Grainy, Spooky, Streaming
October 23, 2015 6:58 AM   Subscribe

The streaming service Shout Factory has a treat in time for Halloween: The VHS Vault!. These are VHS rips of classic 80s horror movies: Sleepaway Camp, Night of the Demons, Day of the Dead, Class of 1984, and Exterminators of the year 3,000. There's also the documentary Adjust Your Tracking about VHS collectors.
posted by codacorolla (26 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
I just watched a *different* documentary on VHS collectors, so I am clearly old enough that they are retro and a thing now, which is its own kind of spooky.
posted by Artw at 7:08 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think we broke it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:15 AM on October 23, 2015


I finally got rid of all of my tapes and my VCR last time I moved. Well, all of them except my copy of Decline of Western Civilization 3, which I got by emailing Penelope Spheeris to ask if it was ever coming out and taking her up on her offer of a free tape. That I don't think I'll be parting with.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:38 AM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm fairly sure that I still have a VHS player someplace, but I'm not sure if I have the connectors to hook it up to my current TV--it would be like trying to find some place on the Starship Enterprise to plug in a blender.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:54 AM on October 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


"-it would be like trying to find some place on the Starship Enterprise to plug in a blender."

I am pretty sure Data or Geordie could sort that out.
posted by marienbad at 7:58 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


What I don't understand is why you'd need to plug in a blender when you've got Holodeck technology at your fingertips.
posted by item at 7:58 AM on October 23, 2015


The safety mechanisms don't allow Holodeck blenders to crush ice as well as a true Vitamix
posted by aydeejones at 8:04 AM on October 23, 2015 [5 favorites]


Because you have the blender, and if you have it, why not make use of it? What, you're going to get rid of a perfectly good blender? Oh, you don't know if it works? Well, let's plug it in and see.

See? That is why we need to plug in the blender.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


And I've said it before (many many times) but if you've never seen Sleepaway Camp then you're in for such a fucking treat. Hell, even if you've seen it a thousand times you're in for a fucking treat. No more perfect American film was made in the 1980s or possibly ever. It really is that good. Stop what you're doing, quit your jobs, neglect your kids, and just watch the damn thing.

I was recently in the Smithsonian and while I applauded their all too tiny blaxploitation exhibit I lamented that Sleepaway Camp has yet to earn its place next to Kermit or Archie Bunker's chair. If this'll take an act of Congress then vote item 2016.
posted by item at 8:06 AM on October 23, 2015


I basically grew up on 80s horror, but I hadn't seen Sleepaway Camp until maybe 4 or 5 years ago. What a great movie. I'd like to watch it again, but it looks like it's not streaming anywhere anymore. Bummer.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:10 AM on October 23, 2015


Has a VHS tape ever been on "Will it Blend"?
posted by sexyrobot at 8:16 AM on October 23, 2015


On the Enterprise?
posted by sexyrobot at 8:16 AM on October 23, 2015


I love the Alice Cooper song that runs over the credits of Class of 1984. (Plus any flick with Roddy McDowall ain't bad.)
posted by Catblack at 8:19 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


I basically grew up on 80s horror, but I hadn't seen Sleepaway Camp until maybe 4 or 5 years ago. What a great movie. I'd like to watch it again, but it looks like it's not streaming anywhere anymore. Bummer.


*bloody cough*
posted by item at 8:21 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Is the website is actually from 1996, or just doing a retro theme?
posted by Panjandrum at 8:28 AM on October 23, 2015


I basically grew up on 80s horror, but I hadn't seen Sleepaway Camp until maybe 4 or 5 years ago. What a great movie. I'd like to watch it again, but it looks like it's not streaming anywhere anymore. Bummer.

There's a streaming link to the movie on the link in the post.
posted by synthetik at 8:55 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, I couldn't get the damn thing to load at first so I gave up on it.

Tonight is sorted, then.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:58 AM on October 23, 2015


And because the internet is a magical place there are also about 1,000 podcasts online of people watching the movie and making funny comments.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 9:14 AM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


Of the ones available my highest recommendation would be for Class of 1984. That movie is so badass, it definitely is the most severe of the "new kid" genre. Timothy Van Patton is a villain for the ages.
posted by wyndham at 9:55 AM on October 23, 2015


Is the website is actually from 1996, or just doing a retro theme?

Retro. If you look at the source it's actually mobile-friendly and chock full of SEO tagging.
posted by aught at 10:25 AM on October 23, 2015


there are also about 1,000 podcasts online of people watching the movie and making funny comments.
...and providing proof of just how genius the MST3K crew were....
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:31 AM on October 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


Look, clearly you would just plug the blender into Data's positronic brain, just like you do any alien/outdated device. We know the drill.

I was too afraid of these movies when they came out, but the Vault looks interesting.

Man, VHS quality sucked.
posted by emjaybee at 11:05 AM on October 23, 2015


Man, VHS quality sucked.
Which is why I always go with Betamax.
posted by TDavis at 1:07 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just watched a *different* documentary on VHS collectors, so I am clearly old enough that they are retro and a thing now, which is its own kind of spooky.

It's quite rapidly become the new thing-to-collect among all the freeloading society-ruining millennials i know. Pretty much everyone already has a record collection if they're going to have one, and now everyone is switching to vhs(and tube tvs, and usually those tvs that have a VHS deck built in)

A friend of mine has one of those little mini 10in combo TVs in his bed that he falls asleep watching/watches tapes on in the morning on days off. Like it's 1996 again or something.

Man, VHS quality sucked.

When i was a kid, my parents had one of those really nice JVC "professional" VCRs(which are apparently still super highly regarded) and a commercial sony display(i remember it being a big deal that it was a "display" because it didn't have a tuner). The kind you'd use for corporate presentations. Picked it all up from AV/event companies, apparently. It looked almost as good as DVD with a fresh tape that wasn't some B movie. Like, a fresh tape of toy story would be hard to tell. Shitty sources always looked shitty.

Eventually a few months into it existing they picked up a DVD player and some DVDs. Some of them were stuff we had or rented on VHS. The comparison beared out what i described above. The only stuff that looked markedly shittier were worn out tapes or really cheap ones.

That display didn't have component input, just svideo(and maybe BNC or something?). It wasn't until the next mega-expensive 1080i 300lb sony that progressive scan came in to the mix. But i remember noticing that something about the way that TV converted composite/svideo sources just made them look shittier than the old display. Kind of grainy

I think VHS is one of those things like vinyl. It actually can look really good, but you run in to a massive wall of finnicky bullshit and components that don't play nice together to make it look as good as the crappiest dvd player built in to a cheap walmart TV combo will. And it only ever looked good compared to other 480i sources.

You know what instantly sounded better though? The audio from DVDs. Holy shit, VHS audio sounded like you threw a duvet over the damn speakers.
posted by emptythought at 1:30 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


When VHS first became widely available, nothing was more fun for me and my teenage friends than fast-forwarding and fast-reversing horror movie killings and sex scenes. Good times.
posted by JanetLand at 2:47 PM on October 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's been about 35 years and I can still viscerally remember being informed that my dad had shelled out $500 for a VHS player. Like,...I remember where I was and what I was doing.
posted by bonobothegreat at 8:18 AM on October 24, 2015


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