OK, though I’m a huge film buff, I completely missed the whole MST3K movement until it was a bit too late (probably because I didn’t have cable in college). I’ve caught a few reruns (laughed a lot) but have no idea where I should start in sampling the DVDs.

I know from previous threads we’ve got quite a few aficianados in Dopedom, so—any suggestions?

There are quite a few boxed sets available. Just check your friendly neighborhood media store.

Also, try to pick up “Mitchell”, “Manos: Hands of Fate”, and “Eegah!”. I wouldn’t start by watching “Manos”, though. It’s a bad, bad, bad movie.

Although, I do want the painting from the movie. I’ll hang it up right across from the toilet.

Currently available from Rhino Video

You can also check out The Tape Tradin’ Post at The Satellite News.

Maybe I should clarify–I know that there are a variety of MST3K DVDs available. This is why I posted in the first place.

I also suspect that some episodes are considered more “classic” (memorable, hilarious, etc.) than others. I would like some Dopers’ opinions on what these specific episodes are (or if there’s one episode compilation box set that stands out–content wise–from the others).


Well, “Manos-The Hands of Fate” is seen as THE movie all MST3K fans should see. It’s considered by many as the worst movie ever. Even TV’s Frank apologizes for it during one of the segments. It’s one of those movies with a lot of inside jokes that keep popping up in the other episodes like the mention of Torgo. Another movie with a lot of inside jokes is “Eegah” with the line “Watch out for snakes!”

“Mitchell” is Joel’s last episode and “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” is Mike’s first episode.

Well, Rhino still hasn’t released all of the best episodes, and some never will be officially released because of rights issues.

But from what’s available:
Mitchell is the best single episode. As already mentioned, it’s Joel’s last one, so it might not be the best first exposure to the series, but the experiment itself is one of their best – they’re just “on” through the whole thing, with no dead time.

The Mystery Science Theater 3000 Collection Volume TWO is the best of the compilations. It’s got Cave Dwellers and Pod People, two of the best Joel-era episodes, and a collection of shorts. (Angels Revenge is forgettable).

There was a big long hairy thread a month or two ago about peoples’ favorite episodes. That might give you an idea of where to start. Personally, I like them all, so I can’t really point you at one. The last couple of box sets (volumes 4 and 5, IIRC) are heavy on Sci-Fi channel episodes, which I tend to enjoy more than the Comedy Central episodes.

Sure, but it’s got so many celebs making asses of themselves! (Jack Palance, Jim Backus, Alan Hale Jr, Peter Lawford, Pat Buttram, Arthur Godfrey) Sad. And wacky!

Coming out in the next box set which will be released in Sept or Oct is Teenagers From Outer Space. Oh, it’s TORCHA.


Any chance they’ll Ever come out with a disc of the little industrial/school films often shown at the beginnings of the shows? They were always my favorite…

Various “Shorts” compilations are already on VHS. “Shorts” Vol. 1 is in the second Box set, the one with “Pod People” and “Cave Dwellers”, etc. The ones included there are “A Date With Your Family”, “Why Study Industrial Arts”, “The Home Economics Story”, “Cheating”, “Junior Rodeos”, and “Chicken of Tomorrow”.

“Hired Two” is before “Manos-The Hands of Fate” and that’s a pretty memorable short to go before a memorable movie.

“The one thing Harry drilled into me was…”
Crow: Harry!

“Shorts Volume 1” is available on the MST3K Collection Volume 2 (4-disk pack); “Shorts Volume 2” is available on MST3K Volume 3. (Make sense?) The new two-disk set “MST3K: The Essentials” includes a bonus volume of shorts if you buy through this offer. And finally, yet another volume of shorts will be on the Volume 6 box set coming out this October. So the answer to your question is: they’re way ahead of you.

And getting back to the OP: Start with Mitchell. SolGrundy is right—it’s the strongest episode they ever did. The last set they put out, Volume 5, has two excellent Sci-Fi era episodes, Timechasers and Boggy Creek II.