In 2015, Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson launched a Kickstater campaign to bring back MST3K – and broke records in the process. The campaign resulted in the highest amount ever raised for a video project on Kickstarter, and Netflix eventually came in and picked up the revival. Netflix brought the series back for two new seasons, but like the other versions of the show before it, the Netflix MST3K was canceled. Now, Hodgson wants to try this again, so he’s launching a new Kickstarter campaign. And this campaign isn’t just to fund new episodes – the hope is to also create a MST3K virtual theater called the Gizmoplex.
If you head on over to here you can find a new Mystery Science Theater 3000 Kickstarter campaign launched by creator Joel Hodgson that could potentially bring the cult hit back – again. The current goal is $2 million, and if that sounds like a lot, that’s because Hodgson doesn’t just want to create a new season of the show. He also wants to create something called the Gizmoplex, “our own virtual online theater, where we can host frequent live screenings, premieres, and community events – and you can host MST3K watch parties with friends whenever you want.”
This would eventually translate into an app that would essentially be a streaming platform devoted specifically to MST3K stuff. As Hodgson writes on the Kickstarter page: “If we raise $3.3 million, we’ll be able to develop apps that bring The Gizmoplex to mobile devices and TVs! Right now, the plan is to include apps for six of the most popular platforms: iOS, Android, AppleTV, AndroidTV, FireTV and Roku.”
The Kickstarter campaign, if successful, will also lead to the following:
1. MAKE MORE MST3K episodes with a new, sustainable model, that lets you decide how long we should keep going, and lets us bring new episodes directly to you, without depending on a network to distribute or keep renewing us for new seasons.
2. BUILD “THE GIZMOPLEX”, our own virtual online theater, where we can host frequent live screenings, premieres, and community events – and you can host MST3K watch parties with friends whenever you want.
Speaking with the A.V. Club, Hodgson says that they’ve done enough pre-production work already that if they reach their goal, production on the new MST3K episodes can begin almost immediately. “We have to plan this to do it all remotely,” he says, adding: “I’m kind of astonished how flexible MST is — that we can kind of even look at it this way and break it apart and record each person separately. It’s not going to be a Zoom meeting. We have some conceits that make sense out of [the remote recording] — you’re on the moon, we do a lot of stuff in spacesuits, right? Our fans are so graceful. It makes me feel not afraid technically of going after it. And even if [there are] some problems, they really seem to thrive on that just because of the nature of the show.”
Mystery Science Theater 3000 first launched on local Minneapolis, Minnesota TV station in 1988. In 1989 it moved to The Comedy Channel, which eventually became Comedy Central. There, it ran until 1996, and lead directly into a feature film – and also a cancelation in 1996. But fan demand helped save the show, with the Sci-Fi Channel (later SYFY) swooping in and rescuing the series for three more seasons before it was canceled yet again in 1999. It remained dormant until Hodgson’s first Kickstarter campaign in 2015, and then returned officially on Netflix in 2017.
Despite the constantly changing networks, writers, and cast members, the premise has always remained basically the same: a guy and his two robot buddies are trapped in space and forced by mad scientists to watch bad movies. To stay sane, the host and his two bots make fun of, or riff on, the films. Hilarity ensues. I grew up loving Mystery Science Theater 3000, and used to record episodes on VHS all the time. That said, there’s a part of me that feels like the show has maybe run its course and it would be okay to let it go. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Netflix era, as it felt like the series had lost some of its magic. However, I appear to be in the minority there, and I have a feeling Hodgson is going to reach his goal pretty quickly. At the time of this writing, the Kickstarter has already raised $987,837. Stay tuned.
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