The Pipeline: Going Back In Time With MST3K | Buzz Blog
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The Pipeline: Going Back In Time With MST3K

Inspecting Volume II before the big reunion this month.


If you're  a Mystery Science Theater 3000 fan, your head is probably set to explode later this month, as Rifftrax will hold a reunion show with several members of the cast for a live riffing performance. But before we get to the show, Shout! Factory helps fans go back in time a bit with a re-release of Volume II on DVD.

"Haha, it's anonymous!' - SHOUT! FACTORY
  • Shout! Factory
  • "Haha, it's anonymous!'

Years ago, back in the wayward year of 2003 (when Vol II was originally released), the rights to MST3K were owned by Rhino Entertainment, and the DVDs were released whenever the company secured the rights to release  the films that were riffed on. Starting on VHS and then migrating to DVD (when they realized MST3K wasn't going away), Rhino did a fairly decent job of offering a new set every 6-8 months, with four films in each (or the  occasional shorts compilation). They continued producing these until the rights went to Shout! Factory in 2008, which has been responsible for producing all of the sets since. Shortly after Shout! Factor took control, however, all the Rhino sets went out of print, leaving fans to scour eBay to complete their collections.

"Hey kids, um, you ever read The Ox-Bow Incident?" - SHOUT! FACTORY
  • Shout! Factory
  • "Hey kids, um, you ever read The Ox-Bow Incident?"

Late last year, Shout! decided to correct that unfortunate circumstance, re-releasing Volume I in all of its glory to fans who were desperate to get a copy that didn't cost $200. So it's no surprise that the release of Volume II was announced the week Volume I came out, allowing fans like myself to breathe a giant sigh of relief that we'll be able to snag the original 12 volumes all over again. (Even if we already own some of them.) Volume II features Cave Dwellers, Pod People, Angels Revenge and the Shorts Vol. 1 (originally a VHS release  with seven hand-picked shorts, later released on DVD). The DVD is well worth the purchase; even in you're one of the few who own the original, you're getting a cleaned up version on a DVD that can play without problems. (Owners of the old DVDs may remember clip-jumping and resetting issues.) The shorts collection alone is well worth the purchase, as you're getting clips that may or may not be included with the original film they were released with, and there's more than enough material to make up for the loss of not having a fourth film involved. The other three movies are okay. They're not the brightest gems of the series, as Rhino worked with what they could get, but they're pretty good as part of the collection. The release of this DVD comes just in time to remind fans of the show's glory when the full crew was on board,  leading into the big reunion special this month.

"For depressing phone sex, dial 1-900-Alphalpha" - SHOUT! FACTORY
  • Shout! Factory
  • "For depressing phone sex, dial 1-900-Alphalpha"

On June 28. Rifftrax will feature an MST3K reunion featuring Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbet, Mary Jo Pehl, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Jonah Ray, Bridget Nelson and Joel Hodgson. The lineup of what will be featured hasn't been announced yet, but knowing the Rifftrax crew, it's most likely set to be a mix of shorts and features where the gang can make their best jokes possible. Not to mention you're getting a glimpse of the future, with Ray being the new host of MST3K's revival later this year. If you're a fan of either show, that's a must-see experience, even if you're only able to attend the rebroadcast in July. But for the time being, you can snag yourself a copy of Volume II and get a taste of what that evening might be likeā€”or, at the very least, start to build your MST3K collection back up.