Clearly, everything is spinning out of control. More specifically, the End of Days has finally arrived. Exactly as predicted in the Bible, we’re seeing foul and loathsome sores, water turned to blood, scorching sun and intense heat, total darkness and great pain, and preparations for the final battle between good and evil. In other words, Jersey Shore has been renewed for another season. If that wasn’t evidence enough that the end is near, we now have conclusive proof: people are starting to use their VCRs again.
Everyone knows we live in desperate times. Everywhere you look, people are bitter, and clinging to their guns and religion. And last month I described how cassette tapes are making a comeback — at least in the minds of a few crazies. Now, word reaches us that VCRs are creeping back. The horror, the horror.
Okay, I can understand feelings of nostalgia. I can also understand madness and despair. But VHS tape? Seriously? Well, apparently, yes. Some “film makers” are releasing their “movies” on VHS tape. Some obscure '80s titles are being rereleased on VHS, and there are even some newly released films as well. There are even a few theaters around the country that program “VCR nights.” They fire up the VCR, load a tape, and project it to their patrons who, for reasons incomprehensible to me, actually pay for the privilege to watch the train wreck that is analog video on tape. Mainly ultra-low-budget horror and splatter movies, these film makers and their audiences apparently prefer the terrible picture and sound quality of VHS and seem to think it makes the movies more authentic. Or something.
I guess it’s appropriate that the most horrible of movie formats is again hosting horrible films. And in spite of the best efforts of Blu-ray, DVD, and downloading, there’s probably nothing we can do to halt this final slide into the lake of fire. If you are yearning for static-filled images, mistracking video frames, and underwater sound, check out 555 (Massacre Video), Sledgehammer and Things (Intervision), House of the Devil and The Bloody Ape (Wild Eye Releasing), and Basement (Camp Motion Pictures). And, before it’s too late, check your VCR. If the clock display is flashing 12:00, that’s normal and there’s still a little time left. But when it turns red and starts flashing 666, you can kiss your VHS cassette goodbye.
Ken C. Pohlmann is well known as an audio educator, consultant, and author. He is a professor emeritus at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, and the author of numerous articles and books, including Principles of Digital Audio and Master Handbook of Acoustics.
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