A certain kind of cinephile bemoans the fact that some movies have never made the jump from DVD to Blu-ray; another kind laments those that are only available on VHS. On the eve of the first-ever VHStival (which takes place this weekend and is exactly what it sounds like), the American Genre Film Archive and Alamo Drafthouse have announced a plan to preserve VHS-only movies. AGFA led the way in acquiring VHS masters from the Something Weird archive and a tape-to-digital transfer station for the project, and Alamo is releasing a VHS-themed board game called “Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse” through Mondo next year.
“Up to this point, AGFA has focused on preserving movies that exist on 16mm or 35mm film prints,” AGFA director and Bleeding Skull founder Joe Ziemba said in a statement. “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 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,” added AGFA 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.”
“Video Vortex: Analog Apocalypse” is described as “a 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.” Here’s the cover art: