Today in the New York Times Arts and Leisure section you will find a little article about the VHS Series at the Museum of Arts and Design. I know you all already know about it, but that’s because you are hip and you follow the Daily Planet… or maybe because I won’t shut up about it. Hey you would be running your mouth too if a government funded museum asked you to help curate an exhibition celebrating one of your favorite things in the entire world! Thank you Bloomie, The Gates and Waterfalls were weak in my opinion but you’ve redeemed your self with this one.
Think about all the people across the country that the NYT will inform, bringing the masses up to speed with all you cool cats. Now lets get real, its one thing to be in the know, but knowing amounts to nothing more than a pile of beans unless you actually come out and experience it. And what better way to experience the true essence of VHS than with a screening of Tales From The Quadead Zone, one of the oddest films of the video era.
This Friday July 6th at the MAD Museum, I (Matt D) will host an epic event of analog proportions. Not only will your eyes be assaulted by the oddity that is Qudead, but be prepared to experience a reel of VHS trailers that could only come from the bowels of forgotten film history. Included will be Shot on Video trashterpieces, films that have never made the jump to DVD, and more weirdness than may be humanly possible to take, so make sure you mark your calendar because this must see to be believed cinematic experience will be a once in a life time event.
The direct-to-video market not only created more opportunities for creating and distributing breakthrough cinematic works, it also fostered the creation of a new chapter in “trashterpieces,” a genre of camp cinema that celebrates spectacular failures in traditional filmmaking techniques. Affordable home video equipment and an ever-expanding home viewing market paved the way for a slew of aspiring filmmakers. This created a “backyard Hollywood” movement in which many striving artists and opportunistic businessmen could capture and release their visions on video.
A horror anthology in three parts (thereby nullifying the theory that the “Qua” stands for four), Tales From the Quadead Zone is held together by a framing segment in which actress Shirley Jones reads stories to the ghost of her child from a book entitled Tales From the Quadead Zone. Failing on nearly every traditional level, Tales From the Quadead Zone is often described as a car crash of a film. However, the film’s earnest ambitions, and resulting great failure, make it a true camp classic made possible by the VHS camcorder.
Special introduction and VHS trailer reel by Matthew Desiderio Producer of the upcoming Documentary Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector