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.)
|Ralph Apel, mastermind of "It Came From the VCR"|
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. More »