In the latest blow against video cassettes that you really should’ve ditched when you moved to Austin after college, Shout! Factory will reissue the very first set of Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs this September. Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume 1 collects episodes mocking Catalina Caper, The Creeping Terror, Bloodlust, and The Skydivers, eliminating the need for the Catalina Caper VHS you bought in high school because disputes over the licensing rights made it so hard to come by in tape trading circles. With special features that far outstrip “ads from a late-night Comedy Central broadcast,” the Shout! Factory release is a second take on Rhino’s original, out-of-print Volume 1, which currently sells for as much as $132.41 on eBay. (More affordable than the addition you built to house all 10 seasons of the show on VHS, but still a lot of money for 13-year-old DVDs.)
This is the point in any MST3K Newswire when The A.V. Club notes that these and many other episodes of the show can be found on YouTube, where they’re streaming for the low, low price of an internet connection. But “not free” is small price to pay for a version of “My Creepy Girl” with DVD-quality picture and sound, and it’s definitely less than the divorce settlements you’ll eventually pay because “keep circulating the tapes” wasn’t in your wedding vows.
UPDATE: The A.V. Club reached out to Shout! Factory to see if any future upgrades of out-of-print Rhino MST3K DVDs are in the works. According to a Shout! representative, “There are no plans to re-release the other volumes at this time.”