Rewind This, a Kickstarter-funded documentary about the massive financial and cultural impact videocassettes had on the international film industry and the lives of hungry movie geeks looking for quality thrills on a Friday night, has a new trailer out today.
You can watch it here below.
Directed by newcomer Josh Johnson, Rewind This features interviews with many individuals who greatly benefited from the VHS boom of the 1980s and 90s including The Sweet Hereafter director Atom Egoyan, Hobo with a Shotgun director Jason Eisener, Troma Films honcho Lloyd Kaufman, Full Moon Video head Charles Band, David Gregory of Severin Films, online film critic Drew McWeeny, and many others not appearing in the trailer. Johnson has assembled a fantastic line-up of filmmakers, writers, fans, and a few of the video store owners and clerks who helped bring these black plastic rectangular boxes of wonderment to the masses and alter irrevocably alter the landscape of film production and distribution forever.
The trailer gets extra points in my book for intercutting clips from such sordid gems of the VHS era as Street Trash, Black Devil Doll from Hell, Sledgehammer, Puppet Master, Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation (a shot-for-shot video remake of the classic first Indiana Jones adventure), and a lot others I couldn’t quite recognize because the clips were flying by furiously. Plus, I could have swore late NFL great/Police Academy star Bubba Smith in a purple leotard doing an aerobics video. My eyes cannot be very happy with me right now.
During my younger years VHS played an integral role in my film education. When I was a kid my family didn’t own a VCR; we had to rent one from our neighborhood video store, one of the old school top loader players that were about the size of a V8 engine (at least). Every weekend my mom would rent us some videos and for some reason only a highly-qualified child psychiatrist could possibly be able to figure out my brother and I always begged her to rent us the fourth and fifth Police Academy movies. We were children and by definition we were extraordinarily naive. As I grew up, in the days before I had a real job, I still couldn’t afford to go to the movies much. Plus the theaters in my city rarely got anything worth forking over the last few dollars in my wallet for a ticket to see outside of the cooler studio movies and the occasional acclaimed art film (but only as long as it had major distribution and had already been playing for months in other, larger cities). So I started building up a sizable collection of movies on video, including many I had recorded onto blank tapes straight off one of the cable movie channels, and when I got hired on at Tower Records back in the summer of 1999 and had a sweet employee discount at my disposal my collection increased exponentially.
VHS may be a dead format these days – and with the advent of superior home video technologies like DVD and Blu-ray players it was a mercy killing to be honest – but many of the people interviewed for Rewind This had their lives greatly impacted by being able to see countless films thanks to their VCRs, much like myself. What VHS did to promote evolve the home entertainment revolution can not be denied. I happen to own a bunch of movies on tape personally for a multitude of reasons, most importantly being that VHS box art is worlds better than the Photoshop hack jobs we get from the studios these days on Blu-rays and DVDs. The nostalgia factor also plays a huge role because sometimes there is nothing quite like sitting down on a frosty winter evening with a glass of red wine, falling into the warm embrace of a significant other, and watch Charles Bronson mow down every scumbag in New York City with a 50-caliber machine gun in Death Wish 3 (MGM/UA big box!). It is that love for the format that oozes from every second of this trailer. I plan on seeing Rewind This when it hits home video, but sadly I doubt a VHS release is the offering. Then again, stranger things have happened.
Rewind This has been accepted into this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival In Austin, TX, but a premiere date has not yet been scheduled. You can get further information about the screening here.