Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Watch This Now! Presents Shout Factory TV VHS Vault

Shout Factory has quickly become the best North American genre label in a long time with the systematic release of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes and the amazing subsidiary horror label Scream Factory. Founded by former Rhino Records partners, which makes sense of the MST3K connection, Shout Factory strives to release "retro pop culture" titles. Scream Factory is of particular note with their hefty special features and reversible covers mimicking the releases of UK outlet Arrow Video. What you may not know is that Shout Factory also has a strong online presence. Shout Factory TV is a (mostly) free online streaming service where you can watch many of their titles, including Scream Factory. Now while this streaming service of itself is something to watch I want to mention a very recent development by Shout Factory called Shout Factory TV VHS Vault. 

Do you like myself, long for the days of tracking and VHS fuzz for your viewing pleasure? for many of us this is how we first watched some of the greatest films (and not so great films) of our youth. We didn't have the luxury of Hi-Def or flawless Blu-Ray quality, we had to settle on bootleg store copies or previously viewed cassettes. In a way it made it all better. The grittiness seemed to make the film more exciting. Shout Factory TV VHS Vault hopes to bring back these nostalgic pangs by converting several of their streaming titles into VHS-like rips.

  Now, before I shower all the love on SFTV VHSV, may I direct your attention to the below example of our Culturally Significant TV logo and Shout Factory TV's logo. 
I'm not throwing stones, I'm just pointing out a stylistic choice. Truth be, I love the Shout Factory retro logo. Jealous even. It all comes from the same place, the same love for classic VHS openings. You can see that similarly in their promo video below.

Not resting on the streaming of VHS versions of some of our favorite titles, Shout Factory has also lovingly created a website mimicking those early days of Angelfire and Netscape, even down to the crude animation and "dancing baby" graphic.


Their retro streaming titles include Day of the Dead

Fill up a fanny pack with weapons and slap bracelets, because you’re about to take on a world overrun by zombies in Day of the Dead. It follows the story of a small group of military officers and scientists living in an underground bunker without so much as a Poison cassette or a Molly Ringwald movie to entertain them!

Sleepaway Camp
Traumatized and shy Angela Baker gets sent to a totally bogus summer camp that doesn’t even have a Nintendo in Sleepaway Camp. Once she gets there, everything goes super smoothly–NOT. Leave your jean jacket at home so it doesn’t get covered in blood.
Class of 1984

There’s no Brat Pack in Class of 1984, a movie about a school full of thoughtful, obedient students. As if! This movie is all about a lawless high school that would be totally tubular if it weren’t for the drug dealing thugs that have taken it over! It even features an appearance by a promising new upstart named Michael J. Fox.
Exterminators of the Year 3000

Parents thought it was the end of the world when kids started wearing side ponytails, Jordache jeans and neon windbreakers, but that’s nothing compared to the gang of motorcycle psychos who run rampant on a post-apocalyptic Earth in Exterminators of the Year 3000! It’s a glorious crash of guns, nuclear fallout and cutting-edge synthesizers!
Night of the Demons
Your Swatch may say it’s time to party, but in Night of the Demons, a bunch of party animals decide to hold a seance in a funeral parlor instead of playing with pogs like normal kids. Their big mistake turns into a totally radical movie for the rest of us to enjoy.
and in a special treat, the VHS doc Adjust Your Tracking. 

Frankie says relax and watch Adjust Your Tracking, a movie about how awesome VHS is! We all knew that home entertainment couldn’t possibly get any better once we could watch our favorite John Cusack movies whenever we wanted (unless they make a 64-bit video game system, but that technology is way off). Check this film out and learn about your fellow VHS collectors.
So while Shout Factory TV VHS Vault may steal good ideas, they also have stolen my heart. So curl up and watch some classic retro goodness. Best part, no rewinding.

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