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WRITTEN REVIEW: Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector

There are a lot of people out there, some of which may be reading this, who have fond memories of renting VHS at their local mom and pop movie rental. Nostalgia combined with the thrill of the hunt for the rare and strange has caused a ton of mild mannered men and women to become rabid collectors of film on magnetic tape.

Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector is the brain child of Dan Kimen & Levi Peretic, who we interviewed a while back, when this film was touring the festival circuit.

The former, Kinem, being a VHS collector himself, got the idea to chronicle the underworld of VHS collecting during one of his own VHS hunts that took him through New York and New Jersey.

The film begins by taking a look at the history of VHS, and what effects Blockbuster and DVD have had on the format before it inevitably died and became resurrected by collectors.

Through interviewing many of these collectors, the motivations for collecting the outdated medium are explored. Some collect to fulfill a nostalgic love for the format, while others collect to preserve the films which would otherwise be erased from our pop culture history forever.

It's said that forty five percent of all films released on VHS have yet to find their way into another format [DVD or Blu-Ray]. Think about that for a minute. Imagine every movie that you've ever seen or at least heard of. Chances are that it's available somewhere on DVD. That unimaginably large number is slightly over half of the films ever produced up to, and including those of the VHS boom. ONLY HALF! Fourty five percent of all films could someday be lost forever. Sure some are stinkers but still!

A devoted group of hardcore collectors have begun scouring the Earth for some of these films, filling countless shelves in their home with their finds.

What makes this film so entertaining are the interviews. As the collectors tell tales of VHS hunts, I get a real understanding of how much they care about what they are doing. As a collector myself, comic books mostly, I appreciate all they go through in hopes of finding some long lost tape they have been searching for. The interviewees are likable and all seem to share the same subtle sense of humor that kept me cracking up through the film.

Adjust Your Tracking wonderfully illustrates how maligned VHS has become, though it once effected the lives of Americans so profoundly. VHS was EVERYWHERE, and if you stop and think back to a time when VHS was king, you can understand how important VHS was/is to our cultural history.

VHS collecting celebrates the highs and the lows of a phenomenon brought on by the maverick that is the VCR. That silver tongued devil who sweet talked it's way into our homes and into our hearts... and perhaps even into our bedrooms.

In the end Adjust Your Tracking is a friendly romp through VHS collecting and is perfect for any cinephile/VHS/horror collector. I enjoyed this film quite a bit and am looking forward to seeing what the guys over at VHShitFest come up with next.

For more info about Adjust Your Tracking, check out AdjustYourTracking.com.


★ ★ ★ ½