Look, nobody really misses VHS. Sure, there’s a small and weird movement of VHS artisans whose nostalgia for their childhood and an apparent love for tracking lines has convinced them that the ugly, low-res analog mainstay is a superior format, and some note that a lot of movies never made the DVD crossover so it’s not a bad idea to keep a VHS deck around (and this is true) — but generally speaking, VHS died because DVD is superior in every way, end of story. But that doesn’t mean those of us who came of age in the VHS era don’t have some leftover affection for the ugly packaging and pre-Photoshop artwork that lined our video store shelves (see, it was this place you went, and you picked out tapes, and took them home and watched them, and came back and paid an exorbitant late fee), which is why so many movie geeks have flipped for “Stan VHS.” According to “Stan”’s Tumblr page, he got the idea of making old-school VHS covers for new movies and TV shows, and posted them on April Fool’s Day, claiming them to be the work of “a Parisian hipster named ‘Stan’ [who] only watched modern films and TV series on VHS.” You can read his full article here, if you speak French; otherwise, here are the clever covers he put together for the project. … Read More
Let’s have a moment of silence for the granddaddy of commercial video stores: Blockbuster first opened its doors in 1985 today. Whether you rented films at your local mom and pop shop, or ventured to the chain that has been steadily fading into obscurity, movie memories were made in the aisles of those stores thanks to the visual impact of DVD and VHS cover art. VHS has been making a comeback, with multiple documentaries and limited-edition videotapes being produced in recent years, and the format reminds us of the heyday of horror cinema. With Halloween around the corner and outrageous VHS box art on the brain, we hunted for some of horror’s most deranged cover images — the gory, creepy, and bizarre artwork that beckoned to audiences from the shelves of video rental stores everywhere. Travel back to the days of VHS, below, but be warned that some images may be upsetting to horror newbies. … Read More
This Friday marks the theatrical release of V/H/S, a chilling and genuinely effective found-footage anthology from directors Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, and Radio Silence. (It’s available on demand now.) As scary and unnerving as it is, however, it does fall prey to the seemingly inevitable pitfall of a multi-director anthology film: there are a couple of sections that simply aren’t as good as the rest of the film. When you think about it, it’s bound to happen; even if the filmmakers assembled are all talented, there’s a pretty good chance at least one participant will have difficulty conforming to the short form, or will have trouble measuring up to the others, or just might be off their game. As a result, very few completely great anthology movies have been made — most at least have a couple of segments that don’t fit.
But that’s the joy of DVD: in your living room, you can do the editing job that their fellow filmmakers were too polite to perform. After the jump, we’ll take a look at a few of the best-known multi-director anthology movies, and offer up some viewing suggestions for them. … Read More
It’s October, which means that prestige movie season is in full swing, and there are plenty of big, potential Oscar contenders slated for release this month: Argo, Cloud Atlas, um, Here Comes the Boom, maybe? Point is, the art houses are all but overflowing with terrific offerings this month, from dramas and documentaries to comedy and horror; our picks for the month’s dozen best bets are after the jump. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we worried about cannibal sharks (200 yards from shore). We recited 25 of the best catchphrases in television history. We practiced 20 ways to open a beer bottle. We learned what 31 different brands’ acronyms and initials stand for. We listened to David Attenborough’s tortoise and… Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we congratulated our Social Media Manager Sophie Weiner for her inclusion in Time Out’s list of activists. We wondered if airlines should offer children-only seating areas and flights. We found out what cities are setting music trends. We got excited about MAD’s upcoming VHS… Read More