Cinema Collectibles #10: Vintage VHS

cinema collectibles vhs

by Greg Carlson

Let’s face it: there aren’t many film fans that are praising the aesthetic advantages of the VHS tape, especially in an age where people keep their movie libraries up in that much-hyped cloud. When DVDs came on the scene in the late ‘90s, all of the flaws and issues associated with videotape became a moot point. Gone were the white lines displaying at the bottom of the screen, followed by the multiple inconveniences of getting out of your seat, walking up to the VCR, and adjusting the tracking. No more bruised thumbs caused by holding down the fast forward buttons for several minutes just to view your favorite scene. DVD players easily made the transition into portable format, thus making entertainment- based planning for airplane flights, family road trips, and excursions to remote locations without television that much easier. Read More

Children of the Apocalypse: Post-Nuclear Nuclear Families in Film

the road 1

by Melanie Reed

When well-done and believable, few films can be as gripping as the post-apocalyptic film, which works on us like a kind of delicious bad dream. Chronically overwhelmed by the complexity and confusion of the world, we constantly ask ourselves where it’s all going, who’s in charge, what we should do, and what happened to our dreams. Post-apocalyptic films give us the chance to imagine what starting over would be like, rebooting these questions in a land of different alternatives, where our challenges may range from fewer, clearer and simpler to harder, more obscure and more complex. Read More

World War Tree: The Evil Dead

evil dead 2

by Andre Couture 

This month in the fantastic world of the largest film archive known to man and Washingtonians (Scarecrow Video), we’re celebrating Earth Month by showcasing films that feature nature in an unrelenting standoff against humankind, to varying degrees. This time we’re visiting the 1981 horror classic The Evil Dead.

The story might be familiar to most of you, otherwise it’s simple to re-cap since Evil Dead has been referenced so many times and parodied. We follow a group of kids on a road trip to a lightly mentioned cabin in the woods belonging to someone renting it out for an unmentionable low price. They stay in the cabin long enough to discover an evil presence and accidentally awaken it. They must fight the evil in order to survive the coming sunrise, but this evil is almost impossible to see until it takes a body captive. Read More

World War Tree: Little Otik

little otik

by Melanie Reed

For Czech director Jan Svankmaier, the objects of daily life often play a stronger role than the characters — enlisted to serve as symbols of man’s Id. In this world of unlimited symbolism and potential animation, it’s not surprising that this auteur of stop-motion/live action animation is drawn to children’s stories like Alice, classic allegorical stories like Faust, and folktales like Little Otik (Otesanek). Read More

SHRIEK Women of Horror: The Cell

the cellStats on The Cell (2000)

Body Count: 2 people

Nudity: one female body builder, one female corpse

Major protagonists: female and male

Villain/Antagonist: male

Major actors: Jennifer Lopez, Vincent D’Onofrio, Vince Vaughn, Marianne Jean-Baptiste

Director: Tarsem Singh, a.k.a. Tarsem

Writer: Mark Protosevich

Does it pass the Bechdel-Wallace test: Nope! Two named female characters have a conversation just between them, but they talk about a boy most of the time. Read More