Tuesday, September 26, 2017

VHS... Nevermore!

I've had a hard time letting go of my VHS tape collection the past few years... I have so many films on tape, some that took years to find in the pre-internet-shopping era, that I hoped to keep playing them for years to come. Some of these films aren't even available on DVD... many were special orders from private collectors. But the time has come to accept that I can't play my VHS tapes anymore... because the machine in my office has started 'eating' them.

Here's a pic of my circa-2010 combo-deck DVD/VCR player feasting on a copy of the rarer-than-rare 1915 silent proto-horror movie The Raven: The Life of Edgar Allan Poe.

Now I need to track down a bootleg DVD which will surely be of the same print-quality as my now-chomped tape... Sigh.

I used to love playing VHS clips in class. You cue the clip up beforehand, pop it in and then you're instantly watching the film. No DVD start-up menu, no navigating through a choose-a-scene menu... no ads before a Youtube video starts playing (..."your education brought to you by: these fine corporations...").


Double sigh.

Blair Davis, PhD

Author & Editor

Blair Davis is an Associate Professor of Media and Cinema Studies in the College of Communication at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.


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