Mystery Science Theater 3000 needs your help to keep making new episodes, and to release...

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,177   +132
Staff member
Recap: MST3K is an American comedy series that dates back to the late 80s. The show originally starred a janitor (Hodgson) that was forced to watch low-budget films and riff on them. It’s gone through multiple starts and stops over the years, with Netflix picking it up for a couple of seasons in 2017 following its first Kickstarter run.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) is staging a comeback. Again.

Series creator Joel Hodgson is returning to the well that is Kickstarter in an attempt to fund the creation of additional episodes, but Hodgson isn’t stopping there. In short, his idea is to put the community in control of the future of MST3K:

  • If enough of you want more MST3K, maybe we don't need anyone to renew us.
  • From now on, we want you to decide how long MST3K keeps going.
  • We don't need a network to "let us" make more MST3K. We can make it for you.
  • When we do, you should be the first ones to see it.

Rather than having to rely on a distribution partner to allow them to keep going, he wants to create an online theater called the Gizmoplex to host live screenings, premieres and special events.

The idea of distributing the show independently isn’t as “out there” as it might have been just a decade ago, and there’s already a lot of support for the project. As of this writing, nearly 9,800 backers have pledged more than $1.8 million of the $2 million initial goal and there’s still 29 days to go.

Stretch goals will allow for the creation of additional episodes and shorts, platform-specific Gizmoplex apps and live events.

Permalink to story.

 

Dimitriid

Posts: 556   +949
I do have some idle curiosity to see this new iteration of the show but I have to say that we've been seeing basically endless copies of this "riff on bad movies" show on the internet for well, 15 years or so almost since youtube was starting out, we had people that were inspired by MST3K doing the same thing. If it is not a full commentary track and a "review" of a bad movie it's mostly because that's what youtube kinda molded it into in order to remain fair use but the concept is the same AND quite played out by now too.
 

terzaerian

Posts: 923   +1,315
Wonder why kickstarter instead of a subscription based like patron?
My guess is the Kickstarter is to gauge the demand, with the service down the line modulated accordingly. It sounds a lot like the Rifftrax model with the official MST3K seal on it.

The Netflix revival of MST3K was one of the few Netflix treatments of an IP that I actually liked, that sincerely felt like a revival rather than the usual practice of franchise coffin-raiding they usually do... so of course they cancelled it. Hopefully this works out though I think Joel is getting a bit loopy(er) as the years go by.
 

psycros

Posts: 3,460   +4,034
While I do appreciate a lot of the Joel years, Mike Nelson's crew was lightning in a bottle and will never be repeated. Rifftrax is where its at now.
 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 4,907   +5,450
Prince of Space
Riding with Death
Space Mutiny
Werewolf
Creatures from Black Lagoon
Agent from HARM
Giant spider Invasion
Squirm
Jack Frost

Their last season was fire!!!
 

defaultluser

Posts: 148   +102
I do have some idle curiosity to see this new iteration of the show but I have to say that we've been seeing basically endless copies of this "riff on bad movies" show on the internet for well, 15 years or so almost since youtube was starting out, we had people that were inspired by MST3K doing the same thing. If it is not a full commentary track and a "review" of a bad movie it's mostly because that's what youtube kinda molded it into in order to remain fair use but the concept is the same AND quite played out by now too.

And before there was Youtube, there were surprise cable hits like Beavis and Butthead. You don't think that people watched it for the cartoon parts, do you?

It was fairly easy to copy the format (so we're a little drained already) . They've also run out of new movie that are really worth making fun of (even today's movies made in garages are not as bad as crap like Laserblast - because we have too much pop-culture experience to multiple people to work on such a **** concept).

The days of dozens of kids living in the middle of nowhere being bored and making a movie - those days are over. You get feedback from your fans on Youtube before you ever move froward with a screenplay that bad.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 556   +949
And before there was Youtube, there were surprise cable hits like Beavis and Butthead. You don't think that people watched it for the cartoon parts, do you?

It was fairly easy to copy the format (so we're a little drained already) . They've also run out of new movie that are really worth making fun of (even today's movies made in garages are not as bad as crap like Laserblast - because we have too much pop-culture experience to multiple people to work on such a bad concept).

The days of dozens of kids living in the middle of nowhere being bored and making a movie - those days are over. You get feedback from your fans on Youtube before you ever move froward with a screenplay that bad.

Oh I've seen enough bad movie reviews to know that even staying strictly post 2000 gives you A LOT of choices: Birdemic and The Room are both post 2000 after all.

But in fairness to your point there *is* a lot to your argument of "They ran out of movies to make fun of" because we need to remember they need movies that are both bad, comedic enough AND that have right owners that wouldn't deny permission (As MST3K famously didn't adhere to fair use but rather asked explicit permission from the right holders)

So I suspect that you'll not be running into too many Wiseaus that pretend to be "in on the joke" and would consent to their movies being on the show and even if they did, I think a lot has changed when it comes to distributors so they probably would be faaaar less benevolent in allowing modern movies in MST3K and would just issue constant DMCA to the point the show would have trouble gaining track: all these youtubers have usually minuscule followings in comparison and that's how they flight under the radar most of the time (And also by chopping up the movie into a bunch of clips) but a notorious and popular show would get far more "Nope, take it down" or "Nope, we will not let you use the movie" replies.