In the not-too-distant past, a show called Mystery Science Theater 3000 became a cult hit with its skewering of the weirdest and worst B-movies ever to (dis)grace the silver screen. It basically invented a whole new variety of comedy. Since the show ended in 1999, after a decade of making the funny with a guy in space cracking wise with his robot pals, its popularity has continued to grow with the episodes coming out steadily on VHS and DVD and more people finding it.
Now, it seems, there’s yet another way for fans to enjoy the show. In an exclusive web deal with DVD distributor Shout! Factory (the home of MST3K on DVD since 2008), Vimeo now has the rights to stream all 80 episodes currently in release, and exclusive rights to future releases, including a dozen-ish more slated for the next year. Because the series was based around existing movies, obtaining the rights to those movies for digital distribution can be tricky, especially if the rights holders are obscure or uncooperative. To date, only 80 of the 198 episodes have been made available digitally, and only a few more than that have made it to DVD and video.
Beginning on Wednesday, for $300, people can buy all 80 of these episodes, which is a savings of about $500 were they to be purchased individually. Or, if you’d like to pick and choose, as is your right as a citizen of the world, individual episodes are $9.99 to buy or $2.99 to rent. It should be noted that all 80 of these episodes are currently available on other pay sites like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Instant Video, but the future releases will be Vimeo only.
What does this mean for you? You’ll still be able to buy the DVDs (obviously) and those 80 eps will still be on those aforementioned sites, but that will be it without paying for them on Vimeo. Are you willing to pony up $10 to own the future episodes, which still comprise the bulk of the series, or will you stick to these 80 and your old VHS recordings? (I had so many!) Let’s talk about it down yonder.