If the title Video Massacre Volume 1 conjures the image of some Eighties VHS compilation of B-horror, then perfect. You’re ready for the viewing.
An assortment of 20 shorts filmed by Brooklyn filmmakers, the series boasts a nice mix of polish and camp, all surrounded by the joyously self-referential framing story of demon-ghost Belfy and the hostages he’s forcing to watch the shorts.
Humor – frequently of the toilet variety – gives the film its tone, and the individual shorts are sequenced to offer the experience a good pace. While a handful of the films feel too amateurish, most of them boast excellent production values. It’s clear these were made on tight budgets, but the filmmakers across the board know how to match cinematic technique to the tone of the short.
One animated piece and the fake trailer for “The Shitting” rank among the most entertaining, and two “experiments gone awry” efforts are the most fun. You can also expect a lot to go wrong in the woods.
More than anything, the film feels like a mash note to the genre, right down to the twist ending. (Pay close attention to the credits inside the film. Priceless!)
Join us as we host a Midwest premier of Video Massacre Volume 1 at Gateway Film Center this Saturday, 4/2, at 9:30pm and stick around after for a Q&A with some of the directors:
Grier Dill, director: Trashed, Fungus Adventure
Brett Glass & Grier Dill, director: Brood X
Brett Glass, director: frame story
Joseph Colmenero, director: The Coffin
Winnie Cheung, director: Exit Interview
Suzi Sadler, director: The Retreat
Cale Hughes, director: Jackolantern