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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Alamo Drafthouse announces 2019 VHStival, a festival for all you analog nerds

Illustration for article titled Alamo Drafthouse announces 2019 VHStival, a festival for all you analog nerds
Image: VHStival

Tired: The McConaissance. Wired: The Analogaissance. And with those delightfully senseless portmanteaus in mind, Alamo Drafthouse has formally announced its second annual VHStival, to be held at Video Vortex at the Raleigh, North Carolina location from August 29 through September 1. Sponsored by the fine folks at Shudder, Troma Entertainment, and A/V Geeks, the VHStival is the “most electrifying nostalgia event where filmmakers and fans celebrate the most iconic video format.” For VHS connoisseurs this is, as you may have gathered, the most. And for those unfamiliar with Video Vortex, it’s a real-deal video rental store with over 75,000 titles to rent in VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray formats—for free. Yes, really. No, I don’t know how. Yes, god must be real, I agree.

The second annual VHStival kicks off with not one, but two sold out shows of Joe Bob Briggs’ How Rednecks Saved Hollywood, hosted by the one and only Joe Bob Briggs. The four-day event will also play host to specialty screenings of cult favorites and hidden gems, like Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout and The Toxic Avenger. Admission to the events—including what is sure to be an amazing VHS swap—in the Video Vortex lobby is free, but if you want to attend a special screening, you’ll need to purchase tickets via the festival’s official website or in person at the box office. Check out the full VHStival lineup below:



The world’s most beloved drive-in movie critic presents over 200 clips and stills to review the history of rednecks in America as told through the classics of both grindhouse and mainstream movies. You will learn: The identity of the first redneck; Why the redneck is the scariest monster in all of film history (with visual evidence); The existential difference between Forrest Gump and Sling Blade; The reason God loves rednecks... and dozens of other historical facts that you didn’t realize you needed until Joe Bob deposited them in the rear lobe of your brain. A truly gargantuan 2-hour onslaught of backwoods wildness!


Various / Directed by Various

The renowned and righteous champions of unearthing the most ridiculous bits and clips from VHS,FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL returns to VHStival 2019 with a totally awesome two-night spectacular! Come join Nick and Joe as they guide you through an analog-driven odyssey of absolute home video insanity, complete with one night focused on the eye-popping, flesh-spewing show they have deemed FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL AFTER DARK! Fans of the weirdest of the rewind weird, with a twist of signature comedy commentary, these shows are not to be missed!


1982 / Directed by Frank Henenlotter

The feature debut of director Frank Henenlotter (Brain Damage; Frankenhooker), 1982’s BASKET CASE is perhaps his most revered; a riotous and blood-spattered midnight movie experience, now immortalized in a lavish new 4K restoration by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

Duane Bradley is a pretty ordinary guy. His formerly conjoined twin Belial, on the other hand, is a deformed, fleshy lump whom he carries around in a wicker basket. Arriving in the Big Apple and taking up a room at the seedy Hotel Broslin, the pair set about hunting down and butchering the surgeons responsible for their separation. But tensions flare up when Duane starts spending time with a pretty blonde secretary, and Belial’s homicidal tendencies reach bloody new extremes.

Filmed on a shoestring budget against the backdrop of 1980s New York (where the movie would become a staple of the infamous 42nd Street grindhouse circuit), BASKET CASE has clawed its way from its humble origins to become one of the most celebrated cult movies of all time.


1986 / Directed by Jeff Krulik, John Heyn

The ultimate ultra-independent heavy metal party documentary that swept through living rooms via VHS bootlegs comes to the big screen! Teased hair, tight pants, zebra print attire, and extreme intoxication abound as maniac metalhead youth scream and stammer into the camera and give insight on what really happened in that total tailgate blowout Maryland on May 31, 1986 before JUDAS PRIEST hit the stage! Plus, after the documentary, explore what remains of the heavy metalers 30 years later, along with more “Parking Lot” surprises and content!

*HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT Co-Creator Jeff Krulik will be on-site for a special Q and A after the film!*



1984 / Directed by Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman

Tromaville has a monstrous new hero. The Toxic Avenger is born when naive and put-upon health club mop boy Melvin Junko falls into a vat of toxic waste. Now evildoers will have a lot to lose! One of the greatest Troma films by writer and director Lloyd Kaufman, THE TOXIC AVENGER is a classic horror comedy that must be seen to be believed. If you’ve managed to go this long without catching this classic, there’s no time like the present.


1990 / Directed by Kenneth J. Hall

The scariest exercise video ever made comes to the big screen for the first time ever at VHStival 2019! Tone up and get totally terrified with the quintessential scream queen Linnea Quigley (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD; NIGHT OF THE DEMONS) as she stretches, slashes, gyrates, and mutilates her way to holistic horror fitness! Without a doubt one of the most titillating, ridiculous and fantastically fun direct-to-video workout tapes ever to invade your VCR, with plenty of blood and bare skin to surely satiate the hungriest of weird cinema hounds! WARNING: This motion picture contains scenes of horror and nudity that may be considered too intense for anyone under the age of 18!

*FIRST-EVER THEATRICAL SCREENING, with a special video intro from director Kenneth J. Hall, and an interactive workout session inside the theater!*


1998 / Directed by Various

GIRLS AT THE CARNIVAL is an inadvertent documentary, an unadulterated shot-on-video look at mid-western life in the early 1990s. As this recording was never meant for reproduction or mass viewing, each scene is rich with spontaneity; each spoken word is obviously unscripted and devoid of conscious thought. Follow Jenn, Kelly and Nellie through a world of obscenity, lust and hedonism and decide for yourself how the moral fabric of America’s heartland has dissolved like a pair of thin cotton socks soaking for weeks in a sink of extra strength bleach.

*Featuring a special appearance from Derek Erdman, who originally distributed this found-footage essential. This screening will also mark the launch of a limited edition deluxe VHS re-issue of GIRLS AT THE CARNIVAL, unleashed by LUNCHMEAT! *


2010 – 2016 / Directed by Trevor Bather

From the scummy recesses of middle-of-nowhere Delaware, unlikely shot-on-video enthusiasts Trashmonger Video emerged as an anonymous art collective in 2010. Shooting in their family and friends’ homes strictly on VHS camcorders, they’ve generated eight films to date. BLOOD KALEIDOSCOPE: THE TERROR OF TRASHMONGER VIDEO acts as compendium for the whole ordeal, incorporating stories and moments from all of their films presented in an entirely new vision. Caked in ‘90s no-fi ethos and informed as much by Kenneth Anger as by SPLATTER FARM, the films of Trashmonger Video merge the surreal and the absurd with heavy gore and powerful paranoia to create a new language within the weird world of low budget filmmaking. Dreams, nightmares, hallucinations and mind-melting inspiration... all this and more await those who gaze upon the… BLOOD KALEIDOSCOPE.

*The TRASHMONGER VIDEO art collective will be on-site for a special Q and A after the feature!*


1986 / Directed by Ted Nicolaou

There are two types of people in this world: those who enjoy fun… and adults. TERRORVISION is 100% Adult Repellent, and ranks with heavy hitters like PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and THE MONSTER SQUAD as a solid monolith of pure, undistilled power. When polyester swingers The Puttermans (Mary Woronov & Gerrit Graham) set up their swanky new satellite dish, they inadvertently beam in a carnivorous mutated spacebeast that can attack and devour through the TV. Luckily, Grandpa is a shell-shocked survivalist with a military-grade arsenal, and he and grandson Sherman are ready to blast the menace from the Putterman home. A criminally underseen goldmine of ‘80s schlock, this movie features more new wave hysteria, protoplasmic slime and hilarious dialogue than the next 20 years of video vomit would even hint at. Watch for funnybone-busting performances from Alejandro Rey as the dynamite Greek love machine Spiro and Jon Gries (a.k.a. King Vidiot from JOYSTICKS) as a guitar-shredding metal maniac named O.D! “TOO RUDE!!!” (Zack Carlson)


Various / Directed by Various

Dare to experience an utterly mind-melting menagerie of clips and snips from a collection of the weirdest, wildest, and most ridiculous VHS tapes ever to invade a VCR, compiled and curated from the LUNCHMEAT VHS archives! A mixtape that guarantees: Once you enter the Mind Rewinder, your brain will never be the same!

*Presented in celebration of the limited edition MIND REWINDER beer, brewed by NC local adult beverage heroes Trophy Brewing!*


1991 / Directed by Betty Stapleford

The Pentagon brass have a problem. They bought a former insane asylum to use as a base for an elite female unit but didn’t expect two of the most psychotic inmates to still be there! The two freaks start wreaking havoc on the Army by capturing soldiers and turning them into mindless zombies. Trapped in the tunnels under the old asylum, the soldiers must invent weapons to destroy the living dead! It’s the world’s first zombie combat rock music video!

“…the greatest shot-on-video (SOV) zombie movie of all time.” – Joseph Ziemba (AGFA, BleedingSkull.com)

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