It was about mid-way through 2012, with the Adventures in VHS project well underway, that a friend suggested the concept would also lend itself rather well to a podcast. Having not had a solo show since The Film Rant Podcast came to an end some time ago, I was at first reticent, but soon saw the appeal of getting back behind the microphone with something tailor-made for listeners like me.
The Adventures in VHS Podcast would allow me to select one film each month, where I would be able to get into more detail than I would for the 50 planned entries that would make the final book. But more than that, it would offer me the chance to speak directly to a few filmmakers, producers and people behind the movies themselves to see what their recollection of the era was some 20-odd years after they put their features out into the world.
In the first episode, I looked at the 1987 sci-fi horror Creepozoids, having managed to secure an interview with its director David DeCoteau. At the start of the interview, David sounded enthused by what I was doing and I found that with each question, he would direct the conversation back to VHS, referring to it as his “favourite three letters” at one point as it was the format that essentially gave him a career. I realised very quickly this was great content – and the early signs were that people were enjoying the show too, so it made sense to continue.
For the second episode, I was lucky enough to secure an interview with cult movie legend, producer extraordinaire and founder of Troma, Lloyd Kaufmann. Lloyd’s take on the interview was very different, as he talked very openly about the blinkered view of the industry in the 80s that was so paranoid about home video as something that would kill the movie industry. This, he continued, was a fear that was very much reflected in today’s corporate concerns over net neutrality and file-sharing, something he actually celebrates.
The Adventures in VHS Podcast will continue to knock on the doors of directors, producers, actors and anyone else willing to share their thoughts and opinion on VHS, hopefully providing an exclusive window into a part of the industry that is rapidly being forgotten. As well as asking the odd question, I’ll simply sit back and enjoy hearing every last minute of it. I hope you do too.
Adventures in VHS Episode 9 – Chopping Mall (1986)
After a short hiatus, Adventures in VHS returns with a brand new feature review and exclusive interview. You asked for it (well, some of you did) so here it is – a look at the 1986 genre classic, Chopping Mall.
So join me as I take an in depth look at the UK Vestron Video/First Choice ex-rental release of the movie, explore the artwork and the trailers and then get into a feature review of the film itself.
As if that wasn’t enough, I’m also joined by the director of the film Jim Wynosrki, who chats about its production, his career, the VHS revolution and how distribution models have changed since those heady days of video rentals.
Adventures in VHS Episode 8 – The Blob (1988) / TerrorVision (1986)
Your votes have been counted and Adventures in VHS Episode 8 is go! In January I asked you to vote for two movies you wanted me to cover on the show from seven specially selected VHS tapes. Well, you did and the number one choice was Chuck Russell’s 1988 remake of 50s chiller The Blob, closely followed by Ted Nicolaou’s 1986 horror comedy TerrorVision.
So, as always, I take a look at the UK home video release of each of these films before delving deep into the cover art, trailers and film itself – while reminiscing gently about the wonderful old days of VHS rentals. Not only that, but I even managed to score an exclusive interview with Mr Ted Nicolaou himself in which he talks about the movie, the era and working for legendary producer Charles Band.
The podcast will be followed in the coming months with two free exclusive chapters from the upcoming Adventures in VHS book – Chapters that won’t appear in the final version and will only be available on this site, so be sure to check in regularly or keep up with me on Twitter for news on when they go live!
Adventures In VHS Episode 7 – Xtro (1983)
Adventures in VHS rounds off 2012 with a seventh episode taking you all the way back to 1983 for a look at ‘the video nasty that got away’ Xtro (1983). It’s got evil aliens, man-sized child birth, murderous dwarf clowns, face-raping eggs and all the proof you’d ever need that ‘not all extra terrestrials are nice’ – but is it any good? Join me as I endeavor to find out!
As if that wasn’t enough, I also have an exclusive, hilarious and brutally honest interview with the film’s director Harry Bromley Davenport – the man who once branded it “reprehensible”. Has he changed his mind? What went on during the making of the film? How does he feel about it being branded a ‘video nasty’? All this and more in a fantastic discussion with the director.
Adventures In VHS Episode 6 – Kindred (1987)
Adventures in VHS returns with a blinding sixth episode that once more sees me travel back to the forgotten realm of the video rental store which served as my childhood Mecca. For this episode, I take an in depth look at Kindred (1987) before talking exclusively to the man behind its iconic cover and poster art, Graham Humphreys.
Of course, Graham isn’t just responsible for this particular piece, having supplied the marketing for films like A Nightmare on Elm St 1 – 5, Basket Case and Creepers (AKA Phenomena) and many more. Not only that, but his celebrated work on the Evil Dead I and II See below) are as brilliant an example of film art as you are likely to find…
So join me as I talk about the history of the movie Kindred, look at it’s 1987 release on Entertainment in Video, take a look at the trailer – and review the man responsible for its glorious artwork.
Adventures In VHS Episode 5 – The Coca-Cola Kid (1985)
Adventures In VHS is the podcast that supports the upcoming book of the same name, where I look at a particular film from the 1980s and analyze the UK VHS version of it, with a full review and in-depth look at the movie itself
In Episode 5, I get up close and personal with The Coca-Cola Kid, a brand-saturated oddity from 1985. I also have a selection of listeners’ VHS memories and select one of them to win a very special FrightFest 2012 goodie bag with additional DVDs and a mystery VHS tape thrown in too!
It’s a bumper show, with plenty to chew on and a great selection of guest contributions to enjoy.
Adventures In VHS Episode 4 – Ghoulies (1985)
In the September edition of the Adventures in VHS Podcast, I take an in-depth look at a movie from my boyhood past that managed to terrify me – despite the fact that I never actually saw it. Ghoulies managed to give me the willies (ahem) all those years ago and today I hold the tape in my hand once more… can it possibly live up to that kind of hype?
In addition, I am joined by Josh Johnson, the director of an upcoming documentary called Rewind This, which looks at how home video changed the movie industry and left an incredible legacy decades later that is far from gone. There’s also a competition to win a fantastic goodie bag that includes a mystery tape from my own collection of ex-rental VHS tapes!
Adventures In VHS Episode 3 – Devouring Waves (1984) / Monster (1980)
As I was unable to lock down the usual interview this month so made it a double back-to-back creature feature with Lamberto Bava’s Devouring Waves (1984) and Barbara Peeters’ Monster (1980 – AKA Humanoids from the Deep).
Adventures in VHS Episode 2 – Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986)
In this second episode, I look at the 1986 Troma classic Class of Nuke ‘Em High, a tale of a high school on the brink of complete self destruction thanks to the exploits of the nuclear power plant next door.
I look at the history of the movie, the VHS tape itself and get into a debate about the era for the film and the format with co-director, producer and Troma founding legend Lloyd Kaufman in an exclusive interview.
Adventures in VHS Episode 1 – Creepozoids (1987)
In this first episode, I look at 1987′s Creepozoids, directed by David DeCoteau and starring genre favourite Linnea Quigley.
I look at the history of the movie, the VHS tape itself and get into a debate about the era for the film and the format with its director in an exclusive interview.