I’ve Just Inherited 6,000 Old VHS Tapes

    March 5, 2013 at 4:00 am

    Hoarders: VHS Editions includes me and my new library of VHS tapes. My roommate’s old film teacher no longer wanted to house his mountain of VHS tapes including rare, collectible, never-before-seen footage of the Vietnam war and some other Really Important Stuff I can’t remember. And a lot of Seinfeld episodes.

    The Log vs. The Wall

    Who knows how long the video log will last? Videos that are worth saving and/or need to be digitized before being discarded or given away get assigned a number that will refer to a specific description in the video log. Videos that are of extremely poor quality, blank, or just plain ole shitty (that’s you, Seinfeld) go into “The Wall” pile. My house is missing a wall. One of my roommates sleeps in what is basically the living room, or more specifically a mattress in the living room. We need to craft some type of barrier, some section of the room that is exclusively his to sleep in and safe from me coming downstairs to make breakfast, walking right past him and his super hot girlfriend sleeping in her underwear. He needs protection from creeps like me.

    Watching VHS tapes is a strenuous activity. Rewinding and fast forwarding are slow as hell whether you’re doing it with video on the screen or not. I’m just questioning our follow-through here. So far, I I love writing in a fancy handwriting “Killer Dog (1936)” and “Televangelist Construction: Jesse Dupoint Screams About Jesus, Chicken, Going to the Doctor.” But this is only day 2.

    How are we going to hold the wall together? Someone suggested nailing the VHS tapes together, a theory I am quite certain will not work. Glue or rubber cement is what I’m thinking. Another member of the VHS Wall Building Committee suggested we use some sort of “very big very strong rubber bands” but I don’t know anything about those although I’m not ruling out the idea. I will supervise the use of very big very strong rubber bands if that member of the VHS Wall Building Committee decides that very big very strong rubber bands is going to build a wall that the cats won’t disassemble as they try to go bouldering up the sides of it. Which they will.

    Sifting Through Treasure

    You’ll find all sorts of crazy shit buried within an abyss of 6,000 tapes, most containing multiple films per tape. I found a mint condition Power Rangers 3D VHS with the case. With a poster. With two pairs of 3D glasses.

    There was most of the Sinister Cinema collection, all in their original boxes. I found a bunch of awesome 90s movies, also in their original packaging. Random student films from the 80s and 90s (they were just as awful as they are today). World War II propaganda boasting all of America’s war-related inventions (paratroops, submarines, getting a head-start on throwing your fellow citizen under the bus that is the FBI) and 20 episodes of Doug with amazing old 90s commercials for Polly in my Pocket and that RC car that can flip over against your wall and still keep driving.

    B Horror Movies

    B Horror

    There’s no shortage of those and most of them are amazing. And by amazing I mean “perfect for making Vines on your iPhone.”

    Mashup Potential

    The plan is to digitize all the juicy parts and splice them together to make a wonderful montage. This means watching every video-logged video twice; once to approve of it, and twice to get it into the ‘puter. And then I guess several more times during editing. But the result will hopefully be a three or four hour long song of “worth it!”

    Finding Stuff You Would Never Find, Watching Stuff You Would Never Watch

    A lot of these are the one-star wonders seen on IMDB with four reviews, no images and no access to the actual movie anywhere on the web unless you’re prepared to spend $15 on a DVD you probably won’t sit through once. 60s, 70s, and 80s forgotten gems are being polished off and appreciated all over again. So far, the best b-movie we’ve watched (and we’ve only watched two since most of these have been old shorts from the 30s, 40s porn, old Datelines, and student films) has been Snuff (1976), in which a super-hot girl gang does something-something and there’s a cult leader and they torture each other for him and girls die and a lot of weed is smoked. The worst was Horrorplanet (1981), which is a British Aliens ripoff we pretty much fast-forwarded through. Boooring.

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