VHS Massacre (2016) Movie Script

Do you think there will always
be some form of physical
media or do you
think at some point
they'll be 100% phased out?
Uh, that's a good question.
Blockbuster was a giant,
nasty company putting
small companies out of business.
That was their purpose.
We have a whole, younger
generation who have
grown up with the whole
concept of free music,
free movies and once
that's kinda engrained
it becomes really
hard to change that.
So we've been working
on this documentary.
It's basically about cult films,
the decline of physical media,
and the mom-and-pop video store era.
Hey, welcome to
Mama's Place Studios.
This is New York City Radio and
I'm your host, Dave Leute.
Push the fucking button.
You know, there's when
I got to go on NPR.
New York Times listing
of a film I did.
One of my best friends,
Phil Guerrete and Mike Aransky.
I try to keep reminders
around, you know.
Sometimes you read some bad reviews
online and it takes the wind out of you
and it's good to
have stuff around
to say "Yeah, no, man.
I did a good fucking job."
You know, we actually
did something.
You know. So, I'd like
to have that stuff.
It was like the end
of 6th grade and
my friend, Craig Reolo,
I went over his house
and we watched
uh, Toxic Avenger, and
uh, so we decided to
borrow my neighbor
Billy Grant's Super 8 Camera.
We bought a camcorder
from one of the
kids I went to school with.
Me and Phil Guerrete paid
like a couple hundred dollars
for it and we started
shooting movies.
I finished my first
feature film when
I was 20 years old.
Uh, it wasn't good,
it was terrible.
So that was called Thrill
Kill Jack in Hale Manor.
- You Hale?
- Oh, yeah.
And Mark of the Beast is
the latest and hopefully
what we are going to do
is roam around New York
and try to find DVD copies
and try to find press.
Close to Ramadi,
across the river at
a place called Camp Corregidor.
This place was a shit-hole,
it was, it was bad.
It was, it was basically,
an alleyway for IEDs.
It was, it was just
stressful living there.
We were always getting
shot with mortars... and...
out of nowhere you
hear the mortar siren.
You could hear it and
it was like "Oh shit."
It has to be really damn close
for for us to be able
to hear the whistle.
And so we were
running and it lands
fifteen, probably no more
than fifteen, feet away from us.
I was talking to this guy who
had stopped me and asked
me for directions.
I drove off, a mortar landed in the
spot I where I was just standing.
It actually injured
a few of the guys
that worked at this
laundry facility.
But while I was over there,
though, um I wrote
my first full fledge script.
But it was probably the first time I felt
a little bit of home, at that moment.
I've been a New Yorker
my entire life.
- There you go.
- That's not even that bright...
My love for music kinda blossomed
into like trying to record
stuff, I was always into
computers and stuff like that.
So I ended up buying some
microphones and, and
a mixing board.
Tom came over and had this idea.
And I was like
"Well I got all of this stuff..."
and you were like "Yeah that's
a good idea, we should do that!"
So it all just kinda
just worked out nicely.
So we've been hosting
the New York
city radio show for a
while now and, for
those first time
listeners, we focus on
cult films, B movies,
bad movies...
but recently we started
working on this documentary
and it's about the decline
of physical media
You know people are
buying less DVD's
and certainly less VHS.
It's really just about how
everything's going to streaming.
It actually gave us
this idea to put on
this live video podcast
that we're actually going
to call the VHS Massacre.
Yeah, we're going go
from store to store
looking for videos,
and while we're at it
we're also going to
be examining the
the video store
industry right now.
Along the way, we're
gonna interview
some B-movie celebrities
and get their takes on
some of their greatest
video memories.
So we're going to have the VHS Massacre
right here at Mama's Place studio.
I'm going to be a judge and we're going
to have 2 other filmmaker friends.
They're also going to judge...
You're gonna find 5 VHS videotapes.
You're not allowed to watch them.
You're going to have
to judge them based
on the cover alone.
We're going to sit
down, we're going
to watch 5 minutes
of each video.
Fast forward, rewind,
whatever you want to do.
The best of the worst wins.
When you were a kid,
80's and 90's, you would
go to a video store.
And basically you're going on
video art alone and that's it.
Can this be?
Can it still be opened?
As we got even closer to it
you can see that some of the
windows, the shutters are opened.
You can see inside it,
it looks really empty.
And I just thought they
were in there remodeling.
Today was the day they were
throwing everything out.
Can't be open, that looks...
this is almost pathetic.
Look at the side over there.
The shutters are still down though.
A couple of them are
like half opened.
So, If you were coming
here tonight to get your
best of the best fix, you'd be
shit out of luck, right?
Yeah, I would be, but at
one time they had it.
They had...
all of this area where
you see the .99 cents sales,
which I'm sure, is making 'em so
much fucking money.
They used to have...
the core, a library of sorts.
The history of film,
was the core, in the middle
of the store. Now,
its just garbage.
What are the odds that
you would come to a
Blockbuster and rent
movies on a weekly basis?
Zero... I got,
like, Netflix now.
This is more depressing than
anything... I've never been
in a Blockbuster with so
much wide opened space.
You know, in the hey day,
in the 80s and 90s
stand-ups were
almost just as fun
as like picking out the
movie. You'd see, like
the movie Ghoulies...
I seen a cardboard
stand-up for one in a video
rental store, when my dad took me.
The stand-up scared
me for so long...
Shouldn't've been so
afraid but that stand-up
though, was like was
seared into my mind
We're filming for ten minutes
and they haven't told us to leave.
Yeah... that says a lot too.
Or offered any help or anything,
suggestions... nothing.
This was, uh, used to be
more of a social experience.
Exactly, yeah, yeah... but
here, they're not trying.
So this was totally
a Blockbuster Video
but what's even funnier is
when they pulled off the
Blockbuster Video sign,
there was a CVS
Pharmacy underneath it.
Uh... we managed to get an
interview with Joe Bob Briggs
We got our webcam,
audio podcast...
Uh, well, we got the black
magic camera set up
for the, the interview.
I'm a little stressed
because we're setting up
and he's the biggest
guest we've ever had at
Mama's Place Studios.
Dave is very gracious, letting
us fuck up his living room
This is pretty amazing,
as I've talked about
him on the show, I think
a few times, and he's such a
part of my teenage years.
On Friday night, they had
roll into MonsterVision
and that's how
I'd spend like until one or
two o'clock in the morning,
just watching him
talk about movies in
the funniest way.
I think, at the time,
I'd ever seen anybody
really talk about
them on TV, at least.
Five dead bodies, two
breasts which we
won't be showing,
mutant farm animals,
strangling, stabbing,
shooting, hanging,
impaling, drooling,
ax to the head,
crowbar to the head.
I was the first to write about
the movies on a
regular basis in a
mainstream publication.
It was precarious. I was
on the verge of getting
fired all the time because
it wasn't something
you're supposed to write
about in a mainstream
publication but I was
doing the drive-in,
Bill Landis was doing
the grind-houses,
John Waters was the
first pro-exploitation,
actual filmmaker
and, um, and everybody
else still turned up
their nose at the
whole world of even
the word exploitation
you know I mean
I remember the first time
I ever met Roger Corman.
I said "King of the B's",
there had been a
book come out called
"King of the B's."
I said "King of the
B's" and he said
"Ah, don't call me that" and I said, "Well,
what about king of the exploitation film"
and he says "That, I love."
Did you have any strong
feelings about that in general
the decline of a mom and pop video
store or Blockbuster? Any of that stuff?
Well, the...
when Blockbuster started
dominating the video
store market, that
was the beginning of
the end for the
guys who could make
direct-to-video product, because
Blockbuster didn't have to take
anything that they didn't want to take.
I happen to know some
of these filmmakers who
were working in the
world in the 1980s.
The going price for a
film, and they were still
shooting on film
in many cases...
was $60,000.
They were making films
for about $60,000.
Well, that was ten times
cheaper than what
had existed prior
to the video age.
A lot of people are nostalgic
about the 80s. I mean,
even though, I mean 95%
of those films were
horrible but, uh, people
are nostalgic about
'em anyway and they liked the
shot on video look and
the cheapness of it.
"He has witnessed the
industrial revolution...
will Dr. Banshee
be able to accomplish
the task that he
has been given?"
as mysterious, rogue forces
continue to intervene."
Well, that was
possible because
there were so many
video stores and so
and, as you say,
mom-and-pop video
stores, anybody could
open a video store,
just like in the 50s,
anybody could open a drive-in.
They weren't run, they
weren't controlled
by the big studios.
The local dentists
could open a video store.
So that was good for low-budget
filmmakers, it was...
bad for Hollywood.
Hollywood is always
slow to catch up
to any technological change.
So, Funstuff originated in
a 500 square foot store in Southington.
The original Funstuff
video is a dance studio.
It was founded by Scott Blair
and Carmine Capobianco
At that time,
Mitch Rochefort and
I worked for Carmine
and Scott, we ventured
off on our own,
opening a store in
Wolcott, Connecticut.
So Funstuff video in
Southington is a coffee shop.
Is that the empty storefront?
Heading to Carmine Capobianco's house.
Hopefully, should
be some good fun.
I haven't seen Carmen
in a few years and
hopefully we'll get
some good footage.
Tom and I were here
and he was looking
out the window and
a freaking fox was
coming down and foxes
will kill chickens
and ducks, so what you saw
was an act of protection.
You've done a bunch of features
recently, or a few features
now, do you feel
like they sought you out,
because of the the work you
had done earlier?
All right, I'm gonna tell you
this, this story and this you
will appreciate because we both
worked with Debbie Rochon
and Debbie Rochon,
if for some reason you've been living in
a cave the past 20
years, is the Queen of the B's
She has 211 movies, as of two weeks ago,
- under her belt that she
- had she had been in.
She has been asked
over the years many,
many times to direct
a movie so she asked
me to be in it.
It was all because
of Galactic Gigolo.
"There have been strange
sightings in the
town of Prospect Connecticut...
Local residents report
that they've seen an
alien life-form in the
surrounding woods..."
Let's get him!
Oh my God...
Are you Lisa? Are you Lucy?
Then I must be the extra-terrestrial!
You have an extra testicle?
I met somebody who was in the Toxic
Avenger and he told me about Troma,
so I went immediately to
the video store and
I rented it and I was
like "yeah, this is
this is a company that,
you know, I really
want to work with."
This is insane, like,
"I could do that!" you
know amazing you
know I could definitely do that.
So you know, I mailed
in all my stuff to them
repeatedly, you know,
and then finally
after like maybe a
year or so they
called me in the
office and I started
doing stuff with them
and ultimately did
Tromeo and shot it
in 95 but yeah
I would say the exploitation
and the B-movies
made it very possible
because I was
really going out for,
you know, big movies
and I was not
necessarily a type that
they were casting but
I knew that I had
something to offer and to give.
We got commercials
and informercials...
Oh yeah, we have, there's...
all sorts of things.
Straight from the University
of Colorado at Boulder.
This is the original tape that
Trey Parker and Matt Stone
sent of Cannibal! The Musical
to Troma for acquisition.
"In the tradition of
Friday the 13th Part II
and Oklahoma, comes the first
intelligent film
about cannibalism."
"Gross, Packer!"
It was good 30 years,
I think, before
South Park had come out
and no one, no one
got Cannibal! The Musical
and Trey and Matt
took it to every studio
and they refused it
You know, they were
just Troma fans.
So they decided as,
to send it to Troma
About to interview
Lloyd Kaufman.
So what do you guys wanna do?
There was a period
when, as Michael Herz
used to say, he could sell his bar
mitzvah pictures around the world, not
not just in the United States, the
stores wanted to fill up their shelves they
take anything, anything.
I spent the late 80s doing,
um, straight-to-video movies.
They were made
specifically for video and
that's where the money was made
because there was such a
need for more product,
more product, more
product, more product.
The studio's started
saying, you know, hey
look at all these movies that
people like, like you
know Charlie Band
for instance at Full
Moon Entertainment,
look at all these movies
he's putting out.
He had the most
incredible marketing team
I had ever seen in my life.
Charles Band, you know, I mean so many of
the Full Moon Charles Band, you know, I mean
movies, you know,
were among the first
movies that I rented you know
when we'd go to, when we had
a video store finally in the
area, and he just aways had this
great artwork had this great
artwork on their covers
and, and some of those movies
if you got beyond
the fact that the artwork usually...
Made the movie seem much
bigger and more than it was
these movies are so
much fun especially
when you realized
they weren't taking
themselves that serious and you
can really just sit back and laugh.
We did Psychos in Love
for him, he bought
Psychos in Love and he said
"I'm gonna give you guys
a four picture deal,
I'll need you guys to come
up with 10 story ideas
and I'm gonna pick
four and then I want four scripts..."
Before we even put pen to paper
to start the scripts, we look in
Variety magazine and
there are full-page
color ads for the
movies that we haven't
even written yet and
he's marketing them
overseas. They just
needed more stuff and
he was making the stuff
that people wanted to see.
And we were a content company,
we make movies and whenever we
have any extra money
instead of buying
drugs or hookers
or big mansions in
California, we buy
libraries of movies so
we own about eight
hundred films,
we own the rights to about eight
hundred, and the negatives to about eight
hundred movies, so when
VHS came in, which
was a long time ago,
we had a big library,
comparatively big
library, so we were
doing very well...
However, what's
interesting is that
was the first time
it became obvious to me that the
conglomerates, the
media conglomerates,
and the MPAA whenever there is a
technological breakthrough
they are slow to
adapt and, and they
throw a monkey wrench
into the works to try to retard
everything so that
they can then take it
over and with VHS
they made the same
argument that they
are making now
Against net neutrality
on the Internet.
The MPAA said that VHS
would destroy the
copyright law, that
everybody would be
duplicating movies
and that as a result
copyrights would be
worthless and that
we'd be inundated with porno.
I think it's weird to not have a
tangible product in
your hand that you
can own and have and re-watch.
I love just having a
physical copy of the VHS
and it's you know
it's very culturally
acceptable now, to
be a vinyl collector
and enjoy the hisses
and the pops and
the richer sound that
you get from vinyl
and appreciate its
collect it for the
artwork on the cover,
The collecting vinyl is sexy.
VHS does not have the
same cachet right now.
Um... although I
think it should.
I can understand why you
want vinyl records because
there is a quality but,
it could be beautiful
to hear it on vinyl,
but there's nothing
beautiful about VHS.
I'd like to watch
movies that look a lot
shittier on TV as
opposed to having
something thats bright
and shiny in my face.
All horror films are better
if they're grainy and choppy.
You might start thinking,
you know what,
this could've actually
been made by a maniac.
My main reason for collecting
any of the VHS' that I do
is because they're
just, you know, a hard
movie to find, maybe they've
never been released on DVD.
A lot of these VHS
tapes, they sell for ridiculous
amounts of money, you
know, all the way up
to a thousand dollars
for some tapes you
know, you don't see
anything out on DVD
selling for that
amount of money.
I want to be able to say
I own a copy of it and
tell other people, who are VHS
collectors, collectors that I have it.
And that's what we
would do you'd trade
like an eighth generation
dub of this weird
piece of footage you
found with somebody
and you get in a room
and watch it with
all your friends and
and that was the
way you distributed
it so when YouTube
came out we were a
little concerned like
how is this going to
affect what we do
and bringing these
shows to movie
theaters and rock clubs,
things like that
will people still
want to go see it
but luckily, yes, they do.
Alright, this is the last
one we're going to see.
I love this one:
Practical Self-Defense.
In terms of seeking
out old VHS, rare VHS
Um, you gotta get
your hands dirty.
You gotta, you know, look behind
the first layer in the dusty
shelf in the thrift store.
In general, the more
economically depressed the
area, the better VHS
tapes you're gonna find.
"Value by-the-Pound"
So are you excited
to go get some uh...
VHS by-the-Pound?
Man, I've never heard
of VHS by the pound.
The Basics of Rock
Drumming, Laying It Down
$39.95... Wow.
Babes in Toyland with Keanu
Reeves, interesting...
I've never seen that, never
even heard of that dude.
Drew Barrymore, Pat Morita...
Much like Blade Runner,
it's, uh, also
based upon a book.
"Making magic is our specialty."
Most of, half of this bin,
the videos in it could
just be lost to time
like they may never
make the leap online.
This is like a graveyard
to some of these.
They say it's made in New York,
Boo Boo Productions.
Tempestt Bledsoe
of The Cosby Show
This guy looks like
he's throwing up
a gang sign right here.
Yeah, that's strange.
This one, I think, is the
real winner of the bunch.
Wee Sing presents
Grandpas Magical Toys.
I mean, it's got clowns,
it's got puppets
and old people and
weird looking kids.
I think it's the perfect
recipe for being, really...
Y'all can't take pictures in
here, you know that, right?
Forbidden... we're in
the Forbidden zone.
The 16-millimeter at
home, like do you
feel like that was
common enough to call
it sort of the first home
movie, type scenario?
Absolutely, oh yeah,
I'm not saying it was
a real popular thing
like you know
photography is today but I remember
buying a whole lot of 16 millimeter film,
you know, there was The Twilight Zone,
there was the Jetsons.
In the 20s in the 30s
and the 40s they were
shooting on larger format film.
The home format at that
time was 16 millimeter.
So 8 millimeter was
basically 16 millimeter.
It was a double sprocketed 16
millimeter film. You would put it inside
your 8 millimeter and shoot 25
feet and then you would flip it over and
you shoot the other 25 feet then when
you sent it out to
processing they would
develop it, cut it in
half and splice it
together and, hence,
you'd have a 50-foot
wheel of your home movies.
So, that was regular 8?
That was regular 8. So,
they came out with
Super 8, which give
you a larger picture,
but smaller sprocket holes and
they also had space
on the Super 8
to put a very thin
magnetic strip
At a time when you went
to get a Super 8 film
you you weren't actually
- getting the full film, right?
- No, you were getting
what they they called "digest".
Normally, I mean, the
average length of a digest was about 200
feet, so you would get about eight
minutes of it. It
would be highlights
sometimes would be
like one long scene
but most of the time
they would show you
scenes as you can kind
of follow the story
The only things
that were full length
were the cartoons because,
at 8 minutes, that's
about the length
of the cartoon, you
know, 8 minutes or less.
And Mighty Mouse proves again that
he is the champion of sheep and men!
Blackhawk Films, that company
was really the king.
They were big
with releasing the Chaplin's and
The Little Rascals and all these.
Another cool thing was the library
used to lend out Super 8 films.
I found it... and
I can't read it.
Unmarked tapes, I know
there's stuff on them
because the recording
tabs are popped out
So, this is Night of the Kickfighters
this may be more promising
actually than Snow Kill.
Um, It's a good studio
that I don't know.
It's the guy that I don't know who's
been in apparently Ninja 2 and 3
and movies I never heard of
He looks cheesy.
He's supposed to be, I guess, a ninja
and he barely can kick up to his waist.
Yeah, "kick fighting like
you've never seen it before."
- I'm not sure exactly what that means.
- Kick Fighting?
I don't know what NATO targets
but, 'cause it's blank on the top.
I'm not sure if they're
even supposed to have this
The best of Just Kidding...
look at this guy
Nailed it... he's like "yeah!"
I feel pretty good
about the purchases, y'know...
I got the Dark Heaven,
I don't know if I talked about that one...
I'm not sure about it, it
looks crazy on the back
We're about to interview
Deborah Reed,
who played Creedence Leonora Gielgud,
in Troll 2... super
exciting, because we're
huge fans of Troll 2.
One of the best cult films ever.
Troll 2, huge phenomenon,
beloved all over the world.
How many years after
you did the film
did you start to
realize how much this
film is beloved?
Well, it was many years.
I just started having
things trickle in
where I realized
that it was being
talked about but I
found out that people
were naming their dorms Nilbog.
Did the director allowed you
the space to just do
this really great
stuff or how did
that come to be?
They were all just
walking around
speaking in Italian they
barely spoke any English.
The very first scene that I ever
did was the trailer scene...
You're kidding! That
was the first scene?
I kid you not, I was making up
a language or a dialect..
Delicious and beautiful!
Yeah, yeah...
I had not even, I just off the
cuff there was Creedence.
And she came to
be in that moment
Which VCR is right
for you? VHS or Beta?
VHS videocassettes play longer
which can save you money.
Big deal!
Beta produces the
best possible picture.
Big deal!
What maybe no big deal to some
people maybe a big deal to you.
That's why NEC makes
both VHS and Beta.
And I talked to a video
mogul who right
now I mean he made
a huge amount of
money in the video
business and I said
"Y'know, what should I do?"
And he said "Just do VHS because
Beta is gonna die."
I said "well wait a minute
why would Beta die is it
not the superior format?"
And he's like "Well, yeah it is
it's a better picture or a better
sound and smaller and
"Okay why not go Beta when
wouldn't VHS die?"
I think what had
happened is VHS came out
with the tape that
could hold more and
the consumers were
going to go longer
running time so
that killed Beta.
Yeah, I saw your movie
on the interweb
and you were getting
tea bagged by Channing Tatum.
I saw a picture of Channing
Tatum's Magic Mike and his crotch
was standing right
over your movie.
And we know that Magic Mike
is about male strippers.
In one sense it's like hey, you
know, my movies being reviewed
all alongside other big
Hollywood films, you know.
- Every time I go to the website...
- He's tea bagging my movie.
But at least you got
double the wording.
Double edged sword, I guess...
Double edged penis...
I think the horse
is out of the barn,
so to speak, you have
college students now
we'll have a whole, younger generation
who've grown up with the whole
concept of free music,
free movies and
once that's kind of
ingrained it becomes
really hard to change that.
It's been 48 hours
since my movie came out, it came
out two days ago and
there's already
nine places that are
pirating the full
DVD rip and that's just based upon
a Google search that I just did.
In some sense, the words getting,
out that's good.
Another sense, you wonder if any
independent filmmaker can
actually make money these days...
So many people taking so much.
One thing I do care
about is piracy
and downloads make piracy easy.
The more piracy we have, the
fewer films we're gonna have.
And, so piracy is a bad thing.
There's this six strike
law that they're
trying to put into
place now and they
haven't really defined
exactly what's
gonna happen after you receive
six strikes.
It's traceable, so slowly you
know this is happening
and it is being
policed I mean not
nearly to the degree
that it needs to be...
if somebody loves a
movie they're gonna
go out and buy it.
But, you know, back
when I was, I went
through the entire
mom-and-pop video
store and got every VHS
does that mean that
I would have gone out and bought
every one based
on the box cover?
No. But there's a lot
lost because there
is no artwork. I mean,
there's there's
nothing but you know,
"Oh it's free."
Unless they start fining people
throwing people in
jail unless there is
severe, severe
penalties for pirating
copyrighted material
it isn't gonna stop.
And even if they do
come up with like...
I know that there's
certain guys who are just
"Well we'll just do IP cloaking
or something like that."
Oh, pirating online
I mean bottom line
people have been doing that
ever since you had file
format. I remember
back in the day when,
you know, even
before we had like
browsers we had the old
news groups, people
used to share programs.
Mostly, people now are using
a technology called BitTorrent.
Torrenting is the most popular, it's the
one that you hear about in the news now
when you have all of
the RIAA the MPAA
cracking down they're
just kind of
getting upset about
it now because the
whole process of torrenting
has made it much
easier for people who
are not technically
sophisticated to actually
go and find files.
If you look and that's
one of the reasons
that they shut down like just
a site like Napster
and and LimeWire
and all those other
ones, most of the
companies that have
profited from this
are the large record
companies and movie
studios and to a large
extent, they don't
produce anything, you
know, they act as the
middlemen, they're not the guys
who are actually building
or designing anything
They're the middlemen,
so they're getting pissed off because
there's no longer a need for the
middlemen to be there.
The elite does not want
competition because then you have
these mediocre suits
that have to get
out of bed in the
morning and think.
They hate thinking, they
don't want to think
It's much easier
if you have 20 big films
and that's all
the public can buy.
And filmmakers will
send out movies for
distribution and
suddenly it's on 150 torrents.
Now I don't know how that happens,
how somebody could have the, you
you know, morals or
lack thereof to to
actually put it up
on on torrent sites
but they do you know
and that's also has
to do with review copies.
You send out the
review copies before
something's released and boom
it's on torrent and
in these cases where
there really, really
coming out on DVD
I think that's horrible.
There's movies that
are not released and
they haven't been
since they were made
like they played in a theater in New York,
maybe in LA that's about it.
And they didn't exist otherwise.
So, do these movies deserve
to be seen even by
torrent illegally?
Well, maybe they do if
we really can't go
out and buy them
So the second that that
documentary a movie
came out you would
find the hardcore fan,
they would buy it you
know because their
copy, the torrent copy they made was
crap but it was better than nothing
it was better than
never seeing it.
I don't use the word
pirating. The idea
of file sharing and
sharing our films is a
great thing the most
valuable thing in
my opinion that the
consumer gives you
is not money.
That what she gives you is
her time. they're gonna
go out there and
tell their friends and,
and, and that is
what keeps Troma
alive, is word of
mouth and nothing else.
At any point you know
these decks would
die or you'd be running
this movie and
you've run it you know
the 12th time and
for some reason it loses tracking,
I mean that was really annoying.
So, I loved going to DVD
which is so much simpler.
Movie on a disc the size of a CD
The picture is twice
as sharp as VHS...
the sound is
infinitely clearer...
it looks and sounds like
you're at the movies but
you can experience it at
home... Not to mention,
you can watch it in
widescreen, listen to
audio commentary, choose
from features like
directors notes, behind
the scenes footage
trailers, and more!
So, my movie came out,
Mark of the Beast
I'm gonna go in the
Barnes and Noble.
Let's try Best Buy.
Magic Mike again,
but no Mark of the Beast right under it.
Well, we got Magic Mike tea-bagging
Avengers here.
Oh nice.
I think I'm gonna buy this
in a real video
store, right here.
Does it feel better having
it here than at a Best Buy?
It feels a million times
better, yeah. I'm very happy.
You sure you don't want that?
As much as I want it,
I have to go for Mark of the Beast
and then Father's Day... so.
Troma movies... limited, too.
Oh nice... cool, alright.
I was showing him...
he's the director of this film.
"Your gods and my gods
do you or I know which
are the stronger?"
It's harder to get
your movie, to make any money,
with your movie it's very tough
to get a independent film
on screens these days.
I think probably what
worked in the 80s
where you where there
were lots of 2 million
to 10 million
dollar movies because
you had this big
home video market
worldwide that still
was fairly hungry
and not under the
thumb of a small number
of companies and
governments you could
you could turn a
profit but you don't
think you can today.
There's just no way
to make it back
unless you ally with
a vassal of the
majors and most
likely they won't.
There are little movies,
nice little movies
that do get released
but in order to get
it seen it has to
be something crazy,
something gimmicky. Just this
morning on Netflix one of the
suggestions for me,
came up was a movie
called A Talking Cat!?! with two
exclamation points, a
question mark
and I admit it caught my eye,
it caught my eye.
A tiny percentage
of movies will get
distribution and
I don't think those
movies are getting
their budget back.
Troma is the only
movie studio that's
been around for 40
years where are the
other ones? And it's
not because the
independents are
making bad movies.
"They attacked her man,
they violate her, they
destroy her family and
now they shall feel
the wrath of her vengeance...
Sadie is woman scorned,
now hear her roar...
Rousseau is Sadie in..."
She Kills.
I mean, launch my VHS
distribution company
at a time when VHS
was dying and somehow
survived you know
and even thrived at
points and managed
to exist at least
till this day but as
we lost those "mom-and-pop"
video stores, we lost
our outlets because
the bigger stores
they were already
swamped with product
from the Hollywood studios.
The movie industry is
a cartel, it's it's a
game owned by a few
people and no matter
how good your movie
is. Troma could make
Gone with the Wind
and we couldn't
get it to the public. How
about Citizen Toxie,
the fourth Toxic Avenger movie,
and the best one.
Never been on any, not
even shitty Skinemax
The first three were
heavily distributed
and were on all media
but as the, as the
vice closed as the
rules that prevent
the monopoly were
done away with,
has been on no small
screen in America.
And I think there's
enough, a small enough
pocket of horror
fans that are hungry
and for the new
DVD from somebody
I mean they don't have to
stream or steal it, they want
to buy this physical thing.
I do, I mean, I'm
always trying to
buy all kinds of stuff
and when I've gone
to horror conventions,
I'm always
looking to find some movie
I've never heard of.
Netflix is terrible with us.
No, they're awful.
The woman hates us,
whoever it is, she hates us.
No, the only reason
is we have movies on
Netflix is that some
company bought a
shitload of our movies
for TV and they
have a deal with Netflix,
so we gave them
their Netflix rights. Netflix
treats us like shit.
They pay us very little
but they say "Oh, you
come in with us at the
beginning and we'll
take care of you"
That's absolutely the
way it works every
time there's a new
technology and when
Netflix came in, same
thing. "Oh, we love
Troma, you know we
always love and you
you know, you come with
us and as we grow,
you know, we'll
grow together..."
and what are we
gonna do, you know?
The only way we can
make movies that are
totally unfettered
by any kind of
compromise is to have
some revenue and
so we we went in with them.
We had the same thing happen
we had maybe three of
our titles, they
took them at first,
maybe they bought 50 copies
and shipped them all over.
The more I look at it does
seem like they, as they
grew, they just threw the
indies under the bus.
If things had to go 100% online,
would that bum you out?
If there was no longer a
need for a physical format
like DVD or blu-ray.
If DVD and blu-ray went away?
Went away all
together and you guys
were making money
based upon you know
the download streaming.
I don't think there is any
money in the downloading
and streaming, no
matter what the puffed
up people may say, there is no
significant money
in any independent
downloading or streaming.
A low budget company needs
a physical thing to
sell to get their
money back cause the
streaming doesn't make
any money for us,
for us as a company...
I'm sure other companies are
in a similar boat in that way.
When you're looking online at
something and the cover
art... it's small,
you don't really get
the same feeling
you do when you pick
up a physical thing
and go look at this cover art.
These guys, who are
collecting it, are
just really proud to show
that stuff off and, and
sort of brag to their
friends, you know,
like "Hey, here's
my collection..."
- Is that David Carradine?
- Sure is.
And the future of course,
as you can tell by the
outfits, Tom, and how
there's like this silver
thing on the front of the bike.
Oh yeah, it's clearly
the future...
and look at some of
the rare titles that
I have that you may have some of
them but you don't have all of them.
Psychos in Love, of course,
which we got from Carmen.
Because I mean so often
like in the 80's and 90's, VHS
covers would have almost
nothing to do with
the actual movie
like it was some
painting or picture
but I was like this
looks amazing and
you get it, and
it's not even in there, you
know... that never happens.
These elaborate
movie titles with
this crazy, colorful,
beautiful artwork.
I mean it's almost
like going to museum
they would hire these
great artists to
make this art for
these these rentals
and they would just
conjure up these
images of what the
movies were about.
Covers are just
indelible like they
stick with you,
some of those ones
that you'd see on
the shelves I think
the horror section
was always the
best at coming up with
eye-catching covers.
April Fool's Day who
could forget the
noose with the woman
with the long hair
other ones like
Stuck On You!, the sex comedy
so yeah, I just don't feel like
searching for things
online or on your
phone or whatever has
the same charm and
the same social aspect
to it as actually,
physically browsing
through things.
The video store was
the ultimate title
discovery mechanism
and it was a gift
for all these small
studios because
people would come in
they would browse,
they'd pick up a box
they'd look at it, read the back
"Oh cover arts good."
They'd walk
out with something that they
never even knew existed before
and so that title discovery
mechanism is something
that is absent
with digital right now
and that's one of the
reasons why indies
are struggling is
because title discovery
is very, very
challenging in the
digital marketplace.
People are no longer
collecting which is
kind of crazy to
me. It's like this
massive cultural shift
that people, they
talk about but no
one really thinks
about the repercussions
like all the
strings attached to
renting films online.
That there's a huge
consumer revolt so
they're going to
have to change, all
of these people are
gonna have to change
their ways... The media cannot
public... public's
not standing for it
They're not gonna.
All these things that hinder,
actually, your ownership
you know, so if you own
a VHS, or a DVD,
a blu-ray, you own
that thing and I can
lend it to my friends even
if you hit the buy button.
You know, I own it.
Being able to watch a
film independent of the
internet, I think, is
actually a huge deal.
The democratization
of filmmaking,
I think, is a good
thing I think it gets
the control in the
hands of people who
otherwise wouldn't
have access to that
through a studio
system. It also gets
access to control
people who have no
business behind a camera and
I like that too actually!
"There is no baby...
I told them that to make it interesting."
"You're such a
manipulative witch!"
"You're hurting yourself,
you're hurting our friendship"
"I treat you like a princess...
and you stab me in the back..."
"You are tearing me apart, Lisa!"
What's it like to be a sort of a
B-Movie icon, you
know what I mean?
Now, I have to say, I like it.
Um, back when you know it
first happened and I
was getting all of
this attention most
of it being negative
really, um...
it was difficult and
you know I was in
my early 20's and
I had a really hard
time dealing with it
but now it's, it's
kind of fun. If I'm
bored I can just put
something on
Facebook and my fans
will crack me up.
So we're here at Greg
Sestero's book signing
for his new book, called
"The Disaster Artist."
I didn't even know there's really
an audience for bad movies.
Yeah, I never really had
a thing for B-Movies.
I can appreciate a bad movie
but I didn't seek them out.
Have you enjoyed the journey?
I mean has it been, sort of...
It's been kinda a little bit all
over the place but
at the end of the
day I would definitely
say it's worth it.
It's not every day
this happens, I'm able
to kind of laugh it
off and continue to
pursue creative endeavors,
that's what I started out trying to do
and I just take it
with a grain of salt,
just with a good sense of humor.
The fans are the best
part because I'm a big
movie fan, I've always
loved movies so it's
kind of fun for someone
else to enjoy this movie.
I mean yeah, this movie
isn't really my movie,
I didn't really
put my heart into it, you know.
I mailed in my
performance, as I always
say, but it's just
cool that people enjoy
it and know that you're part of
something that makes people laugh.
We came across, if
we look over here,
Rasputin Music and DVDs.
There's so many
copies of Titanic.
2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...
So wait, tell me about this one.
This is the Little
Mermaid VHS Clamshell
which was produced in 1989.
It was recalled off
the shelves after
Disney found out that
animators, being
angry because they were being
mistreated and underpaid,
hid some Easter eggs,
I guess you could say,
within the cover and
over here, in the
center, there's a clear
scrotum, I suppose,
you could say.
So, it's a whole dong. It's a
weiner and balls and a sack.
Yeah, it is.
So thank you for showing me that.
You're welcome. And this is what
they replaced it with after the recall.
Samurai Cop with Robert Z'Dar.
That's also another
really good, bad movie
just because you're
watching it and
the dialogue is just horrible.
Next time guys, catch
'em in one piece.
Thanks, nurse.
Do you like what you see?
I love what I see.
Would you like to
touch what you see?
Yes, yes I would.
Would like to go out with me?
Uh-huh, yes I would.
Would you like to fuck me?
Someone posted me a
clip of that, the, um
I call it "The
Horny Nurse Scene"
That's right...
When you were shooting
that scene, how many
takes did you guys do?
Were you cracking up
during the middle of it?
Or how did it, how
did that go down?
Uh, we didn't really do
so many takes of anything
The budget was pretty low.
We just, we winged it...
You know, everything
just flowed.
I don't know, you
probably can see that
the relationship that
myself and Matt had.
Captain Roma's
gonna burn my ass.
Yeah, he's gonna burn it...
charcoal black.
It is black.
Right on!
We really developed
as we worked together
First of all, it took a
year to shoot because
Amir, he ran out of money.
If you noticed Matt
had a wig on at times
because, when we
ran out of money,
we woulda went back
to our normal lives.
- Matt had cut his hair.
- Oh, wow.
So, you know, we got a call
from Amir, telling us "will
you please come back?"
and it was so unorthodox,
it was incredible.
In the 80's, there
was no title that
didn't eventually get
released on home video.
I mean there were
there were a few
that were tied up
in litigation for
example for years you
couldn't see The Boogens.
I don't know if that was
a good or a bad thing
I like The Boogens.
People would write me
letters for years, saying
"I'm trying to find
The Boogens on VHS."
"I'm trying to find
The Boogens..."
You can always tell
which ones were
in litigation because
the completists out
there, the guys who
never leave their
apartment, the guys
who want to collect
every horror film ever made.
I Dismember Mama was
another good one
like it's a horror movie like
when I was younger
we're here to reference
a lot and I was
I'd never seen it
anywhere because
it wasn't, to my
knowledge, it was not
available on DVD ever so VHS was
the only way you could get it.
They will eventually
write me a letter saying
"Why is this film not available?"
"I can't seem to find
this, I heard there's a
Japanese bootleg
somewhere." You know...
Blockbuster was a
giant, nasty company
putting small companies
out of business
that was their purpose
and in my opinion,
this is true, I think
they took money under
the table to take crappy
movies that were independent.
I think there were some blowjobs
that may have gone down.
I was perfectly willing.
Yeah, I defintely saw
the effect of Blockbuster
on the smaller stores.
My friend, his mom owned a
video store and he worked there.
I remember when they
opened, like, a second
one in another nearby
town and a third
one and it got
pretty big and then
Blockbuster and
Hollywood Video, um...
I just remember him
telling me that it was
sort of siphoning off
their business and they
eventually had to close
one of the stores.
And yeah, and not much
long after had to
close up shop for good.
Blockbuster worked
directly with the studios
and also Movie Gallery,
at the time, worked
directly with the
studios and they would
rev-share in the title
so the studio would
get, you know, X
percent of a sale and
Blockbuster would
get X percent of a
sale and what it allowed
Blockbuster to do
was bring in large
quantities of title and
you'd have a shelf
with 40 copies of a
particular movie and
it was something
that we really couldn't
compete on with
a per title basis
because we were paying
$60 or $70 for a
single one, they were
paying nothing. The
solution for that was
a company called
Rent Track which acted
as a conduit for the
studio's to rev-share
with the small independent
stores but the issue
with Rent Track was
when you introduced
that third party
that third party has
to make money and
the pie wasn't large enough.
Some independents used
Rent Track to their
demise and just ordering large
volumes of everything.
By the time DVDs came out
we were able to buy
more copies of
VHS movies because the
movies dropped to
sell through, so
instead of spending
$350 on five
copies of the movie
now five copies of
the movie would cost
you, you know, less
than $100 because the sell
through dropped the value
of the VHS when it
was old you couldn't
sell it for $10 like you
used to, now you can sell it
for $2.99 or $3.99
because people can
buy it brand new
at Walmart for $5 so
how can you get $5
for a used copy.
So, Walmart killed
the video business.
Netflix killed the
video business.
Computers killed the
video business.
The stores that
didn't migrate to DVD
immediately saw their
largest customers,
their biggest video
fans going to the
stores that had DVDs.
The worth of their
library pretty
much disappeared, right?
Yeah, overnight... overnight.
We knew that VHS
would be doorstops
very soon and so
what we did is we
actively switched
out our catalogs.
It only takes one
look, one listen to
realize how far you
can go beyond DVD
introducing Blu-ray disc.
Maximum picture resolution,
theater-quality sound,
more hi-def content and
products and brands
you trust...
Blu-ray disc.
How have your lives
been different
between the filming of these?
You get recognized now and
how are you handling it?
Well, I'll tell you,
I can hardly go into Starbucks.
I get recognized, actually,
at Comic-Con sometimes...
"Why would birds do
something like that?
I mean... why would
they just attack?"
"I don't know."
Yeah, I do get recognized
every once in
a while. Last time I was at a
gym, that was pretty funny.
My life is pretty much
the same, it isn't
good, hasn't gotten
hectic like the
big stars yet, so I'm kind of
happy about that
because you know
I enjoy my private life.
We're all here because
we're fans, so
maybe we think your lives may
get transformed more than
they have, possibly.
Nah, still the same.
I remember you now.
You're in my English class.
- I was.
- Yeah...
Be sincere, tell a story
that matters to you, okay.
Try to get a budget,
do it the hard way,
do it the right way,
I should say, a budget
with an investor and if you fail
fail all that, you do everything
crowdfunding, Kickstarter,
Indiegogo, all that.
If you fail everything, you know
work with what you
have fund it yourself.
Kim's Video is going
out of business.
I guess I'm just happy
I got to be part of that
Kim's Video legacy.
It's really depressing
Hey guys,
we're Vulture Video,
I'm David Royal...
- Jason West.
- And what we do is we put out
movies on VHS.
So, this is Bikini Blood Bath,
released by Vulture Video.
By the way, we just
put out of a VHS.
We put out The Toxic Avenger
VHS about six months ago
and we are working on the
Class of Nuke 'Em High VHS.
I'm gonna go out on
a limb and say that
2012 was the year of
the VHS comeback.
There's a whole bunch of
companies that started in 2012
doing only VHS tapes.
Been doing pretty
well, actually,
surprisingly well.
We've already sold out of
our first three titles.
We're on our fifth title
right now working on
our sixth, you know,
I mean people like
Massacre Video and
Briarwood, Horror Boobs...
They're all in there,
doing the same thing we're
doing and there's
a huge following.
There's a small group of
fans who wanted it and
we are very interactive
with our fans at
Troma, for 40 years, we've been
listening to our fans
and if enough of them
want something we'll
do it and, usually
whatever they suggest,
it makes us lose
money but we're still here.
We're the herpes of
the movie industry,
we won't go away.
My name is Josh Shaffer and I am
the co-creator, publisher and
editor-in-chief of
Lunchmeat Magazine.
Magazine and online
sites dedicated to VHS.
A celebration, a preservation.
I started the magazine
with my buddy, Ted Gilbert
about five years
ago and we found
that there were a lot of films
that weren't available
in any other format.
We had no idea if
anybody would dig it or
anything like that or
do we get any kind
of reaction at all really
we just wanted to do
it because it sound fun
we love these movies
and we wanted to share
them with people
When it was coming back,
I wasn't a fan of VHS because it had been
such a headache for me in terms
of running copies and packaging.
I was glad to see VHS go, so
when it was coming back, I was
very resistant but
then I finally
tried it... I mean
it's probably the most
fun I've had in
distribution in years
and just the response
that we're getting
from the fans has
just been great.
Streaming is a good thing.
Once streaming came
along and sort of
replaced downloads
that made piracy a
lot less likely and
it meant a lot more
filmmakers will be
paid for the real
value of what they've created.
We actually made a viral
video that reached
up to a million views.
That video alone made
$1,000... that $1,000
jumped up to about $8,000.
All in one weekend.
Wow... so in one weekend
you made eight grand?
Off of YouTube?
Off of YouTube, in the check.
How many films do you
have for like I know you
put them on stuff
like YouTube, right?
How many titles do we have for
free that anyone can watch?
I think right now
I believe Troma has
about 250 movies
on the Troma YouTube channel.
I'm in favor of the
technology that preserves
the ability of the
low-budget filmmaker
to get a couple of bucks.
It's sort of leveling
out into a world where
low-budget filmmakers
can actually be
paid something, you know.
So I think that's a good thing
It's not gonna go the way the
music industry where
it became all free.
Ryan Higa, Smosh, Freddy W...
every single time they
put out a video, every week or
every two weeks, it
hits over a million
views so in other
words every week they
get like eight
thousand, ten thousand
dollars for each
of those videos.
So that's how they
actually make their
money, that's how
they actually do
YouTube for a living.
Maybe it's not quite so
scary now that, DVD and
Blu-ray, they might
not exist in a couple of years
because you can
make money through
YouTube at the very
least and then maybe
avenues like Amazon and Netflix.
Let's talk about the
VHS Massacre, huh?
Yeah, what's that?
Okay, VHS Massacre is a thing
we're doing February
8th which is
Saturday it's all
of the VHS that Ken
and I have scoured
around New York City
I have Night of
the Kickfighters.
This one was in
Video express which
is now actually closed.
Kill them.
So my first choice is "Healthy Ways.
Healthy Days: an easy walking program
for people with type 2 diabetes.
This sounds just as good.
So uh, Let's have a look.
Get stretches for you calfs...
that's a unitard!
A onesie!
Don't Shoot the Dog, 1992.
Seminar Highlights.
We're trying to do
it as you know to
catch it yes all the way through,
doesn't that make a lot of sense.
Cut that out of the videotape.
But you see what I mean.
And one...
Summer Bridge Conflict
Resolution lesson clips.
Oh my God!
I'm sick of you always
slammin' my friends...
you better stop!
When you put my friends down,
I feel like you're dissing me.
You were supposed to
be home an hour ago!
American Cop... I found this
in a Spanish video store
in Jackson Heights.
Cut to!
That looks like a male camel...
This a good guy.
Safety for Kids.
This is Grandpa's Magical Toys.
Good morning, and good morning,
and how do you do?
Hi Peter!
How'd you know my name?
Oh, I've been watching
you for years...
I even winked at you once.
See, I told you it
happened. It really did!
Right! I thought you were
ready to visit us...
Alright, any final
thoughts before we cut
out on the VHS Massacre?
Well, I think it was a great
time actually I would love
to do this again and maybe
watch more of the tapes
Grandpa's Toys, I wanted to
turn it off... immediately.
What are your thoughts though,
cause this is not only like,
end of the VHS Massacre
but this is also basically
the end of the
documentary and so this
is like a year and a
half of hard work.
So it's coming to an end so do
you have any thoughts, or?
I'm pretty happy with it regardless and
I actually think we had
a pretty good time
When we started out
I didn't think that
we would get like Joe Bob Briggs
and Debbie Rochon
and Lloyd and all these people.
Coming away from this
experience today, there's
just one thing I can not
get out of my mind...
Grandpa's Toys is
remarkably disturbing.
Grandpa is the victor for tonight.
Do you think there
will always be some
form of physical media
or do you think at
some point they'll
be 100% phased out?
Uh, that's a good question.
I mean the technology
of film has
constantly changed from
the day of the first film.
In 1895 or whenever that was.
The ways of watching
a film have changed
every five years or ten
years in major ways.
In completely,
ridiculously different
ways so that when we
talk about what a
film is... what are
you talking about?
Are you're talking about
what they made to
show in Nickelodeon's in 1898?
Are you talking about the
silent films that were
shown in crappy
theaters in ethnic
neighborhoods in 1912?
Are you talking about the
good silent films that were
shown with full symphony
orchestras in 1923?
Are you talking about the first
sound movies which were crap?
Are you talking about
the movies between 1930
and 1934 that had a
lot of sex in them
and that were
really interesting?
Or movies from 1935 to
1938 that had no sex
in them and we're
completely boring and
ridiculous before, you know...
Are you talking about
the musicals of the...
You know, what are
you talking about?
A film, what we think
of as film, as a
technological fact
is just completely
different every five
years, ten years.
So don't fight it when
it changes there's
nostalgia for the DVD,
you know, because
of fewer and fewer
sold each year
there's gonna be
nostalgia for the
there's gonna be nostalgia for
streaming long after
Netflix is forgotten.
Whatever is the next thing,
it will be it'll
turn a film into
something that we can't
even imagine today.