Rewind This

Production Year: 2013
Release Date: 01/14/2014
Studio: MPI Media Group
Collection Number:  #1486

Rewind This is one of a few (soon to be released) documentaries detailing the rise and fall of the beloved VHS format.  This particular documentary focuses on not just the history but also the filmmakers, distributors, and collectors.  Upon my initial viewing I feared that the film would focus too much on the collectors and not enough on the history of the format, thankfully director Josh Johnson did a great job mixing both aspects creating a very enthralling look at what many would consider an extinct format.

The film kicks off lightheartedly enough with fans and collectors discussing their favorite and strangest tapes, while I'm sure I could dedicate an entire paragraph to Bubba Until It Hurts I'll save everyone some time and just urge you to click here.  From there the film goes into the conception of the tape, with Sony creating VHS and JVC the Betamax.  While Beta technically looked better, VHS would eventually win thanks to a longer running time.

The documentary then focuses on the rental market, initially companies didn't support the idea that people would actually "rent" these films.  I'm sure we all know how turned out.  The video market would boom with small independently owned shops popping up across the USA.  At this point if nostalgia hasn't kicked in full force I feel kind of bad for ya.'  This portion of the film elicited a lot of long forgotten memories, as if I was flipping through some old dusty photo album.

The film does a good job of moving back and forth, going subject to subject.  Ample time is spent covering the more serious subjects without overlooking the sleazy underbelly of the tape-movement.  Yes I'm referring to porn and shot-on-video trash.

All good things must eventually come to an end right?  I guess that's true to a point.  The documentary showcases not just collectors but also resellers, Wayne Jones for instance actually makes his living off of selling VHS tapes at a local flea market.  It's oddly poignant.  Any doubts I had about this documentary were quickly diminished.  It's a quirky, nostalgic, and wildly entertaining look at the under-appreciated-nearly forgotten format of VHS.

Animations (06:55) - Numerous animated scenes that were exercised from the final film are here for your viewing enjoyment.

Artwork (12:07) - Some extended interviews pertaining to the artwork used on VHS covers.

Everything is Terrible in Austin, TX (05:41) - Everything is Terrible is a group VHS hounds that have an odd obsession with Jerry Maguire tapes and a love of all things bad.  This particular night they had a screening and collected a number of Jerry Maguire tapes (they apparently have over 800 now).

Hunting For VHS (06:57) - Collectors on collecting.  If you're reading this review you likely know what it's like hunting down and occasionally finding that special rarity, something you've been trying to find for years.  Collector's discuss the love of the hunt.

Laserdisc (05:44) - Discussion on the rise and eventual fall of the laserdisc, Don May Jr. credits the laserdisc to kick starting his career.

Where We Came From - A music video from the band Beaujolais (06:59) - A shot on video music video made to mimic some of the famous SOV trash of the 80's.  This was actually surprisingly well done and I even found myself diggin' the song.

Nostalgia (06:09) - This one is pretty self explanatory, part of the draw of buy and watching VHS is that ol' nostalgic feeling.  Interviews on the subject of nostalgia.

Ownership (05:21) - Collectors on the obsessive nature of collecting.

Physical Vs Digital Media (08:25) - Collectors discuss the looming threat of streaming media eventually replacing physical media.

Push-ups with David Nelson (01:53) - David "The Rock" Nelson plays a big part in Rewind This, this is just an extended seen with the autuer.

Remix Culture (02:19) - Extended Interviews with Dimitri Simakis (Everything is Terrible!) and J.P. (Crazy Dave Tape) on their inspirations behind various mix-tapes.

Rental Industry (11:01) - Extended piece on the rise of the rental industry.

The Return of the VHS (06:54) - Discussions about the new resurgence of the VHS format.

Shot-on-Video (09:22) - Some of the sleaziest flicks of the 80's were shot on video.  Extended interviews and conversations pertaining to this lost art form.

Stickers (03:25) - A short featurette about old rental stickers and how a series of small stickers can show ()

VHS Day (02:52) - The Vulcan Video crew celebrates VHS day!

Video Panic (08:27) - A featurette on the Video Nasty movement in the UK.

Entertaining and informative, what more could you ask for in a documentary?  A bunch of extra features?  Yep, you're covered in that department too.  If you consider yourself a media collector and/or hoarder you really need to track this down, it's a fun nostalgic ride.