|Index||9 reviews in total|
Adjust your tracking is, overall, a strong film. In the film we are
reminded of the early days of video. VHS was absolutely a game-changer
and some people forget that. Adjust Your Tracking begins with the VHS
story as a starting point for a glimpse into a culture many are not
aware of. The film follows the exploits of those still devoted to VHS,
who feel the need to collect it, particularly obscure films that will,
sadly, never be released on DVD (or blu-ray).
These people are fascinating. Some of them are, admittedly, socially awkward, but all of them are endearing, and many of them are well-spoken and strikingly intelligent. The devotion VHS collectors feel for tapes is explored at length--we come to understand what it is that fuels this obsession, and I think, in the end, we understand it.
A strong point of Adjust Your Tracking is that it has a great sense of humor. A lot of these VHS collectors have been through hell and back to find gems in a stack of tapes. Many of them have journeyed to questionable places and encountered questionable people. It helps that a lot of the film clips are funny, as well (check out the ultra rare Tales from the Quadead Zone).
Another strong point is the aesthetic--Adjust Your Tracking looks and feels like you're watching an old VHS. The effect is utterly convincing and really sets the mood.
So, next time you see that stack of old, obscure VHS at a yard sale or flea market, remember, there could be some treasure there.
Kudos to Dan Kinem and Levi Peretic for bringing this alternative culture the attention it deserves.
Recommended for fans of documentaries.
I was already eager to watch this documentary but i was completely blow away by it...The fact that i finally got to see the faces of those who appreciate those wonderful video treasures (even some of those who I've bidded against on ebay) who are really into the VHS lifestyle, and are the privileged curators responsible to take care of that powerful knowledge and art that is stored in that wonderful format we all know and love as VHS...Im so happy that i got the opportunity to watch this in my hometown(TJ), and also that we had a live feed via skype with the director/creators of this awesome documentary, its like any other, it was a very rare experience, the kind that you didn't want it to end, so hopefully we get an extended version soon, and maybe even participate somehow and/or help with a sequel :-).
No one before has dared to make a whole documentary on a video format many thought was dead for many years. For others, including myself, it has been thriving since it first came out. Dan Kinem does an amazing job interviewing several actors, directors, and collectors on their experiences with VHS and why they love it so much. Special guests include Lloyd Kaufman from Troma as well as Freg Vogel of Toe Tag Pictures as well as several other awesome people I am sure you will recognize. If your someone who likes going to Best Buy to purchase the newest hot DVD , then Adjust Your Tracking is absolutely not for you. There is no glamour, just loving independent fans and people who really have a strong love for VHS . Only the most hardcore fans and lovers of VHS dare to watch this film! You will absolutely love it! I highly recommend checking out Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector!
Even as an executive producer (well, one of 200!) I can look at this
from a distance, somewhat. It's entertaining, sometimes very funny, but
also a bit unfocused. I wish it had a little more about the change from
VHS to DVD and how now DVD is becoming "dead" due to VOD. But the
collections are fun to look at, the Quadead Zone story is epic, and you
can tell they all either love what they are collecting, or are, at
worst, the kind of people you might WANT to watch on Hoarders.
The highlight though for me is the gentleman who has such a collection in his basement that it has become a video store, complete with a crappy old computer, magazine from twenty years ago to tell you what is good or not, and sections delineating this or that film (surprise, he doesn't like drama). On a personal level it bugged me just slightly that the film doesn't have any other video collectors except the horror-hounds (or maybe some collect porn, though I'm sure they hide that - or maybe not, I dunno, I'd need to look through the film again with a fine-tape comb). Are there other collectors out there than JUST horror? Or maybe horror and sci-fi and genre stuff is just where the fun collections are at. Why just have stuff like Ingmar Bergman films when you can have basically home movies that have cool covers? Some of these folks love movies that are featured I'm sure. Others? A stamp collection might be the same thing.
But I say these criticisms with affection. I too am a collector, not to THIS extent that we see with these subjects - one of whom, I must admit, is to the point of possible madness as to pay over 1,000 for a single tape. I will want to watch this again though to soak up some of the titles and the anecdotes. I'd be curious to see what folks who aren't in the "Know" think of all of this; the screening I saw the film was loaded with fellow VHS collector-geeks, some of whom wanted to trade and buy tapes right there. A collector never sleeps, really. Whether someone will actually WATCH Tales from the Quadead zone after they plunk down a month's rent, I am sure I still don't know. As a look at a handful of people holding on to and praising a supposedly "dead" format, it's charming, mostly harmless, featuring crude animations and the "look" of VHS which is appreciated, and has some bite. If it had a little more about the format itself, not just about the collectors, then it would be truly great.
I've to tell you that i have been a collector for a long long time. And
since the new era, all this digital media has really stroke me deep in
my heart. Now you play a movie by Digital Media, you watch it, you
enjoy it, but the experience its not the same. Its not intimate, its
Adjust your tracking immerse you to the past and makes you remember how movies were supposed to be experienced. The guys from Adjust your tracking are people who cling to the past, who don't forget, who fight against the digital era.
You will find some surprises beneath the stories from Adjust your tracking that you really want to hear. From independent video stores, to block buster era and some of the coolest collectors experiences.
Adjust you tracking it may change your life... or at least you will see a VHS not like something obsolete, but as something forgotten with a really strong bond to your childhood.
Watching this documentary is like watching an old VHS. That is something that makes you fell that blast to the past kind of felling.
If you are a collector (like myself), or at least 20 years old. You are going to love this documentary.
Long live the VHS!
A documentary capturing the modern day VHS culture and VHS collectors.
If you are not already interested in VHS and the culture of those who collect it, this is going to be a very strange film, possibly boring and altogether confusing. Not confusing in the sense that it is hard to follow, but it may leave you wondering, "Why do these guys do this and what sort of person spends their money on such things?"
Now, for those already interested, this will get you better acquainted with some of the more noteworthy collectors, provide you with some of the collecting motivations (not least of which is that many of these films have never been on DVD). And we even get a few bigger names like Lloyd Kaufman and Matt Moore, who is well-known as the HorrorHound columnist that popularized this craze.
Crazy or not, this is a group of passionate people. Perhaps it is crazy to spend $660 on a copy of "Tales From the Quadead Zone". But if they could turn around and sell it for more, maybe this is not so crazy. Many of us have our own collecting idiosyncrasies, our own investments. The question is: will this one continue to grow or will the bubble burst? (For many of these folks, that is not even the point.)
If there is anything missing here, it is Charles Band of Full Moon, Empire and Wizard Video fame. Band is not a hard man to track down, so getting him to talk about his years in the VHS world would be no huge undertaking. Even more to the point, however, is a huge controversy Band sparked in the VHS community by re-releasing Wizard "big boxes". He claims they are originals, while the collectors say they are fake. At $50 a piece, they ought to be real, or these folks should file a class action lawsuit against Band for deceptive practices.
Many, perhaps most, of the VHS collectors are particularly interested in horror. No one is collecting Fox or MGM tapes (finding "Speed" for fifty cents is easy), but the obscure films that no one has heard of. And horror fans are probably the ones who will most identify with this documentary, whether they are collectors or not. We all have films that we loved on VHS and took forever to come out on DVD (and some that still have not).
This might be worth checking out if you are a die-hard movie geek who misses the "old days" and the thrill of visiting the video store.
The film shares the inner workings of passionate collectors of the solid box tapes from times past. The honesty and personality of each interviewee expands on the culture and its many attributes. Further, the aesthetics and visual stimulus of rare movie cover art, collectors' showcases, and video stores around the US was extremely entertaining. Being uneducated in the landscape of VHS, I still found it easy to follow and easy grasp the value, importance, and satire in the film. I highly recommend this film for any one who appreciates the vastness of the human experience, because I assure you that it showcases an interesting side of it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've always had a thing for VHS tapes. It's the nostalgic feeling you
get matched only by the excitement that comes along with it. I still
own a good pile of VHS tapes, but after watching this documentary, I'm
pretty sure my collection will be expanding. Just recently, within the
last two or three months, I actually finished a special project I was
working on, where I made shelving for my VHS' out of old used VHS tapes
that I bought at the local Farmer's Market. So now, all I need to work
on is filling the shelving unit out with more tapes. Although they
aren't very rare, I'm always on the lookout for Night of the Demons and
Trick or Treat. Neither of which I've found yet, but that's the thrill
of the hunt for ya.
The first thing this documentary brings up, is something that most people forgot about, and that's the prices of VCR's back in the day. What's considered flea market bargains now used to cost the upwards of eight hundred bucks back in it's premiere time. And VHS were expensive too, running upwards of forty bucks a piece. People, including myself, tend to forget about all of these small details, because over the years technology has advanced so much with DVDs and Blu-Rays pushing VHS off of store shelves. But, I remember the pricing being outrageous, but that didn't stop me nor my family growing up from having a pretty sweet collection of movies.
It makes you wonder how with all the money being spent on on Blu-Ray players and all these fancy Hi-Def TVs, what's it all gonna be worth in the end when the new standard technology comes around? Hell, I've heard recently that in a few years we won't even be getting home video any more, because everything will be on cable or streaming. Both of which are making more money than DVD and Blu-Ray sales, so it makes sense. But to see that one day soon having a movie collection is going to be considered an out-of-date hobby is saddening.
This documentary also touches up on how Blockbuster ruined the VHS craze by being such a large business, and putting smaller video stores that actually had personality out of business. It was just impossible to keep up with Blockbuster because it was such a monopoly. So all of the places that made video shopping fun became extinct. What a shame. Then of course, the DVD format is brought up, and why VHS is still superior in a few ways. Such as, many horror films from the VHS era have been lost and may be never found again.
There's still a large percentage of flicks that have never been transferred to DVD, so that makes VHS collecting actually logical in a way. Without people buying these now-rare films on VHS, a lot of cinema history would be gone forever. Most of the stuff worth buying or collecting amongst horror fans, is the real gory stuff and exploitation features. There's one VHS that runs the upwards of six hundred dollars due to it's rareness.
Then there's a segment on the cover art/packaging, and that to me, was a part that I could relate to. The awesome covers VHS used to have would determine whether or not you bought it. They say 'don't judge a book by its cover', well, anyone who was alive during the VHS era knows that we've all judged motion pictures by their cover. Finding awesome artwork on packaging was part of the thrill of shopping for movies back in the day. And, still is today.
There are some collectors featured on Adjust Your Tracking who have 20,000 VHS tapes or more. Some even have more than one room in their house dedicated to their collection. Another guy has so many tapes that he started his own video store in his basement.
And the topic of picture quality is brought up, which I'm glad about. Because, it's brought into light how although VHS aren't as clear of a visual as movies are today, they're still preferred to DVD and Blu-Ray because of the fact that the new home video standard of quality actually shows you things you didn't notice before. Bad/cheap makeup and effects, and even filming sets are made to look obvious nowadays, when back then, on VHS, everything was darker, so you didn't see as much. And it makes you think whether or not you'd like the movies then that now are made to look very low-budget and cheesy. So, this new crystal clear picture quality movement going on today has actually made older films look bad, and it's disheartening.
I think that my favorite part of this in-depth documentary is the segment dedicated to collectors' awkward experiences in finding VHS tapes. It's laugh-out-loud funny. They talk about how usually VHS shopping takes them to some weird places with strange and/or rude people, and it's really entertaining. A few people bring up how they've bought movies from musty old places that have smelled awful, and you can't help but laugh.
In the end, Adjust Your Tracking is a must watch for those out there like me, who consider themselves movie buffs. Is collecting VHS an old and outdated hobby? Yeah. But, the people who do it own and have seen movies that you've never even heard of, so it's more than justified. Watching this documentary really got me wanting to go find a video store and stock up. This is one hell of a fun viewing, and I'm glad I watched it.
A wicked documentary showing the sub culture of finding and collecting
VHS even though it gets harder and harder to track them down. Mostly
horror VHS is sought with people paying ridiculous amounts for certain
titles ($660.00 for Tales Of The Quadead Zone). They look at several
collectors collections and interview them. I'm an avid collector myself
with almost 7000 dvds so I enjoyed it. I don't care myself what format
I get as long as I get to watch it.
It is cool however that people like Massacre Video now release on DVD all those rare VHS only titles like Tales From The Quadead Zone and Spine. Very informative flick. Of course I watched this on DVD.
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