On the eve of the very first all-cassette VHStival in Raleigh, NC, Alamo Drafthouseand American Genre Film Archive, the largest non-profit genre film archive in the world, aree xcited to announce two huge new initiatives: a new VHS preservation partnership with legendary label Something Weird and genre film fanatics Bleeding Skull; and in 2019, a brand-new post-apocalyptic VHS-themed board game from Mondo called Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse.
VHS preservation initiative
After acquiring a complete collection of original VHS masters from the Something Weird archive, AGFA purchased a tape-to-digital transfer station to capture and preserve content from these tapes. In addition, AGFA will transfer thousands of ultra-rare tapes from the AGFA and Bleeding Skull archives.
“Up to this point, AGFA has focused on preserving movies that exist on 16mm or 35mm film prints,” says AGFA director and Bleeding Skull founder Joe Ziemba. “This is an expansion of that mission. Movies like HERENCIA DIABOLICA, a Mexican CHILD’S PLAY rip-off that swaps out Chucky for a homicidal clown, will be preserved. This is especially important when we consider that the original film elements for this movie are lost.”
While efforts have been made by libraries to collect and preserve VHS tapes themselves, this is the first time that a film archive will utilize digital transfers to save this overlooked chapter of film history. VHS tapes have a limited lifespan, so it’smore important than ever to save genre movies that only exist on this format.
“While hundreds of thousands of movies have been made around the world over the last century or so, only a fraction of them have survived, much less been released on video or streaming,” saysAGFA Advisory Board member and Bleeding Skull producer Zack Carlson. “In many cases, the original elements are completely gone, and VHS is the last and only stop for these titles that will otherwise vanish into total oblivion.”
AGFA has previously collaborated on a series of home video and theatrical releases with both Something Weird (THE ZODIAC KILLER, THE VIOLENT YEARS) and Bleeding Skull (THE SOULTANGLER, NINJA ZOMBIE). The next release in the AGFA + Bleeding Skull DVD line will be next year’s release of BLOOD LAKE, the shot-on-video slasher from 1987.
Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse
To complement AGFA’smission, Alamo Drafthouse’s pop culture art boutique Mondo has announced plans for a new VHS-themed board game called Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse.Inspired by the Alamo’s long-running Video Vortex programming series and newly-launched in-theater video stores, it’sa competitive deck-building game for 2-4 players. Each player controls a gang of post-apocalyptic magnetic mutants pitted against other gangs in merciless combat. The last remaining player will become the Tapemaster General and control the remote forever.
Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse is scheduled to be released in 2019.
The Mondo games team will be at Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh for VHStival this weekend to conduct the first ever test plays of the Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse. Game test play sessions are freeand first come, first serve. A full schedule for VHStival can be found at https://drafthouse.com/event/vhstival.