Adventures in VHS is the nostalgic antidote to that empty feeling of flicking through endless reams of new Netflix arrivals only to end up falling asleep to one of twelve available Louis Theroux documentaries. The imminent first book from podcaster and analoge-phile Noel Mellor beckons us back to the claggy-floored video rental stores of yesteryear where spotty teenagers watched porn behind the counter and copies of Demolition Man and Look Who’s Talking shared the shelves with Dark Night of the Scarecrow, Ghoulies, or From Beyond.
“I wanted to make Adventures in VHS as authentic an experience as possible,” Noel explains, “not just for me, for the reader as well. The intention was always to make it feel like they were almost renting these films with me, while I share what makes some of them so special to me.”
Opening with a public and personal history of the VHS format, assessing the impact that the format had on the home entertainment industry as well as our vivacious guide, the book then follows Noel on his adventure as he attempts to track down original, ex-rental copies of the films he watched as a child in the 80s, delving into each title in detail and showcasing some of the gloriously garish box-art. Featuring contributions from the likes of Lloyd Kaufman (Class of Nuke ‘Em High), Jim Wynorski (Chopping Mall), David DeCoteau (Creepozoids) and Harry Bromley Davenport (Xtro), this promises to be an impressively comprehensive journey into an entertainingly lowbrow group of films. With over sixty classics discovered and covered, this is a must for fans of the format, the genres, or the brilliant recent documentary series Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide.
“There are loads of cool options available from Unbound, in addition to the digital and hardback editions of Adventures in VHS there are membership and VIP membership versions that come with limited edition member cards and even copies of the tapes covered in the book. And those who pledge now will also have access to exclusive chapters, podcasts and videos through the ‘writer’s shed’ section of the Unbound site.”