Ryan Turek and Co. Prepare to Unveil VHS Art and Video Store Exhibit SLASHBACK VIDEO on Sept 9th in Burbank, CA! Exclusive Interview and Event Details!
Physical manifestations of VHS and video era appreciation and celebration are emerging in impressive and excitingly innumerable instances, Tapeheads. Jason Champion's fully functional video store stationed in his own home and the curated installations of The Museum of VHS are just a couple of the contemporary entities which offer an entertaining, interactive and insightful trip back to the time when VHS was king. And now, Ryan Turek, who has had a prolific history in the horror industry and currently summons scares for heavy-hitting Blumhouse Productions, is ready to unleash a tape-driven time machine of his own. His upcoming Slashback Video promises to be one part video store, one part art show and completely spectacular. Read on, my fellow Videovores, and get ready to drop it in the slot...
The Official art for SLASHBACK VIDEO brought to life by radical rewind-inclined artist Devon Whitehead!
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and about some of your creative endeavors? You bet. Currently, I’m producing horror movies over at Blumhouse Productions. I worked, most recently, on Happy Death Day, which comes out October 13th and I’m heading off to Haddonfield when Halloween gets going. I’m also co-host of the Blumhouse podcast Shock Waves. Before Blumhouse, I ran a horror news/reviews website called ShockTillYouDrop.com for several years. I worked for Fangoria and Rue Morgue magazine at one time, too. And somewhere in there, I wrote and directed a documentary on the Scream franchise that’s in that Blu-ray collection you can get for pretty cheap. Overall, I just have a huge love for the horror genre. I live it, breathe it, it truly runs through my veins. And, I love wearing different hats and trying out different things that help support those in the horror industry and fan community.
Tell us about SLASHBACK VIDEO? What is it? And what was the inspiration to create such an installation? So, earlier this year I had some friends over to the house and my buddy Gustavo Cooper reminded me of this Jerry Maguire video store experience that popped up here in L.A. last year. I thought it was amusing, but, man, I lived through that shit. I was working at Blockbuster Video in Manhattan when that movie hit VHS and I just remember the boxes upon boxes we received and the long night I spent prepping them for rental. It was a nightmare. Needless to say, I had Jerry Maguire VHS PTSD. Gus mentioned that I should do something that’s a horror spin on that and the gears just started turning in my head and Slashback Video was born. I grew up in a small Connecticut town that had a video rental store called Mad Mike’s SuperVideo. That place was church to me and, more or less, I wanted to rebuild the experience I had in that place and introduce it to a generation of horror fans who have never stepped foot into a VHS video store. Today, so many horror fans make film discoveries via iTunes, Netflix, Hulu and Amazon and it feels like such a cold film selection process. Moreover, the key art used to promote these films are dreadful, cookie-cutter Photoshop nightmares. With Slashback, I wanted to give visitors something visually-stimulating. So, it’s an immersive experience, a VHS exhibit and an art show. I pitched the folks at Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum in Burbank, California and they instantly got it and were cool enough to offer shop space to let me build out Slashback. I needed to get some sponsors on board and, luckily, the five I reached out to – Phantom Carriage Brewery, Fright Rags, Creepy Company, Waxwork Records and Mixtape Massacre - automatically said yes. And my buddy Bill Neil – who cuts movie trailers for some of the biggest horror films – came on board to contribute, too.
Come see my movie boxes at the Slash Back Video art show Sept. 9th!#slashbackvideo #schrabhomevideo A post shared by Rob Schrab (@robschrab) on
What can people expect to see at SLASHBACK VIDEO? Any particular items or attractions you’re especially excited about? Can people actually rent out videos from SLASHBACK? They can expect an authentic video store experience, without being able to rent or buy the tapes. The VHS tapes we have are treated like pieces you would find in a museum. I wish I could say you can rent, but this whole thing is brand-new and I’ve got too many collectors contributing amazing and rare tapes to make that happen. Plus, that’s just not our business at the moment! When you enter, your ticket is going to be a clamshell you have to slide through our drop-box. When you leave, you get a Slashback Video membership card that might get you some perks on repeat visits. The rest of the store is one part VHS exhibit. We have hundreds of titles culled from my own collection of VHS tapes, Devon Whitehead – who did our killer key art and is such a die-hard VHS junkie, Bill Neil, Joe Bishara and many more. For this part of Slashback, I want visitors to enjoy the wacky and wild box art and maybe even discover titles they’ve never even heard of! I had one person come in while I was prepping the VHS racks and look at a few movies I was putting out for display. They were blown away because they were discovering horror movies they had not seen. That thrilled me. I want that reaction from Slashback. Another part of the store is going to be an art show. We sent over 40 artists blank clamshell boxes and told them to just go nuts. Get inspired by the VHS horror era and give us a piece of art. So, some artists created their own box art for their favorite horror movie, others went fully 3D, sculpting and carving up the boxes. These art pieces will be for sale and the artists even supplied some prints. We’ll have some other treats and goodies at Slashback as well that lend a bit of authenticity to the video store experience. I do want to say that I’m fully aware that there are video stores still in operation. Hell, there are a number of good ones here in L.A. And I love they’re fighting the good fight to stay alive. Slashback Video isn’t meant to act like those businesses do not exist. It’s here to support them and also be a very specialized experience. It’s a celebration of VHS, of horror and those video stores I used to go to as a kid.
A small preview of the shelves at SLASHBACK VIDEO. Spader approves, dudes.
Any other rewind-inclined creations in the works, Ryan? What’s next for you? Let’s see what the response to Slashback Video is when it opens! Our big opening is on September 9th and we’re going to be running through the beginning of November, or just after Halloween. The Mystic Museum team and I were talking about the future of Slashback and I think when we’re done, I’m just going to take all of the elements and put them in storage in the event we take this on tour or decide to re-open for another exhibit down the road. I definitely don’t want it to simply die off. I’m in it for the long haul and I’m working to getting a site off of the ground. What it will be, I have no idea, but I’m kicking around ideas. I just love what Slashback Video is representing to people and what it’s inspiring them to do. Creature Feature whipped up two synth-heavy music tracks you can get on iTunes. Camera Viscera has been making some amazing video bumpers to promote our run. It’s incredible. Outside of that, it’s all about making movies here at Blumhouse and growing our Shock Waves podcast audience.
Anything else you want to shout out to all the Tapeheads eyeballin’ this VHS-obsessed corner of the internet? Yeah, I just want to say thank you to Lunchmeat VHS for your support and goodies you provided and a big thank you to some of the VHS Facebook groups I’m part of. Thanks to them I was able to get my hands on some gems or become more aware of some titles that I wanted to chase. Tapeheads are a supportive group!
You know it, Ryan! Fellow Tapeheads are always rewind ready to VHSupport a radical endeavor such as this, man! SLASHBACK VIDEO opens on Septemeber 9th at 8PM, and you can still grab some advance tickets via this link until September 5th for just 10 bones (tickets will also be available at the door)! You can also stay updated with info and images from SLASHBACK on their Official Facebook page by clicking this here hot, hot, hot link! We can’t wait to see those doors burst open and unleash some most righteous vintage video store vibes.