10 VHS Videos That Will Always Be the Shit

Categories: Videos

Ralph Apel, mastermind of "It Came From the VCR"
First it was vinyl records, then cassette tapes. Ralph Apel goes straight to VHS with his screening, It Came From The VCR: "Starcrash." The poorly executed "Star Wars" clone stars David Hasselhoff and Christopher Plummer, and its showing at Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, a nonprofit art house theater, on Thursday. (Tickets here.)

It sounds like a totally hipster thing, but Apel is earnestly in love with the format. He says, "VHS tapes have blown my mind ever since I first learned that I could pause Star Wars and start back up where I left off after dinner. I loved movies so much and never wanted to miss a beat. I've never been able to let go of that love of being able to stop and analyze film."

He finds all his VHS tapes from local thrift stores ("Orange County has a large variety") and his collection includes B movies, exercise videos, religious children's propaganda, DIY tapes and even discarded home movies. "Since VHS tapes are becoming obsolete, people are donating them at a feverish pace. The average tape costs about 50 cents to a dollar, so it's really easy to get lost in a shopping spree," he says.

A serendipitous meeting with Logan Crow (who runs The Frida) brought the idea of the VHS series to life. Apel says, "Since I am hitting the ground running with this, I couldn't think of a better movie to start with than StarCrash! It has everything that you could want in a B movie. It has not so epic space battles, fake Lightsabers, leather bikinis, robots, campy effects, David Hasselhoff and Academy Award winner, Christopher Plummer."

After the jump, Apel's favorite VHS movies.

1. Shotgun

"An unbelievable action cop-drama shot on video in and around LA that deals with the death of a police officer's hooker sister and drug lords. It's got it all including a makeshift tank! The acting is so bad yet so riveting that this tops my list of movies in my collection."

2. MindTrap

"Never has a Dan Haggerty film been so confusing. It's as if the Matrix was made by a pack of apes. The movie is so disjointed that I don't even think the filmmakers know what's going on. I wish I had the time to study this movie, because I assume that trying to figure out the plot is more rewarding than finishing a Rubix Cube."

3. Sassy Wantalot's Amazing Journey to Bible Times

"Comedy skits about Bible stories that are as funny as their cardboard backgrounds. Features classic characters from the Bible such as Abraham, Moses and the lovable rapping M.C. Scriber! The puns are so awful that you can't help but laugh at them."

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