an eternally beloved show, not least because it’s really, really funny. Unfortunately, official copies of episodes have been hard to track down, but bit by bit, all the show is becoming legally available. And Vimeo may just be putting out another useful set of the series, according to Variety.
The basic problem with releasing episodes of MST3K is clearing the film rights. Nobody at the time thought the show was going to be popular enough to warrant the expense of hammering out video rights for each episode, and nobody who owned these movies thought there was any money in them anyway. Now that intelligent mockery of crap filmmaking is everywhere, the movies the show is based around are worth far more, and the prices have gone up.
In fact, of the show’s nearly two hundred episodes, only 131 have seen some form of home video release, and only 80 or so are currently legally available to stream. Of course, this doesn’t take into account any tapes that are circulating, but nobody gets paid when you do that.
Under Vimeo’s deal, they get the exclusive rights to sell new episodes being released, which works out to approximately one a month over the year of the deal. Hey, we’ll take it; it beats the dark days when you could only find the show on the Sci-Fi Channel in random time slots. Or those terrible $20 single episode DVD releases.