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MST3K Leaves Rhino, Heads To Shout! Factory

Wow, this certainly comes out of left field. Satellite News has announced that Rhino Records will no longer be producing anymore DVD releases of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and that Jim Mallon has taken the franchise over to Film Crew distributor Shout! Factory. According to SN, the first release could hit as soon as the middle of this year. The press release also makes mention of the possibility of digital downloads, and the fact that Shout! Factory apparently has the rights to some films in previously unreleased episodes. So, great.

Can you say, “Heck, yes!” In the long run, this can only be good for MST3K. Rhino’s never given the series enough care and attention, and I have a feeling that Shout! Factory is better suited for the show. However, what does this mean for Rhino’s previous releases? I don’t know. Volume 10.2 will be Rhino’s final release, which could put the single-disc release of The Giant Gila Monster in jeopardy. And for how long will the previous Rhino releases remain in-print?

No need to panic just yet, guys. Don’t break the bank in a mad rush to buy all the DVDs you’ve yet to pick up. We don’t have any answers right now, but I’ll post them as soon as they come out. The full press release is included after the break.

UPDATE: Here’s a Reuters article. Interestingly, the article mentions that all 198 episodes of the series are “ultimately bound” for release. Though I’m sure Shout! Factory will be able to expand the number of available episodes greatly, I think this is likely to be an error. Still, interesting.


LOS ANGELES, CA – Adding to its expansive library of comedic TV offerings, Shout! Factory secured the worldwide home entertainment and digital download rights to the long running American cult television comedy series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K.) This announcement was made 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 Garson Foos, President of Shout! Factory. “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.”

6 Responses

  1. I agree this is a good movie, but in what ways do you feel Rhino didn’t give the series enough attention? The twelve box sets was a pretty good effort.

  2. I’m simply thrilled with this news. I *hated* the mishmash way the boxes were thrown together – seasons all jumbled up – and I’m not always in a position to buy sets. I never liked Rhino’s (lack of) marketing and the haphazard release schedule; take a look at the Shout! Factory Film Crew discs and to me they just look more professional.

    So I’m thrilled and can’t wait to see what turns up. I’m *less* thrilled that Jim Mallon has such a bad relationship with the rest of them, but oh well…

  3. @Ken
    Their box art has always been very shoddy, and the care put into their sets has always been lacking, until these last few releases. Errors, little-to-no extras, and the reasons Cliff mentioned.

    In contrast, it seems pretty clear that SF respects the show more and will probably go to greater lengths to make the releases more worthwhile. I mean, compare MST to other major series’ DVD sets and Rhino comes up short.

  4. Oh, how I wish there was a chance in hell of getting full season sets.

  5. I am thrilled to death at this news! Anything to expediate the release of Mst3k is fine by me, especially if some “rights” issues are no longer an issue.
    Don’t give Rhino too hard of a time, though. I work for a small company and I know how much “fun” that is, especially when a “Killer Shrews DVD” incident arises. If not for Rhino, we would have NO episodes at all! Although I do agree that the Volume 7-9 boxes were downright creepy. Gives me chills every time I reach for “Incredibly Strange Creatures…”!

  6. I personally got the impression that Rhino released the box sets based on when and whatever original movies they could get the rights to for the least amount of money. Could be totally wrong but the haphazard way the releases came about didn’t strike me as some sort of artistic decision.

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