Videovore Dan Gorman Supplies Toronto Tapeheads with VHS Screenings via His Analog Appreciating Imprint Video Vengeance!
Some glitched out Video Vengenace logo glory from artist Tom Ralston! The colors, dude! The colors!Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how Video Vengeance all got started? What was the analog impetus to start it up? I've always loved movies, ever since my parents taped a handful of flicks off their First Choice preview channel, and subsequently when I was old enough to program our VCR to catch movies of my own choice on CityTV. After living in Toronto for a few years - and only keeping up my VHS habit in fits and spurts - I started getting more and more back into the magnetic game. I had recently started co-hosting a couple of podcasts through a network two friends and I had started called Modern Superior, and we had wanted to move the brand more and more into live-show territory. We weren't really ready for live podcasting, but the idea of a hosted video event was always kind of bubbling around, and eventually we found our venue and everything clicked.
The totally bitchin' Video Vengeance alternate logo, also from artist Tom Ralston. Dang, this RULES.You screen all the flicks from VHS, right? Which flicks have you screened for the first few shows? The first movie we screened was in the month of December of 2013. I had toyed around with some ideas of Christmas themed movies, but definitely didn't want to screen something too obvious. I ended up picking Invasion USA, because it's got such a great, sneaky Christmas themed scene where Richard Lynch basically blows Christmas in Anytown, USA to smithereens while cackling hilariously. It's fucking fantastic. I knew that movie would go over well, but I had no idea HOW well. The reactions from the crowd on that movie were wonderful. Action movies play really well to a crowd - Showdown In Little Tokyo worked like gangbusters. Greg, one of the events other co-hosts, picked Kingdom of the Spiders, because insect-attack flicks also go over great. Plus, our second screening was Eliminators - who doesn't like cowboys, ninjas and ManBorgs all rolled into the same film?
Video-inclined patrons enjoy the analog soaked atmosphere at Video Vengeance! Dig it.What can folks expect from a Video Vengeance show? Prizes? Crowd interaction? Farting contests? You can expect the experience of sitting around, scarfing on delectable nachos and cracking beers in your living room with a couple choice friends - but magnified a few times. We really want to capture that quintessential analog experience you get from popping a tape in and hanging out. We screen at KITCH in Toronto, Ontario, and they're a super chill venue that serves affordable tall boys and dish up crazy plates of nachos. Just that awesome feeling of having some greasy food, a few drinks, and the ability to crack wise in an atmosphere where you aren't going to be shushed or scolded. We have a staunch No Jerks Allowed! rule though; we don't want people being assholes and yelling and screaming, but if you have a perfect Costanza-esque "That's gotta hurt!" type line to toss out at the end of the scene, it's welcome at Video Vengeance. Also, our event is free, and we raffle off tapes, vinyl records, hand-screened t-shirts and more. I don't like the idea of charging a cover because I want the event to something communal and for everybody to enjoy. Plus, you might need that cash the next time you're at a thrift store or something - I don't want to get in the way of your own tape hunting! "VHS is NOT the new vinyl", because that's just so damn perfect. So many people have uttered that "I get it; it's like how records came back into style" line. Above almost any format - music, movie, or otherwise - VHS really has this element that is impossible to put your finger on. Nostalgia is obviously a big aspect, and everyone talks about how tangible they are, which will always be true. I guess it's that unknown that keeps me chasing tapes, though. You really don't get the same feeling popping in a Blu-Ray and settling down for a night in that you do with a tape. I always found it weird that the pre-show on DVDs just never felt the same as the trailers and bumpers from VHS tapes, so there's that, too. I guess there's something to picking a couple tapes off a wall, putting in the effort to get a theme going for a triple-feature, or even just excitedly spotting a tape you've been after in the wild. Hopefully, Video Vengeance allows people to come out and share in that crazy feeling.
Dan (at the far left) and his co-hosts Greg and Casey announce the winner of some raffle-tastic goodies. Who gets the groovy skull, though? ME. I WANTS IT.Do you remember the first time you went to an indie screening? What was the flick, and how was the experience? Does it have any effect on how you run your show? Moving to Toronto after attending Film School really blew me away, to be honest. There was briefly a one-screen indie theater in the town I grew up in, but it closed up pretty quick. So when I realized how much was actually going on here, in terms of amazing events that happen literally every week, I was ecstatic. We're spoiled, honestly. Not sure I can remember my first one specifically, but being able to attend the Troll II screening that was also being filmed for Best Worst Movie was a great one. Or seeing Lustig's Maniac for the first time ever, but on a big screen with Lustig himself in attendance. Actually, the idea that I could go check out something like Ms. 45 on the big screen, having never seen it before, is just wild. I love when movies I've been meaning to check out for years and years end up hitting the screens near me - it's a great feeling. I'd love to work towards guests from the films, but for now I'm fine just screening the movies, and hopefully picking the kinds of tapes that our attendees may have walked past in a video store as a youth so they can experience it for the first time with us. What are your snacks of choice while watching magnetic magic on the big screen? Definitely nachos. I'm not one to shit-talk a perfect bag of popped corn, but when the cheese and toppings are just right, absolutely nothing can touch the nacho. All hail the almighty 'cho!
A look at the stacked and packed nachos from Kitch that will accompany your analog viewing. CHOMPY CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP!Yo, you know I hear that! What are you willing to do for a copy of Hollow Gate on City Lights? Oh man, I'd gather up some old Halloween costumes and re-enact the entire film for a Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation style remake. But every character played somehow even worse, by me. That movie is next-level, it'd make a perfect pick for Video Vengeance, for sure.
A look at both bodacious covers for HOLLOW GATE: a most rare and radical VHS release from City Lights!What’s next for you and Video Vengeance, brother? I'd like to push the boundaries a little, when it comes to what I think the audience can handle. Busting out a little Ted Prior Sledgehammer action would be amazing. More horror movies, for sure. We've leaned a bit on the action genre, which is amazing, but we need to get a few of the more overlooked SOV slashers going on, for sure. More hand-made prizes, more shirt designs, and other stuff like that. We're just keeping at it, and the audience seems to be growing event-by-event, so just trucking along, really. I'd love to get some comics into the venue to do a kind of riff-along event, or recording some live podcasts of guests discussing/tearing apart some of the sillier movies post-screening with us and a crowd. That'd be a fun time. Anything else you wanna shout out to all the Videovores eyeballin’ this blog? Yeah - personally, as I mentioned I co-host two podcasts: See You Next Wednesday is a weekly pop-culture podcast that we do - more long-form stuff with a mainstream film segment where we roll a die to see who gets to go see the big release that week and who sees a stinker. We also have one called Time Bandits, where we travel back in time 25 years and discuss an album and movie from that year. We sometimes get into lesser known stuff on that show, like RoboWar, HellGate, Crash Course, Silent Assassins and more. Check out our shows, and more at our Podcast Network and Blog Modern Superior. Otherwise, I'd have to shout out Laserblast Film Society. They're another VHS related event in Toronto, and just knowing that there are multiple events out here being created to celebrate tapes is awesome. That only means more and more people are into this stuff, and it's cool to see fans rallying around it and celebrating the scene. They screen at The Royal, and the programmers there Colin Geddes and Katarina Gligorijević have been programming fantastic cult cinema since they took over. That's where I saw the aforementioned Ms. 45 screening, so yeah. There's plenty of amazing stuff happening there, monthly. The instagram VHS scene being totally bad-ass should be shouted out. Also, VivaVHS was one of the first tapeheads I really started following online, so he gets a shout-out. His collection is insane, those tapes he snags are deadly, man. Plus, all the usual suspects like Bleeding Skull (cop that book, if you're anyone who's anyone!), Daniel Herbert's book Videoland (unreal academic analysis of the rental industry as a whole, seriously get on this one), Stacie Ponder at Final Girl (definitely one of my all-time favourite horror writers), and a lot more. Phew, I wrote a novel here. Shout out Lunchmeat, too! Duh! Thanks for the opportunity to gush about tapes, dude!
Hey, man, thanks for doing some most excellent VHS appreciation and celebration up in the Great White North! Dan, we VHSalute you! If you’re in the Toronto area, there’s just no good reason not to groove on out and nosh on some nachos and party on with some VHS vibin’ good times. Be sure to check out Video Vengeance on their Official Facebook, and give ‘em some good ‘ol like love! You know what I’m talkin’ about! And, I’d like to take the analog opportunity to announce that this Halloween 2014, LUNCHMEAT will be teaming up with Dan and Video Vengeance to bring you a super-groovy screening of an obscure Halloween-themed treat that’s sure to rattle your funny bone and stick to yer teeth. What’s it gonna be? Stay tuned and you’ll see! Dig that magnetic mystery, Tapeheads!