Saturday, June 21, 2014

ADJUST YOUR TRACKING: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE VHS COLLECTOR (2013)



ADJUST YOUR TRACKING: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE VHS COLLECTOR (2013) 

Rating: Rating: NR 

Directors: Dan Kinem, Levi Peretic 

This doc is quite a love letter to the collector of dusty VHS tapes - these tapeheads sometimes forsake love and nourishment in search of the dusty horror gems from a bygone era - the era of the mom and pop video shop before Blockbuster drove them into the grave. This brought back a lot of memories from my early teen years renting horror tapes on Friday nights from the video shop but I never started my own VHS collection. It wasn't until the advent of DVD  I saw value in owning a film on a widescreen digital format.

That did not detract from my viewing - you need not be a die-hard VHS collector to understand the compulsion to collect and that nervous flutter in your chest you get from scouring the dusty bins of the video store and finding something rare or sought after. I have a massive collection of obscure and out-of-print DVD and Blu-ray that will attest that fact much to my wife's chagrin. 


The doc skips right past the Beta vs VHS war and doesn't even dwell on the death of the VHS format much - it goes right to the heart of the matter - the sick compulsion to rabidly collect an outdated format and the community of collectors and traders that have sprung up around VHS. The nostalgic and inferior format has a true cult following of tapeheads who are truly consumed by the it - and more power to 'em. 


A lot of great talking heads on here including Zack Carlson of Destroy All Monsters, John Scager of Lunchmeat Magazine and Tony Timpone the former editor of Fangoria who all talk with affection about the format and what it means to them. Then there's Rob Hauschild of Wild Eye Releasing, the Massacre Video guys and Mike Raso from Camp Motion Pictures all chiming in on the resurgence of the beloved format. Camp Motion Pictures having released THE BASEMENT big Box VHS/DVD and Massacre Video having brought the one-two punch of Chester Turner's BLACK DEVIL DOLL and the infamous TALES FROM THE QAUDEAD ZONE to DVD - the latter of which a VHS of sold on eBay for over $600! Surely this is madness but this loving doc shot with a true VHS aesthetic captures that infectious insanity  that's quite entertaining. 


Like vinyl before it there's a rebirth of the format with many underground and horror releases receiving brand-new VHS editions. While I myself wont be splurging on any VHS purchases in the near future I am not above paying an exorbitant amount for a DVD missing from my collection and can relate to thrill of the pursuit. 

Some of the collector's featured are demented and dedicated tapeheads and it was a joy to see them pull rarities from their massive collections and proudly display they're dusty magnetic tape treasures and speak to just how they organize their collection in weird and wonderful ways. As my wife sat by my side she just shook her head and said that's you with your DVD and Blu-rays and you're just as damn crazy as they are... she might have a point. 


The screener sent for review did not feature any of the extras on the 2-disc set but guess what's been added to my list of movies to but - this is a must own for cult and exploitation fans.  Like I said, the VHS collecting is not for me but this doc makes me want to go out and scour the shelves of the Goodwill down the street right now. 


2-Disc Edition Specal Features: 
- Teaser trailer
- Booklet
- Back Alley Film Series Q & A
- Over 7 hours of extras
- 'The Ballad of Chester Turner' short film
- Alamo Drafthouse Q+A
- Theatrical trailer
- Audio commentary with producers Matt Desiderio and Josh Schafer
- 'The Video Shelf' short film
- Deleted Scenes featuring Scarecrow Video, Faces of Death, Everything is Terrible and more
- Behind the scenes documentary, 'Rocky Mountain Breakdown'
- Extended interviews with Lloyd Kaufman and more
- Audio commentary with directors Dan Kinem and Levi Peretic
- Deluxe Two-Disc Edition
- 'It Wasn't in Vain, It was in Staten Island' short film
- Interactive menus
- Easter eggs

For the collectors, Kinem and Peretic have released a DVD/VHS combo pack available exclusively on www.adjustyourtracking.com.      


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