The War Zone
These are just a few of the VHS films that continue to have a home inside my library, a library that was recently purged of many films yet a library that continues to hold some of the VHS tapes that I regard as essential to my collection.
Yes, I still have a VHS player.
So, it was with enthusiasm and curiosity that I sat myself down to watch the acclaimed documentary Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector, co-written and directed by Dan M. Kinem and Levi Peretic and a film that chronicles the intriguing world of VHS collectors who continue to this day to embrace the "older" technology that, much like vinyl for music fans, may not always be regarded as the best technology but for many folks is regarded as absolutely the best way to watch any number of films.
This Special Edition 2-DVD Release hits the public tomorrow, June 17th, and is absolutely guaranteed to please fans of VHS with an entertaining 84-minute documentary and a wealth of extras that turns this into an unbeatable release filled with tidbits, great interviews, fun Easter eggs, and so much more.
Kinem and Peretic are well known to fans of VHS as co-founders of the website VHShitfest, and it's their obvious devotion to the format and their honest passion for it that helps to turn this into a film that is respectful, entertaining, and curious. The two manage to add quite a few unique touches to Adjust Your Tracking, and while some might regard those touches as rather gimmicky they add a distinct flavor to the proceedings that adds authenticity and affection to everything that unfolds.
They've also managed to fill the documentary with a host of interviews including Troma's Lloyd Kaufman, who really disses the VHS format in favor of the more comprehensive options available on DVD, and 42nd Street Pete (If you have to ask, well, you need to look it up).
If there's anything that I completely loved about Adjust Your Tracking, it's how Kinem and Peretic have managed to infuse the film with such a richness and diversity of humanity. The interviews range from funny to endearing, while the extras range from surprisingly emotional to downright spirited.
I will confess to having chuckled when I realized that a film celebrating VHS was, in fact, being released on a two-disc DVD, but I suppose it's a recognition that both have a special place for movie fans. It's also important to note that the filmmakers are also putting out a combo-pack that includes both VHS and DVD and, quite honestly, I can't imagine any better tribute for this gem of a film.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic