Meet the Exhibitor | VHS Trash Fest

Name: Morvern Cunningham

Exhibitor: VHS Trash Fest, Liverpool

Fantasy Double Bill: TerrorVisionDemons – our opener for VHS Trash Fest 2018!

Screening: VHS Trash Fest 2018

Tell us about your organisation

VHS Trash Fest was set up in 2014 when Morvern and Ed joined forces in their love of VHS to bring the very first VHS Trash Fest to life with a marathon of trash classics in the back of a pub in Edinburgh. We’ve never looked back… Since then, VHSTF has popped up in both Glasgow and Edinburgh during Scalarama every year, screening classics such as Society, Blood Diner and Night of the Creeps. We soon got the attention of Facebook group ‘The Video Club – UK Rental VHS, Betamax & Beyond’ who started attending our events as an annual meet-up for tape heads from all over the UK. After a couple of years, they started complaining how far some people had to travel (from Brighton, Bristol, etc) so we started looking for alternative cities for our next edition. When we heard that bona fide video shop VideOdyssey had opened in Liverpool, and that it had a 100-seater cinema already set up for VHS, we couldn’t resist!

Tell us about your Scalarama event this year

We’ve got a belter of a line-up for VHS Trash Fest 2018, with two double-bills over two consecutive nights. Friday 21st September kicks off our first deadly double bill of Charles Band schlock vehicle TerrorVision (1986) followed by the immensely fun Italo-sleaze Demons (1985) directed by Lamberto Bava, son of the legendary Mario, and produced by Dario Argento. Saturday’s double-bill on 22nd September showcases the little-seen reanimated sequel Re-Animator 2 (1989) – also known as Bride of Re-Animator – and starring the legendary Jeffrey Combs as the titular mad scientist, immediately followed by the incredibly rare gang warfare thriller Enemy Territory (1987) including an early appearance by Candyman Tony Todd & a starring role from Ghostbusters’ Ray Parker Jr! Alien space monsters? Demonic possession? Reanimated body parts? Gang warfare punks? We’ve got ’em all and more at VHS Trash Festival 2018! Remember – all films screen directly from VHS!! The all-important VHS swap shop for trades and sales will be open in the venue from 6pm both nights. Tickets are £12 each night, with a bargain £20 weekend ticket (2 double-bills over 2 nights – that’s 4 slices of trash for a fiver each!).

Tell us what Scalarama means to you

Scalarama is a celebration of the high-brow and the low-brow side by side, with no elitism. Scalarama also recognises the importance of DIY cinema and the passionate people, clubs and film exhibitors who choose to share films with others. A particular benefit we’ve experienced by taking part in Scalarama year on year, has been the connections with a network of cult film programmers around the UK. Our collaboration with Scalarama Liverpool exemplifies this – they have been so welcoming to us and our festival, and we’re proud to be part of the Scalarama Liverpool programme of events this year.

Why should people come to your event?

Because it’s unique! We’re screening all of our films directly from VHS (trailers and all) in a 100-seater cinema attached to a bona fide video shop – what’s not to like? And if you’ve never watched a VHS movie in a group before – you’re missing out 🙂 A particular highlight of last year’s event was the crowd’s exuberant reaction to the Simon Bates’ 18 certificate warning (including ‘sexual swear words’) prior to the screening of Society. We promise you a VHS experience that you won’t forget! And of course, the infamous VHS swap shop will be taking place each day from 6pm. These have been growing from strength to strength year on year, with collectors and traders from around the UK attending to deal in tapes, posters and other vintage ephemera. Come and immerse yourself in this now-obsolete format, whether you’re a seasoned collector or brand new beginner!

What Scalarama event(s) besides your own are you looking forward to?

While we’re down in Liverpool this September, we’re hoping to catch one of the Reel Tours of Liverpool film locations, as well as Empty Spaces Cinema’s screening of Let’s Scare Jessica To Death on 23rd.

Anything else you want to tell people about?

Join us in Liverpool as part of Scalarama this year – it’s going to be a blast!

VHS Trash Fest present VHS Trash Fest 2018 Friday 21/09 and Saturday 22/09 at VideOdyssey.

Tickets here

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