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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector" )

 

directed by Dan M. Kinem, Levi Peretic
USA 2013

 

Collectors of VHS, mainly horror and exploitation, have been a rather secret community; that is, until they made the pop culture headlines when a collector dropped over six hundred dollars for a VHS tape of Chester Novell Turner's extremely hard-to-come-by shot-on-video flick TALES FROM THE QUADEAD ZONE (1987). One of two concurrent documentaries on VHS collecting - the other being REWIND THIS! - ADJUST YOUR TRACKING looks at several of the personalities who not only collect VHS tapes (scouring eBay, closed video shops, moldy attics, thrift shops, and the like), but also those are dedicated to preserving films unlikely to be released on DVD or Blu-ray (whether because of they were shot on or finished on video, the film elements no longer exist, or their cult appeal isn't mainstream enough) as well as the histories of the companies that released them. Several of the participants admit that their habit or addiction - possibly mistaken for or another form of hoarding - is geeky, while some have fully dedicated themselves to "following their own weird" so to speak. Some of the participants have collections that look like library archives, while others resemble to piled shelves of mom-and-pop video stores of old (while some have actually transformed their collections into video stories). In this respect, many film fans and collectors may in some way understand this compulsion, having first discovered more mainstream and arthouse fare in some of the same kind of stores (those very imperfect video releases might even possess sentimental value even if they have been since upgraded on newer digital formats in sterling quality) in the same place where some of us discovered the films of Paul Naschy and Jess Franco. Besides several names recognizable to those in the VHS collecting community, the documentary also interviews Troma's Lloyd Kaufman (who prefers the interactive qualities of DVD, but plans to exploit the cult popularity of VHS with a release of THE TOXIC AVENGER in the near future), Independent-International's Sam Sherman - who briefly distributed his own seventies productions and pick-ups in the eighties under the label Super Video - who is bewildered but non-judgmental of the collecting impulse - and Camp Motion Pictures' Michael Raso, whose eighties shot-on-video products like VIDEO VIOLENCE and CANNIBAL CAMPOUT graced the video store shelves as big box editions with grisly cover art that could not help but excite and disappoint (a number of those titles have not only made their way to DVD, but also back onto VHS).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 11 March 2014 (USA)

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DVD Review: VHShitfest/Wild Eye Releasing - Region 0 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

VHShitfest/Wild Eye Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

Runtime 1:20:33
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.18 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English SDH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: VHShitfest/Wild Eye Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• DISC ONE:
• Audio Commentary by directors Dan Kimen and Levi Peretic
• Audio Commentary by producers Josh Schafer and Matt Desiderio
• Short film 'Video Shelf' (16:9; 11:22)
• Short film 'It Wasn't in Vain, It Was in Staten Island' (16:9; 6:34)
• Short film 'The Ballad of Chester Novell Turner' (16:9; 7:16)
• Teaser (2:16) and Theatrical (4:08)

• DISC TWO:
• Extended Interviews (with 'Play All' option; 4:3; 2:13:56)
• Deleted Scenes (with 'Play All' option; 16:9; 26:33)

• Insert booklet by producer Josh Schafer

DVD Release Date: June 17th, 2014
Amaray

Chapters 18

 

Comments

Shot and post-produced to look like VHS - with added tracking noise and drop-outs - ADJUST YOUR TRACKING comes to disc looking intentionally softish (more so with the clips from shot-on-video films), while the Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio sports cleanly recorded dialogue (optional SDH subtitles are also included). The image is framed at 1.33:1 but encoded within a 16:9 palette.

The film can be viewed with two commentary tracks. On the first track, the directors focus less on the subject of video collecting itself and more on the monumental task of gathering interviews from various participants, sifting through the footage, securing clips, and creating the VHS look of the documentary and the animated video homages. On the producer track, their more limited involvement with the final product, so their reactions are more to the product as a whole rather than the making-of, as well as some additional contextual and sometimes humorous information on the participants (as well as reflections on some of the remarks made about video collecting). Neither track will really grab the casual viewer, but they should are worth listening to if documentary itself totally validates your hobby/habit/addiction of collecting VHS tapes.

Disc one also includes a couple short subjects - including one on the filmmakers tracking down BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL's Chester Novell Turner - and two trailers. Disc two includes several extended interviews with the participants that are short in themselves but collectively add up to over two hours. Also included are a half-hour of deleted scenes which are not more extended interviews, but actually sequences of extracts focused on a few subjects familiar to tape collectors (like cut boxes and the FACES OF DEATH video series).

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

Distribution

VHShitfest/Wild Eye Releasing

Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

 


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