It’s remarkable that we live in a world in which there’s countless movies and TV shows available to watch at the simple click of a button. It’s also exciting to see movies looking better than ever on Blu-ray and now 4K Ultra HD. But for some people, myself included, nothing will ever replace the joy of going to the neighborhood video store, walking past rows and rows of VHS covers, and choosing a few to take home, crack open, and pop in the old VCR. If you’re one of those people, you might just be interested in Plastic Movies Rewound: The Story of the ’80s Video Boom—though be warned: there’s a dark, shady area beneath all of those happy memories you have…something this documentary series explores.
Plastic Movies Rewound dives deep into the history of the days of Betamax, VHS, video stores, and much more. We here at Geeks of Doom have an exclusive extended clip from the series to share with you, titled “The Bad Ol’ Days,” which can be found along with more information below.
The force behind this project is Mike Malloy, who handles writing, directing, editing, and producing for the series. Malloy did those same jobs on the international hit documentary Eurocrime! The Italian Cop and Gangster Films That Ruled the ’70s, and he also worked as a writer and producer on the long in development Django Lives!, a sequel to 1966’s Django starring original star Franco Nero.
Here’s what Malloy had to say about the project, which will give you an idea of where he’s going with it:
“I know other documentaries have treated this subject with either fond nostalgia or hipster irony. But I’ve always seen the ’80s video boom as a crime story. Some people got unscrupulously rich, some people got ripped off, and the rules were made up as they went along.”
Of Malloy, 2nd unit director Michael Perkins said:
“Mike Malloy is the most obsessive, meticulous pop-culture documentarian working today, and PLASTIC MOVIES REWOUND certainly reflects that. Who else is doing this many dramatic re-enactments, flow charts — all these motion graphics that not only illustrate the interviewees’ points but make them come alive for the viewer?”
With primary cinematographer Michael Martinez adding:
“Even though he mainly has me shoot ‘talking head’ shots with his interview subjects. A Mike Malloy documentary ends up being the farthest thing from a talking-head doc, owing to his unique and dynamic editing style”
Plastic Movies Rewound will include six parts, and will run about five hours in length total. It will cover the emergence of video store businesses, those who got caught up in laws passed because of the ’80s video boom, some of the jobs that were created as a direct result and those who worked them, and more.
There will also be a huge amount of interviews for the documentary series. Here’s the full list of who they talked to:
Leonard Maltin (critic, ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT), Mitch Lowe (co-founder,Netflix), Fred Olen Ray (filmmaker, HOLLYWOOD CHAINSAW HOOKERS),Seth Willenson (VP,RCA Corporation), David DeCoteau (director, CREEPOZOIDS), Jim Olenski (co-owner, Thomas Video), Jim Lowe (publisher, THE VIDEOPHILE), Ruth Collins (actress, PSYCHOS IN LOVE), Daniel Hannah (organizer,International Video Store Day), Barry Barnholtz (distributor, Vidmark), Donald Farmer (director, DEMON QUEEN), Ron Anderson (pan-and-scan operator, Fox Video), Ted Okuda (historian, 8mm digest films), Michael Dolan (reporter, WASHINGTON CITY PAPER), Glen Coburn (director, BLOODSUCKERS FROM OUTER SPACE), Art Vuolo (columnist, THE VIDEOPHILE), Scarlet Fry (salesman, Camp Video), David Rimawi (co-founder, The Asylum), Jacques Boyreau (author, PORTABLE GRINDHOUSE), Louis Justin (distributor, Massacre Video), Leila DeCiantis (owner, The Little Video Shoppe), Gary Abdo (director, THE WORST OF ENEMIES), Marc Wielage (witness, Sony V. Universal), Thomas Arnold (Managing Editor, VIDEO STORE MAGAZINE), Jerry Oden (VCR repairman), Tim Ritter (director, TRUTH OR DARE), Tom Garrett (director, DEATH COLLECTOR), Len Cella (director, MORON MOVIES), Ray Glasser (webmaster,Beta Info Guide), Josh Schafer (publisher, LUNCHMEAT VHS MAGAZINE), Scott Shepherd (owner, Village Vidiot store), Tom Howe (tech expert, CED format), Gerry Cook (director, ONLY A BUCK), James Bialkowski and Jake Grimbro (distributors, Vagrancy Films) and Cathy Tauber and Patty Polinger (co-founders, Vidiots)
Executive producing is Projection Booth podcast host Mike White, Fort Worth filmmaker Dan Hostler, Revok Film Prodigies’ John Dobbie, and former bassist for garage band The Lyres Matthew Miklos, who also narrates and composed much of both the instrumental score and original songs for the series. Thomas Nyholm composed some additional music, as well.
Plastic Movies Rewound is currently in post-production, though it’s not yet known when we might see it or where it might air.
For now, enjoy the clip below. A new clip like this one is being shared every day this week around the ‘net. If interested in checking those out, you can find Monday’s clip, “Box Art Battleground,” over at Cinapse; Wednesday’s clip, “The Party’s Over,” over at Schlockmania; Thursday’s clip, “Who’s Watching Exactly,” over at Daily Grindhouse; and finally Friday’s clip, “Tapes on the Move,” over at Lunchmeat’s Spare Parts.
Also included below, you can find an early sizzle reel for the series to get an even better idea of what the overall project is about.