Mystery Science Theater 3000 has been off the air for 15 years, but the show’s cult has arguably only expanded throughout the new century. The show’s basic format–silhouettes snarking over Z-grade genre films–anticipated and maybe even influenced our modern pop cultural uber-social experience. (The robots on MST3K were basically live-tweeting movies, except without Twitter, and they were also much funnier than you.) Now, the series has a new home online: Vimeo is currently hosting 80 episodes of the series, available for rent or purchase.
The various rights issues circling MST3K are legendary. Every episode of the show features a complete movie (with slight abridgments)–which leads to copyright issues that have banished over half the episodes into the digital oblivion, insofar as “the digital oblivion” refers to the corner of the Internet where you can watch stuff for free. Currently, the Vimeo episodes are available for a $2.99 rental or a $9.99 purchase, which seems a bit inflated. Vimeo is also selling them in one lump for $300–a lump that apparently also includes any other episodes of MST3K that might get added down the road. (The officially accepted number of total episodes is 197, though any statistic feels fuzzy given the show’s public-access origins and its frequent network-hopping.)
Then again, if you’ve never seen MST3K, now is a fine time to go pick out an episode at random and laugh your head off. Here’s Vimeo’s announcement video.