The ‘bots are on the move again! After being relaunched as animated characters for the new MST3K.com in November 2007, now Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Gypsy make the move from longtime home video distributor Rhino to Shout! Factory, it was announced by Shout! Factory President Garson Foos.
Under the terms of the multi-year agreement, Shout! Factory will be the exclusive worldwide home entertainment and digital media distributor for Mystery Science Theater 3000 branded properties, which include a vast library of original episodes that have never-been-available on DVD or for digital download.
“Mystery Science Theater 3000 is a true cult-classic series. Its high-camp rendition of B-movies to the small screen makes it one of the most memorable pop culture shows of our time,” said Foos. “MST3K lines up perfectly with Shout! Factory brand. We’re thrilled to work with Jim to further the legend of MST3K on DVD and in the digital marketplace.”“We are thrilled to be at Shout! Factory. It is a really a great fit for Mystery Science Theater 3000,” said Jim Mallon, President of Best Brains, Inc. and a producer/director/writer of MST3K. “Shout! Factory totally gets the world of MST3K and has shown great respect for Joel, Mike, the Mads and the quirky little bots. They have already issued us lockers. We look forward to great new releases ahead.”
Fans have already begun speculation as to whether this could lead to an eventual revival of MST3K as a direct-to-DVD series. Shout! Factory released four titles in 2007 under the banner of The Film Crew, comprised of MST3K alumni Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. The trio provided commentary tracks for films chosen by their eccentric billionaire boss, Bob Honcho. Nelson, Murphy, and Corbett also provide downloadable film commentaries for Legend Films’ RiffTrax.com, sometimes joined by other MST3K stars or special guests.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 originally aired on KTMA-TV in 1988, then ran seven seasons on Comedy Central. In 1997 it moved to Sci-Fi Channel, where it lasted three more years. The series featured a lone human (originally series creator Joel Hodgson, then head writer Nelson) and his two robot companions, forced to watch bad movies aboard a satellite by a pair of mad scientists. During the films, the trio would make wisecracks about how bad the films are (known as “riffing”). The series spawned a feature film in 1996, which infamously riffed the sci-fi classic THIS ISLAND EARTH.
In late 2007, Hodgson launched yet another movie-riffing enterprise, Cinematic Titanic. Joining him in the venture are MST3K original cast members Frank Conniff (TV’s Frank), Trace Beaulieu (Dr. Clayton Forrester and Crow), Mary Jo Pehl (Mrs. Pearl Forrester), and Josh Elvis Weinstein (Dr. Laurence Erhardt and Tom Servo). Their debut offering is THE OOZING SKULL, a re-edited version of 1972’s BRAIN OF BLOOD.