Mondo Video Is Here! VHS Lives!

I am a collector. This has been established before…shoes, toys, comics, films, etc. One thing I’m also crazy about is VHS. Everyone remembers them, everyone had them, they were a part of people’s lives. Then, Laserdisc came along, then dvd, then blu….and it died. It was a sad day in December of 2009, but they killed it. The last VHS tape was manufactured and the format that had introduced so many people to so many films was out. Until now….

We are very proud to announce, in association with Intervision, MONDO VIDEO. Here’s the meaty party of the press release that went out earlier today….

Mondo, the collectible art boutique arm of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, is pleased to announce a partnership with Intervision Picture Corporation to release 1983’s SLEDGEHAMMER on VHS. SLEDGEHAMMER, the first shot-on-tape slasher movie for the home video market, will be the first video release of Mondo Video, a label created to release rare genre films in a collectible VHS format. The VHS release will coincide with the film’s first release on DVD and a Terror Tuesday screening on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Mondo Video’s SLEDGEHAMMER includes the original box art and copy from the 1983 VHS release and will be available for purchase only at MondoTees.com on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. The Intervision DVD will also be available for purchase on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at http://amzn.to/lmZGfa.

There ya go! We are beyond excited. I got back into town this morning and went straight from the airport to the store to tear the box open to check these out. If someone would’ve taped me opening it, I’m sure it would’ve went down as one of the most epic unboxing videos ever. Understand, the last time someone opened a box of VHS tapes with the intent to sell like this had to be years ago and I guarantee they weren’t as excited.

I’ve seen some stuff online calling us “ironic hipsters” and things like that for doing this, so let me retort by saying first… my legs are too big for skinny jeans and second, this is not an ironic venture at all. This is serious. Myself, Lars Nilsen, Zack Carlson, Evan Husney and everyone else involved with this project are seriously in love with the format. “Why would you want to watch an inferior format?” is the other thing that is asked a lot. We’re not sitting here saying that VHS looks better than a bluray or anything like that. No way. But, VHS has a charm to it that other formats don’t. It’s little things. The hum of the VCR as it plays, the noises it makes every time you load in the tape, the way it ejects, the way that only your tape messes up at certain points because you watched it so much and something that you once hated, but maybe miss… rewinding. To me, it’s very similar to putting a record on and listening to that, but also watching it spin. If you don’t understand this obsession, that’s totally understandable. Many people won’t get it, but for the ones that do get it, I hope you’re all as excited as we are.

Another reason we’re doing this is that there are hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of titles on VHS that have never been released on dvd and that probably won’t. Before us and Intervision put this out, SLEDGEHAMMER was a VERY expensive tape to track down so for many that would want to check it out, it was cost prohibitive. The artwork and design on VHS tapes is also amazing. Most DVDs these days are horseshit compared to the VHS version. It was a product of its time and I really can’t think of anyone doing this type of stuff now. There are some that try to ape it, but VHS art is truly gorgeous. That’s the main reason why we chose to release the VHS exactly as it was put out originally.

So, what’s SLEDGEHAMMER about anyways? Well, allow Zack Carlson to explain it…

1940s scientists put years of study into creating the nuclear bomb, but it wasn’t until the first tests at Los Alamos that they realized its inhuman powers of absolute destruction. Four decades later, filmmaker David Prior similarly unveiled SLEDGEHAMMER, a shot-on-VHS masterstroke of anti-intellectual decimation. On that day, cinema quietly crumbled into dust.

Ted Prior (star of Deadly Prey; brother of the director) leads a cast of self-loathing alcoholics who face off against a shape-shifting, dimension-crossing spectre with a penchant for blunt object trauma. By the end, brains, bowels and Budweiser will be smeared across every inch of the walls. A rewardingly lethal collision of ‘80s slasher video-vomit, suburban legend and unintentional surrealist art, Prior’s supernaturally disabled death opera is the most visionary migraine to ever pummel its way into your skull. If you survive it, you’ll never ever forget it.

One of the funnest parts of this was designing the Mondo Video intro. It would not be a proper release if we didn’t have this on there as every VHS company worth its salt had one. Check out some of the classics here:

We needed a logo for the label, so went back to the sketches Mike Saputo provided when we were reworking the Mondo logo and settled on this one. Not much changed on it except for the “video” text on the bottom.

We then took it over to The Silent Giants who animated it. We decided that it would be a good idea to send them several of our favorite video intros from VHS labels of the past (see video above) so they could replicate the feel. One thing that we definitely wanted was a trailing effect from the logo against a background with a “Tron”-esque grid. Think spacey. Add a little Dylan Ettinger synth and here is our Mondo Video intro slug.

That’s it! I could go on and on and on, but I’m going to leave at this. We’ll have these for sale at the Terror Tuesday screening tomorrow night and the rest on sale Wednesday morning. Like we said earlier, we’re very excited about this and we plan on bringing you some real crazy videos in the very near future.

-Justin

18 thoughts on “Mondo Video Is Here! VHS Lives!

  1. Mike_m

    Interesting venture. Wonder how it works for you guys. Not a fan of the analogy of playing a record (except for the manual part I guess) since vinyl is a superior format to CDs but VHS is def an inferior format compared to DVD.

    Reply
  2. Justin

    Wow! Congrats! Looks great. Can’t wait to see what other VHS gems Mondo uncovers. I hoping “Galaxy Invader” will be in there somewhere ;-)

    Reply
  3. Mike Ambrose

    Okay, as a sympathizer for a lot of older formats (Vinyl, Reel to Reel tape, etc) I am not one of those people who scream about how old formats are inferior because they are old. There are legitimate reasons to own Vinyl over CDs/mp3s (Better mixing on a lot of releases being the primary). There are even legitimate reasons to hunt for older VHS/LD copies of movies (Cuts and/or movies that don’t exist on any other format).

    That being said, there is nothing, nothing that VHS can offer over the newer formats. Arguments can be made for releasing things on vinyl due to quality concerns about digital formats, but VHS’s offers none of those arguments. If the only reason you are releasing movies on VHS is nostalgia, then you are making a mistake (And ironically, this is the same mistake hipsters make when making a lot of decisions).

    Reply
  4. Carlos

    I am so fucking stoked for this. I have been avid-ly seeking this VHS and finally will have a copy. I’m more glad that it will be from you, and here’s to many more… LIKE:
    The Abomination
    Lunch Meat
    555

    just to name a few! SOV Horror LIVES!

    Reply
  5. BB

    Awesome work! How much will your tapes be selling for? Are you taking suggestions for future releases? I can think of several out of print classics that get sold at huge markup on the secondary market. Would love to see a reasonably priced alternative.

    Reply
  6. kyle

    thank god for this. a question, though:

    i’m guessing this outlet will be for the b-movie faire, is that correct? do you have any current aspirations to take it above the b-movie outlet (assuming that’s what you’re going to focus it on)? ie. a four lions vhs or something a little “bigger” like that?

    Reply
  7. Kharma Initiative

    Looking forward to some good old sci-fi releases.

    What can you tell us about the tapes you’re using?

    Reply
  8. dogmanaut

    I’m glad someone else shares my nostalgic love for the dead format’s unique quirks. As much as I appreciate the convenience of modern technology, there are some movies that were meant to be seen on VHS. Thanks, Mondo.

    Reply
  9. Max W.

    Awesome news! Except for I’m sure these tapes will all sell out instantly, just like all your prints. Leaving none for the slow folks like me, but plenty for the “fans” who will turn around and sell it on ebay the next day for 5 times the price. Oh well, looking forward to see your upcoming releases! Here’s my VHS cover blog, you may enjoy: http://vhscoverjunkie.tumblr.com/

    Reply
  10. Neil

    Will any more VHS be made? I missed out the first time and now the tape is $120+ on ebay. I really wouldn’t feel right watching this on DVD.

    Reply

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