Category_Collecting, Category_Groovy Stuff, Category_Horror, Category_VHS, Category_Weirdness -

PHANTOM PAIN FILMS Founder Matthew-Dilts Williams Opens Up Pop-Up Video Shop FUTURE VIDEO and Brings Tapeheads a Taste of Old-School Mom and Pop Glory!

Matthew Dilts-Williams is one ardent VHS collector and analog enthusiast, indeed. His PHANTOM PAIN FILMS label released the cult favorite DEVIL TIMES FIVE on limited magnetic magic a little while back, and in the meantime, Matt’s been amassing a veritable library of videos, which now reaches into a fearsome five figures range. And with this massive collection of analog escapes, he’s decided to open up an indie pop-up old-school video shop where he can unload an avalanche of tape-tastic treats on the nostalgia-minded masses. All of this awesomeness is happening in tandem with the Cleveland, OH screening for ADJUST YOUR TRACKING, which when combined, is sure to equal party time excellent for all the tapheads that are in attendance. And now, let’s hear from Matt and peer into the future, shall we?

Does this really need a caption? GREAT JOB!

LM: Can you give us a little history about your involvement with the VHS collector world? You've put out a tape, sell and trade, etc…. MDW: I've been collecting horror VHS tapes since middle school when I bought an unrated copy of SCARECROWS off eBay. Over the years I kept collecting but I wasn't really aware of how big it was getting until I set up at the inaugural Severed Horror VHS Collector's Convention. I met some awesome people, got inspired and started my own label, Phantom Pain Films. So far we've got one release, a limited edition VHS of the killer kid classic DEVIL TIMES FIVE.

A full look at the all-new artwork for the PPF VHS release of DEVIL TIMES FIVE. Lookin' groovy, mang.

Where did the idea spawn to open up this pop-up video shop? For the uninitiated, can you explain how a "pop-up" shop works? How did you score the space? Well, my friend Dave works for Cleveland Cinemas and he booked a screening of ADJUST YOUR TRACKING . Since I have thousands of tapes I trade and sell he brought up the idea of opening a “pop-up shop” to tie in with the screening. A “pop-up shop” is when you open a short-term sales space with limited edition products. In our case it’s for 9 days with whatever tapes you see on the shelf. I got lucky with the space as I was able to find an empty storefront about half a block from the theater where AYT is screening. It was actually a pretty easy score. All I did was ask the property manager and based on its tie-in with the move theater he was happy to make the space available to me.

Just one of the many amazing slabs o' analog available at FUTURE VIDEO, released through VHS IS DEAD.

Where did you get the stock for the store? Are you renting, selling, both? If you're renting, how are you working the rental specs? The stock came from a decade of collecting and managing to score 2 ½ tons of tapes from a warehouse in Cincinnati. All in all, I had about 13,000 tapes I spent two weeks sorting through. Needless to say, I'm trying to shrink that number so its sales only at Future Video. I thought about rental but we're only open for 9 days and it just would have been too much to try and organize, not to mention having to worry about tapes never being returned.

The store front for FUTURE VIDEO. You guys got any gummy worms in there?

You're also selling some mags and other goodies. What else do you have in store? I have tapes from every genre, a few DVDs, VCRs, zines, video posters and film inspired art for sale. The goal was to try and replicate the look and feel of an old school video store while throwing in some new twists.

A look at the magazine rack and a couple stacks of sweet playbacks. Nice selection of reading material, eh?!

This shop is part of a VHS appreciation celebration, right? It's happening along with some other VHS vindications, including a screening of ADJUST YOUR TRACKING. Can you give us some details about that? Absolutely! I wanted to create a space that appealed to the VHS connoisseur, the cinephile and the casual movie watcher. That's why I reached out to artists to provide film inspired artwork as well as many of the labels putting out new VHS tapes to stock the store. As for the screening, ADJUST YOUR TRACKING is playing at the Capital Theater in Cleveland on Thursday, August 29 at 7:30pm. The filmmakers Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic will be in attendance for a Q&A and tape swap at Future Video.

Stacks and racks, man, stacks and racks! Oh, dude! THE PLAYAZ COURT?! Dope.

Future Video is rad name. Is this a nod to the history of the VHS, or a prediction as to home entertainment to come... again!! It’s a little bit of both. As I told people about what I was planning to do the reactions fluctuated between slight condescension or it was seen as cute since no one could imagine a VHS store opening up in 2013. I wanted to stick my tongue out at those kinds of reactions so I went with Future Video. It’s definitely a nod but also meant to let people know that VHS is not dead.

More magnetic magic is just around the corner. READ THE SIGN, MAN!

Why do you think it's important to preserve the VHS format? What is it about the format that you dig? VHS is part of cinematic history! It’s startling when “cinephiles” are so quick to dismiss or dispose of the format. Granted it may not be the best viewing format available in the world, but there are still tens-of-thousands of movies in which VHS is the only way they can be viewed. I've heard so many people who come into Future Video say, “I threw out my VCR years ago.” Why would anyone do that? All that does is limit your viewing options. How can anyone call themselves a movie buff and not have a VCR? That's like saying you're a bookworm but will only read off a kindle. Personally, I grew up with up with VHS tapes so there is definitely a nostalgia for the format. I saw so many films for the first time on VHS and that sense of discovery is directly tied with the format, even to this day. One of the coolest feelings is finding a tape you know is awesome but someone else decided should be in a junk bin for 50 cents. And of course the box art is cooler. A VHS tape just looks better on a shelf than a DVD.

Some analog-inspired art adorning the walls of FUTURE VIDEO. Rad work by Chad Kimes!

What's next for you, Matt? I'm working on a new VHS release and writing Phantom Pain Films first original production. There's nothing official to announce yet but I don't want everyone thinking I've just been sitting on my ass since the DEVIL TIMES FIVE release.

The super-rad flyer for FUTURE VIDEO. What an awesome analog happening, man.

Anything else for all the Videovores out there? If you're in Ohio you have to come out for the ADJUST YOUR TRACKING screening (8/29 @ 7:30pm, Capitol Theater 1390 W 65th St, Cleveland, OH) and check out Future Video (6604 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH). Also like Future Video on Facebook and keep VHS alive!

We sure as hell will, man! Big ups to Matt to endeavoring to create such a radical analog revival attraction and giving folks a chance to experience the distinct rush of raiding stacks and racks of black plastic gold. Check out the Future Video Facebook Page and stay tuned to the Phantom Pain Films page for updates on all of Matt’s video revival efforts. And don’t forget to peep all the remaining tour dates for the LUNCHMEAT / HORROR BOOBS produced ADJUST YOUR TRACKING for your chance to take a glimpse into the weird and wonderful world of the modern VHS collector. If you haven’t seen it yet, man, hop to it!


Josh Schafer

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