Thursday, November 12, 2009

Cult Film Shirts: Video Updates Approved

Truly there is no better way to let your geek flag fly than with a nerdy T-shirt. Sure you could get a semi-functional VU meter shirt from Think Geek or wear anything seen on the chest of the Irish guy from "The IT Crowd," but wouldn't you rather dress like a rabid consumer of obscure trash cinema?

Yes now you too can dress just like the proprietor of this website... or at least dress like he would if he wasn't a cheap bastard that just spent all his money on Demon's Souls and a capped-rail picket fence for the Video Updates Small Dog Squad.

A venerable distributor of VHS tapes during the format's '80s heyday, the Vestron Video logo and/or corporate influence can be found on many of the films discussed here at Video Updates,
including Slaughter High, Class of 1999, and Chopping Mall (under their "Lightning Video" subsidiary), as well as a whole host of genre favorites. Re-Animator, An American Werewolf in London, and Ghoulies just to name a few of the literally hundreds of movies they distributed. (They are also sadly responsible for the creation of Dirty Dancing and Earth Girls Are Easy.)

Another relic of the golden age of analog video tapes, Cannon Films is the company to praise/blame for things like Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo (seriously), Delta Force, and Death Wish parts 2 through 4. Amongst the action films and generic '80s filler, they also produced or distributed a host of horror and sci-fi films, including Tobi Hooper's underrated Lifeforce (which coincidentally was distributed by Vestron in some markets). None of their videos have currently been "Updated," but reviews on The Apple, Invasion USA, and possibly Ninja 3: The Domination are on the calender.

Plus, how many defunct production companies have fansites?

What the shit? This glorious affront to eyeballs everywhere is the latest gear from the venerated art-house distributor The Criterion Collection. It seems their theatrical arm, Janus Films, has gotten its mitts on the obscure Japanese slice of crazy known as Hausu (House) and has been showing it theatrically. (Fingers crossed for a DVD in the near future.) I caught it at the Oak Street a few weeks ago and was surprised at how little of the story I missed while watching my shitty, subtitle free bootleg.

Following a group of Japanese schoolgirls all named after their dominant personality trait and their misadventures in a kitty-cat controlled haunted house, it's an intensely strange, sumptuously photographed, and irrepressibly goofy little horror film that will leave you scratching your head and grinning like an idiot. It makes The Happiness of the Katakuris look like Picnic at Hanging Rock. Full review early next week.

Note: Any of these shirts would make an excellent X-mas gift for that special nerdy someone in your life. Hint hint, readers who I share DNA or alma maters with. (Probably most of you.)


  1. The Happiness of the Katakuris look like Picnic and Hanging Rock? I don't get it. Those movies are both pretty crazy!

  2. Yeah, but one is a solemn sort of crazy and the other is relentlessly upbeat.

    Hausu is even more upbeat, making events like getting dismembered by a piano or finding your friend's severed head in a well seem downright joyous.

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