The next #VHSMovieClub is at ScooterCaffe on Monday 5th April. If you’re interested in coming this post ought to answer most of your questions. If it doesn’t you can always @VHSMovieClub on Twitter to find out more.
Photo by Emily Webber
It’s 7.30pm last Monday, at the ScooterCaffe in Waterloo.
About twenty people have gathered downstairs in the stylish basement bar we’ve borrowed for the night. Some of them I know, some are complete strangers. All have answered the call of the first open-invitation #VHSMovieClub.
And all are now sitting patiently, having watched me fuck around with cables for the last forty-five minutes, working my way steadily towards the end of my tether. I can’t get the VHS player to work.
Somebody’s on their way with a copy of John Carpenter’s The Thing on DVD. We’re screening The Thing because it was my cousin Max’s favourite movie. He passed away in his sleep in November, aged just twenty-nine.
The day I heard he had died, in a state of alcohol-addled shock, I became obsessed with finding a copy of Carpenter’s 1982 horror classic on VHS. Four pints, five charity shops and several hundred cassettes later, I found it. Virtually the last tape, on the last shelf, in the last of my not-for-profit last-chance saloons.
And now we can’t watch the bastard thing. Not unless I can get this VCR and that projector to start to tango in the next two minutes. Not unless… hang on. What’s that little button. Haven’t pressed that yet. It’s marked ‘Super P’.
What the fuck is ‘Super P’?
You little beauty.
* * *
This a short excerpt from an article I’ve recently written about #VHSMovieClub. It’s for a friend of a friend, who’s putting together a journal about all things defunct. I’m hoping it captures the moment of abject terror I experienced at the prospect of having to resort to DVD at our last #VHSMovieClub – and the heavenly surge of relief as The Creature from the Black Lagoon first flickered into view, heralding the start of Max’s memorial double bill.
It was a great way to watch a classic creature double-feature, but it felt strange to have so many good people in one place and not to get to say more than the odd word to any of them – two movies pretty much monopolises a Monday evening, unless, like one or two reprobates, you’re prepared to stick around afterwards for shots on a school night.
With that in mind, we have something a bit different in mind for the next event, happening at the same venue, ScooterCaffe, from 7pm this coming Monday – that’s April 5th. It’s called #VHSMovieQuiz.
The format, as with all things #VHSMovieClub, is charmingly redundant. We’re basically talking pub quiz, sandwiching a movie screening. Except better, because pretty much every round is ‘Movies from the 80s and early 90s’. Oh, plus some sort of observation round. Think Krypton Factor for movie geeks.
And movie geeks we have, not least because Miss Geeky’s Movie Geeks of London appear ready to join forces to make this one of the moviest, geekiest comings-together ever staged. Should they put in an appearance, going on previous #VHSMovieClub events, attendance may even enter double figures. Enough for two small quiz teams at the very least, and all the excuse we need to temporarily appoint ourselves the Justice League of VHS Movie Geeks of London.
As for the main feature, it’s time to get back to basics. #VHSMovieClub only started because, returning from a trip to the local charity shop and finding myself incapable of deciding which movie to watch, I resorted to straw polling Twitter. With that in mind, anybody coming along on Monday is invited to bring along a movie of their own, and we’ll do it much the same way. Could be a bit of a lottery I know, but I guess we just wing it and hope that Stephen Fry doesn’t turn up with a copy of Peter’s Friends.
So there it is. We’ve set up an event on Yahoo! Upcoming and the usual Twtvite, both of which seem like perfectly serviceable ways to indicate that you might turn up. Coming as part of a fully-formed quiz team is even better, although any one team probably shouldn’t have more than four or five members.
Ah, and the prize. No idea. It’ll probably be pretty crap though, that’s how #VHSMovieClub rolls. If it’s prizes you’re after, best head for the bingo.