‘MST3K’ Lives!

Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans rejoice. Friday, April 14, marks the premiere of 14 newly minted episodes on Netflix.

The cult favorite – about a man and his robot sidekicks forced to watch B-movies while marooned in outer space – found new life thanks to a Kickstarter campaign raising nearly $6 million. Netflix claimed the effort “set the world record as the highest-funded film and TV crowdfunding campaign in history.”

The same old gang is back, with some notable cast additions. MST3K creator Joel Hodgson is joined by comedian Jonah Ray as the new co-host, Felicia Day as Kinga Forrester, and Patton Oswalt as TV’s Son of TV’s Frank. Mary Jo Pehl returns as Pearl Forrester, Bill Corbett as Crow T. Robot and Kevin Murphy as Tom Servo.

Joel McHale, former host of The Soup and star of the CBS sitcom The Great Indoors, is one of the writers. Former Daily Show head writer Elliott Kalan is lead writer for the new episodes.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 had 198 episodes on Comedy Central (originally known as The Comedy Channel) and later on Sci-Fi Channel (now Syfy) from 1988 to 1999. The premise: mad scientists maroon a human host and his two robots aboard the “Satellite of Love,” forcing them to endure an endless marathon of B movies. Luckily for viewers, the man and his bots add a special layer of commentary that offer a fresh take on films, turning them into unforgettable cinema.

To stream some classic MST 3K now, you have several options.

Netflix offers the entire 20-episode first season.

Some episodes are also available for streaming on Amazon Video. For example, you can watch Forrest Tucker in The Crawling Eye (1958) for $2.99. You can also rent MST’s one and only theatrical release Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996) for $3.99.

The largest selection of episodes had been available free from Shout Factory TV, with entries from all 10 seasons. The Savvy Screener failed repeatedly to get episodes to play, suggesting that due to the Netflix offerings they are no longer available. A shame, since Shout Factory’s library included such titles as Hercules Unchained with Steve Reeves and famed auteur Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster, with Bela Lugosi.

You can, however, watch 22 episodes, with on-screen pop-up notes about film-related trivia, for free on YouTube.

About Larry Greenberg

A former local beat reporter and film critic, co-founder Lawrence Greenberg has more than 25 years’ experience as a writer and public relations executive.

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