Many horror fans will remember the 80’s boom of video rental, and what it meant to our beloved genre. A lot of us grew up in that time, and like myself, have fond memories of visiting the local video shop and checking out the horror section tucked away in the back of the store. The sad closure of Blockbuster recently will have many movie fans thinking back to the days when video rental was an event, a big Friday or Saturday night moment which brought friend and family together.
Video rental also made way for horror directors to share their vision with fans, and here in the UK sparked the legendary Video Nasty era. Video rental has moved on from all that, and todays digital age feels less like a secret club and more like an open invitation for anyone to join. Back in the 80’s there was an excitement to renting videos, the cover art, the not knowing much about the film apart from what friends had said, the “reputation” of the latest video nasty and so on. All these things have now sadly gone, but a new documentary is on its way to remind us of the fun with had with the then new and exciting technology. Back when VHS was introduced, crazy as it sounds, actually being able to rewind a film was something that had never been done before!
Anyway, the documentary will be having its debut at the SXSW Festival and the film has been directed by Josh Johnson. John Carpenter and Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow) are associate producers, and the documentary features interviews with many famous filmmakers including Atom Egoyan, Jason Eisener, Lloyd Kaufman, Andrew Copp and Charles Band. EW got the exclusive on the superb poster, and the trailer and synopsis can also be found below.
An exploding industry without rules! Backyard filmmakers with zero budget and a surplus of dreams! Unchecked global piracy! The race to control media consumption! Videotape changed the world and laid the foundation for modern media culture. Low cost equipment created unprecedented opportunities. Major studios and small indies operated on an even playing field for the first time ever. The story of the home video revolution is a tale of both technological advancement and human ambition. VHS vs. Beta! Porn invades the home! Direct to-video madness! It’s all here, along with a rogues gallery of directors, rental employees, XXX vets, box artists, collectors, and more. Join the pizza party!