Category_Collecting, Category_Groovy Stuff, Category_Horror, Category_VHS, Category_Weirdness -

France-Based Artist Extraordinaire Patrick Massobrio and His NMPM Imprint Re-Animate VHS Cassettes With a Loving Homage to Video Era Horror with their VIDEO NASTIES Collection! DIG IT!

After an early love affair with illustration and sculpture and years of harvesting inspiration from chunks of magnetic magic, custom FX artist Patrick Massobrio along with his partner Nan have now created a line of analog-oriented artistic endeavors to drop your anti-digital jaw. Patrick and Nan’s creative imprint NMPM are currently crafting radical rewind renditions via souped-up home video skeletons, paying homage to some of horror and fantasy’s more adored (and abhorred) screen incarnations. So, my fellow Videovores, prepare yourself for some eye-popping slices of VHS-inspired nostalgia as Patrick and his NMPM brand dare to re-animate these bricks of black plastic gold in an entirely fresh, fun and downright fantastic fashion…


Patrick and NMPM have SUCH SIGHTS TO SHOW YOU! Man... that one was easy.

LM: Can you tell us a little bit about your creative history? Has it always been influenced by cinema culture? PM: Yes, cinema and literature have always been a huge source of inspiration for me. As you might guess through my works, I’m a huge fan of fantastic and horror in general. When I was a child, I spent most of my time drawing and sculpting; I wanted to be a special effects artist to “make monsters”. The first big step was when I went to a film school in France. First of all because I met my wife and creative partner Nan, but also a teacher that has since then always been an endless source for support and advice. Although the school was mainly teaching CGI, as it offered more job opportunities, there was still a practical effects course by Michel Soubeyrand, one of the best FX artists in France. We got along very well and quickly became close friends. He took a lot of his personal time to teach us all kinds of and also introduced us to his friends who also helped us a lot, for example on how to work with silicone… Michel didn’t work for cinema anymore (he’s now a successful sculptor) but people still called him for practical effects. That’s how we got our first job opportunities. No need to say that even if what we had learnt about CGI was still useful, we didn’t want to spend days on computers anymore. So, Nan and I decided to quit school and work as freelance SFX artists. We took with us the two short films we made there, reworked them a bit and sent them to some festivals in France and Canada. The first short, DARK FLOWERS, is a fan film, a free adaptation of Japanese Horror master Junji Ito’s TOMIE filled with slimy practical effects. The second JEANNOT GOES PSYCHO is a very short and weird stop-motion animation film that much more represents our personal style, mixing my European influences with Nan’s Asian ones. It’s still rough on the edges, but surprisingly, a lot of people seemed to enjoy it and it even got an award in a short film competition in France. When we weren’t busy doing effects, we started painting together and posted pictures on Facebook, just for fun. One of our series, THE CHINA GIRLS was particularly important because it started to introduce sculpted elements in resin or silicon to bring 3D effects to the image. That was the starting point of everything we’re doing now in paintings, including the VHS ones. The series caught the attention of gallery owners and that’s how we started exhibiting. We had such a good time meeting the public, whose reaction to our work was really positive, that we started to focus more and more on personal creations under the pseudonym NMPM. Now, we still occasionally do effects but only to give friends a hand on their projects, just for fun. It’s a reverse situation.


Shockolate, huh? Yeah, I'd eat that.

What led you to using VHS as an inspiration / platform? What was the first incarnation of VHS in your work? I built my cinema culture through VHS. As a kid, I spent a lot of time in video stores renting as many movies as I could. The atmosphere of these stores the art on the boxes are totally unforgettable. I really have a lot of nostalgia for this era. Curiously, I was never able to rent a DVD. To me, all the magic in these stores was gone when VHS were replaced. Disliking, like a lot of people, the wave of unattractive PhotoShopped posters that was becoming the norm for cinema posters and video market, I started painting a poster for an imaginary vintage cheesy horror movie called HELL BELLS. The first incarnation was on canvas, but then, I thought it would be cooler to do another version of it not on but IN a VHS box. So I cut up a hole in it and added some sculpted elements to the initial drawing. Now looking at the box was like seeing the poster art and an actual scene from the movie at the same time. The “VIDEO NASTIES” series was born and we it with other genres like Mexican wrestler movies, Bruceploitation, etc.


The attention to detail on these is just axe-ellent. AXE-ELLENT.

Can you tell us about the evolution of the line, and your most recent series with these VHS works? The Video Dead series? The first series, “VIDEO NASTIES”, only uses VHS boxes, so that leaves me with a few cassettes! One day, I was looking at one and realized how similar it was to a face and that something could certainly be done out of it. At the same time, I was also surprised reading about the sudden renewed interest in the format. This was the DVD era! Who would have expected that? The fact that VHS was literally “back from the dead” was the inspiration for our “VIDEO DEAD” collection, consisting in VHS headed zombies returning to haunt your video shelves! With this collection, we started using every component of the VHS, from tape to box. This led to a third, and actually most active collection: “VIDEO-CLUB MEMORIES”, which uses VHS to represent all the screen icons that a lot of us discovered via renting or buying tapes and still love today. Seeing some characters in this series brings a lot of friends back to the time they first saw these movies and rekindles memories about watching VHS. That’s just great.



What materials are you using while creating these pieces? What is the process like (if you're willing to reveal!)? Obviously, I use VHS cassettes and boxes. Boxes allow you to make some pretty cool masks for characters like Jason or the Phantom of the Paradise. The main thing is to adapt these elements to a rectangular shape. I paint the face on the cassette and, if needed, use some magnetic tape for the hair. Each one is stuck one by one so with characters like Snake Plissken, it can be quite a long process! Eyes are made of glass. Then, depending on the collection, the body is painted directly on canvas or then scanned and printed. Finally, added 3D elements are made of resin, silicone, leather or Plexiglas… Even in series that have printed elements, the VHS heads are entirely done by hand so always a little different, making every piece unique.


He's even got a cig, man. I mean, of course he does. SNAKE'S GOTTA SMOKE.

Are you a VHS collector yourself? Just a fan of genre film / the video era? Was the rising VHS culture an influence on you to start doing more VHS stuff? I’m a movie collector with fond memories about the VHS era. I just want to watch the movies I love in the best possible conditions and if VHS is the only format available, then that will do. My experience with VHS was so great because it was all about discovering and enjoying movies. By then, I didn’t care, didn’t even know, about aspect ratios, uncut version, colors or extras. It was just about finally being able to see a movie I had been searching sometimes for months or discovering what was hiding behind a scary and attractive artwork. I remember watching John Carpenter’s DARK STAR, a film I really had a hard time to find, on an almost unwatchable worn out rental copy but it was still fantastic to see my favorite director’s first film. Now I replaced most of my tapes with DVDs and Blu-Ray but just can’t throw them away. So I give them a second life through art. As I mentioned, I started using VHS as a platform before hearing about the rising VHS culture, but it then influenced me to do more stuff by bringing back even more memories and is at the origin of the VIDEO DEAD ones…There are still a few VHS that are really special to me and will be kept untransformed, like my French editions of NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2 or TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.


This amazing slice o' custom analog is givin' me a buzz just lookin' at. You know I can dig it.

Are these pieces for sale? Where can people get a chance to grab them? Most of them are or will be soon. Some “Video Dead” have already been sold during an exhibition in France. We are actually putting the finishing touch on the “Video-Club” collection while making contacts to find places to exhibit, so people will be able to grab them there. Until now, we have only sold our pieces during exhibitions but people abroad started to ask me how to get them so we are also looking into a safe way to mail them so they will get to you undamaged. Don’t hesitate to send us a mail if you want to know more about a piece you like and its availability. We can also take special orders if there’s, for example, a character you love and we didn’t think about… In addition to this, we are developing some cool items around our series (like posters, stickers, badges or postcards). We will keep you in touch when they are available!


And my personal rendition of a NoES favorite: "WANNA SUCK TAPE?!"

What's next for you, Patrick? Where can we keep up with you? Tons of projects for 2014, actually. We’ll, of course, continue the VHS line, adding new pieces to existing collections (like for example Hannibal Lecter or Mad Max) as well as new designs. Some are going to be totally insane; we can’t wait to show them to you! We hope to find great opportunities to exhibit them. I am also working with Nan on a project of illustrated book, which is not related to VHS but based on a few twisted short stories we have written. Keep up with us on Facebook, through my personal page or the NMPM one. Lots of cool stuffs are coming and we’re really looking forward to hear from you!


When I look at this, I envision it saying "The Night He Came Home Video"... That's just me, though. Otherwise, it's FANALOGTASTIC.

Anything else you'd like to shout out to all the Tapeheads out there? Thank you all so much for having taken the time to read this interview and for your interest in our work. VHS is like Jason VoorHeeSe… it just won’t die!

You got that right, Patrick! Couldn’t have said it better myself, mang. So, Tapeheads, are you all analog excited about Patrick and Nan’s absolutely amazing analog creations? Man, I know you is! These bad boys are truly magnificent custom pieces, and are apt to look fantastic on any Videovore’s shelf-O-cinematic treats. Damn, they’re just too groovy! Extreme ups to Patrick and Nan for immortalizing the VHS in a most awe-inspiring manner and making our minds melt with a different kind of magnetic magic. You can keep up with all of their too groovy creative endeavors on the Official NMPM Facebook page or reach out via email at – Dig those open door digs! And remember, Tapeheads: they take custom requests so get those Xtro, Critter and Mac n’ Me VHS customs a’goin already!! YES!!

Groove and Groove and Make Groovy Stuff.

Josh Schafer

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