Interesting. I have several of those as well. I have seen other titles disappear and return (Planet of Dinosaurs, both Doctor Who movies, etc.) but never heard why and assumed they were rights-related.
It appears that they have lost the rights to those. If you purchased them they are still accessible in your library, but they are no longer available for purchase and aren’t shown on the site. (I can watch Megaforce from my library, but searching the site for it brings up nothing.)
They have the “just the jokes” which is audio, but they also have “rifftrax movies” which is both the movie and jokes. I think all those listed are rifftrax movies. There are only two on the list I don’t recognize.
It was originally, and still is with the Just the Jokes riffs, but I’m pretty sure the VOD riffs vastly outnumber the JTJ ones now, and I’m spoiled on them. The VOD releases really filled a void over the decade plus with no new MST3K.
I don’t really know why these riffs are retired, but I’m assuming it’s rights issues. The RiffTrax FAQ suggests that a severe enough issue could even result in them disappearing from purchased libraries, but I guess that hasn’t happened yet:
Good point. I’ll have to start downloading them. I have a bunch of mst3k episodes on my computer, but hadn’t really thought it worth the memory space to get the rifftrax ones. Maybe I’ll put them on an external drive.
Once you paid for a copy you own it, and continue to own it after it is discontinued. If you log out (or go into an Incognito window), you’ll see the discontinued titles don’t show up in a search but, if you own them, they’re still there while you’re logged in.
** VODs are the movie + riff together while Just The Jokes are the riff (you provide the movie).
They started with Just The Jokes commentary tracks, but they didn’t have the app to auto-sync the jokes with the movie then, so offering the VOD made it easier for a lot of people. Also, a lot of the films they’ve done since are super rare and hard to find, so a Just The Jokes track wouldn’t work for them.
Good call on The Room. When I was researching the list, I saw some weird stuff with that and didn’t know how to interpret it. That explains everything. Thanks for that!!
If I downloaded everything I bought from them… I’d need some new hard driveS. I’ve got the MST3K episodes from the first Kickstarter downloaded because I didn’t know what would be happening to our accounts; downloading the Ultimate Collection will take weeks to months (because I download every quality level).
For the record, I appreciate all the info everyone’s provided. I’ll assume it’s mostly rights issues unless someone hears otherwise, though I did hear that Troll 2 specifically was due to Mike’s co-riffer…
I would bet anything Troll 2 came down because Kyanka was found out to be pretty terrible as a person. It was originally released as a Just the Jokes, then at some point later became a VOD. If the JTJ isn’t available anymore, I would bet it’s not a rights issue.
The Room was never a VOD in either form. I would bet they replaced the original JTJ release because A: the live script is better, and B: there was quite a bit of transphobic stuff in the original release.
Also, the Disembaudio stuff over the love scenes was just unbearable.
I don’t know if this counts, but The Best of Shorts Vol 1 includes a version of Shake Hands with Danger with 3D animation of Mike, along with Kevin as a popcorn bucket and Bill as a bird thing. It’s very weird, but the same audio from the regular version of the short.
Also, the Shorts to Astonish DVD has three shorts by Janet Varney and Cole Stratton that I don’t believe have been released digitally:
If you purchased the VOD before the rights lapsed it should still be in your library and on the Roku app if you use the same email to sign on. I’m not sure why Wizards of the Lost Kingdom Rifftrax VOD is not available since they currently sell the MST3K version from the Netflix run on the Rifftrax website.
That’s a great idea! I know there are a few other that haven’t been released separately, too.
The Baggs from “RiffTrax Live: Summer Shorts Beach Party” is only available in the live show, and in fact, they just released Rhythmic Ball Skills (from the same live show) a month ago, even though the live show was from 2017.
OK, what does everyone think… y’all let me know while I compile a more thorough list:
Add “Not-Yet-Released Content” to this thread (edit it into the top message).
Create a new topic, since it isn’t technically “discontinued” content.
Given that rights are an absolute minefield of legal BS, not to mention the increasingly volatile world of streaming services and studio mergers / buyouts, it will likely be a constantly changing list. What may be unavailable now may change in 3 months, and vice versa.