Posts Tagged ‘VHS’

Everything is Terrible: Christmas Special

Published December 21, 2009 by Graham

Aren’t the holidays fun?? Take a load off with Everything is Terrible’s spade of stupendous recent videos. Colby’s Missing Memory, an instant classic, introduces us to a frighteningly intense Christian children’s program about a singing robot and his legion of suspender-sporting friends. Looking for something even more breathtakingly bizarre? Try the world’s first instructional VHS for first-time poopers, I Can Go Potty!. And for those last minute Christmas decoration tips, soak up the wisdom of The Christmas Tree Doctors, a team of state-certified experts in totally tastelessful trees.

If you haven’t seen the mesmerizing feature length DVD from Everything is Terrible yet, order before the end of January and they’re throwing in a free EIT Christmas Special DVD! Neato!

Dead of the Living Night

Published November 17, 2009 by Graham


Let us conjure memories of watching bizarre horror films on VHS, the rapturous enticement of strolling down the “Horror” section of the video store, and the awe of preteen terror derived from demonic animatronic faces oozing with gore.

In Dead of the Living Night, a show curated by Jonathan Cammisa and Jonah Birns for Philadelphia’s always-rad Space 1026, we’re given a unique opportunity to revisit those dark Hollywood dreams of yore. What they’ve created is an interactive experience of amplified pre-DVD unease, like a Disneyland simulation of the all too recent past. Waxing nostalgic about a generation raised on the fabric of VHS, Cammisa and Birns explain that the project began with “a like-minded fascination-turned-obsession with childhood fantasies and fears; the inability to look away when you now you should, combined with the desire to stay up all night fantasizing about the greatest adventures and abilities only imaginable.”

Original VHS tapes line the walls in the dark, cramped hallway, a single bulb hanging overhead. In the adjoining room an interactive “magic beast” ride allows people the fantasy of flying on the back of a giant, movable creature. You are taken through the clouds into space and then the beyond. Outside, an old television set sits atop a stack of life-sized monster corpses, playing a video where high-speed editing and tongue-in-cheek cuts splice together gore and terror, assaulting you to the point of absurdity.

If you find yourself in the tri-state area before the show closes on November 27th, don’t miss out on Dead of the Living Night. And for extra credit points in VHS Nostalgia 101, check out Fantagraphics‘ beautifully designed ode to video box aesthetics: Portable Grindhouse: The Lost Art of the VHS Box.


Ghanaian Film Posters

Published August 25, 2009 by Graham


Ghanaian movie posters are known for being rad. There have been plenty of blogs, books and art shows devoted to appreciating the creative beauty evident in these utilitarian, yet strikingly original, marketing tools. It’s always nice to see something bland and familiar, like a generic American action film, reinterpreted through fresh artistic eyes. Ephemera Assemblyman’s collection of mind-blowing Ghanaian movie posters is quite impressive.

In the 1980s video cassette technology made it possible for “mobile cinema” operators in Ghana to travel from town to town and village to village creating temporary cinemas. The touring film group would create a theatre by hooking up a TV and VCR onto a portable generator and playing the films for the people to see.

In order to promote these showings, artists were hired to paint large posters of the films (usually on used canvas flour sacks). The artists were given the artistic freedom to paint the posters as they desired – often adding elements that weren’t in the actual films, or without even having seen the movies.

Everything is Terrible: The Movie

Published June 19, 2009 by Graham


There’s no doubt: Everything Is Terrible is the funniest and most depressing collection of found footage Cyberspace has ever seen. The group of video artists that contributes to the site keep it simple: each clip is a highlight reel of pure insanity usually culled from a single infomercial, self-improvement tape or edutainment special. Without straying too far from the source material, Everything is Terrible cuts through the filler to tastefully underscore the horror and hilarity of these all-but-forgotten bargain bin VHS marvels. While the dated, low-budget anonymity inherent in these clips makes it easy to feel distanced from the subjects of Everything Is Terrible’s playful scorn, the implicit message in all this admirable work seems to be: whenever it was made, no matter how professional it looks, just about anything can be awesomely awful– so learn to enjoy it!

The collective’s first feature-length DVD, Everything Is Terrible: The Movie, hits mailboxes tomorrow. To celebrate the release, the entire EIT gang is appearing in person tomorrow night for a special presentation at (where else?) The Silent Movie Theatre.