Asa Nisi Masa Films and Director Travis Gutierrez Senger Release Found Footage Film DESERT CATHEDRAL on Special Edition VHS! Click for Trailer and Full Details!
The voyeuristic allure of “found footage” has fascinated audiences from its inception in cinema, with films like Man Bites Dog and The Blair Witch Project practically redefining the boundaries of on-screen terror, along with more obscure entries like Jean-Teddy Fillppe’s Forbidden Files and Lunchmeat favorite America’s Deadliest Home Video displaying even earlier employment of found footage techniques to captivate curious audiences. As exemplified in ADHV, it seems that the VHS format fully embodies those aesthetic elements which take that “discovered and uncovered” plausibility to a whole new level. How many times have you happened upon an unmarked VHS tape that compelled your curiosity to whir and stir? It’s just got that kind of power. However, for the vast majority of films in this particular sub-genre, the “found footage” aspect is staged. It’s an artificial cinematic element ultimately used to entice audiences and superficially tickle that distinct fantasy of actually watching someone else’s experiences as they happened. Brooklyn, NY-based filmmaker Travis Gutierrez Senger is about to rock your concept of what a “found footage” film can be. His debut film Desert Cathedral tells the story of a broken real estate developer, Peter Collins, played by Lee Tergesen (Oz, Generation Kill, Equity), who mysteriously disappears into the Southwest in 1992, leaving behind a series of VHS tapes to his employer and family. Without the aid of the police, his desperate wife (Petra Wright) hires private investigator Duran Palouse, played by Chaske Spencer (The Twilight Saga, Banshee), to locate his whereabouts and bring him home. After the two befriend each other, Peter discovers Duran's true identity and flees deeper into the depths of the desert; through a cat-and-mouse climax tragedy strikes.
DESERT CATHEDRAL | OFFICIAL TRAILER from Travis Gutiérrez Senger on Vimeo. This film is based on a true story. There actually was a man that went off into the desert in 1992, and just disappeared without trace only leaving behind a trail of magnetic tape… but here’s the kicker: Senger’s film interweaves genuine archival materials and actual found VHS footage to help retell this compelling narrative. That means real found footage from the real tapes, with the story re-created around it, crafted with courageous style and a masterful magnetism. And, now, Desert Cathedral has been made available via Special Edition VHS.
A full look at the Special Edition VHS for DESERT CATHEDRAL from Travis Gutierrez Senger. Grab this slab here.
When asked why he wanted to put this film on fresh VHS, director Travis Gutierrez Senger said, “The allure of the format is many things, one of which is it brings back a lot of nostalgia to the 90's and has a dark, strange texture with a lot of fun/weird glitches. All this adds up to something very active, unpredictable and a nice contrast to the all the HD we see these days, which seems to lack character and texture.” Senger also commented on the resurgence of interest in VHS and the burgeoning collecting culture, sharing his notions on the reasoning behind people reaching back for physical video tapes… “The resurgence of VHS has surprised me but in a good way. I think people want tactile elements and to stay connected to mediums and formats that really affected them. For me, I first started watching movies on VHS and I remember tearing off the plastic, really looking at the artwork and the sliding the tape into the player. It wasn't so immediate and it was more engaging just putting the tape into the player. You had an experience with each movie from the moment you picked it up at the rental house all the way until you dropped it off. It was a more involved experience and I think people long for that. I think we make a mistake discarding everything. We should preserve all these formats more.” Here in Lunchmeat Land, we couldn’t agree more, and we’re absolutely ecstatic to see this level of filmmaking make its way to special edition analog. We can’t wait to feed this one to our VCR, Tapeheads. The Special Edition VHS for Desert Cathedral is currently available for $35 RIGHT HERE. Don’t miss it.