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Rewind This!

4.2 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

An exploding industry without rules! Direct to-video madness! VHS vs. Beta! In the 1980s, videotape changed the world and laid the foundation for modern media culture. REWIND THIS! traces the rise and fall of VHS from its heyday as the mainstream home video format to its current status as a nostalgic relic and prize to collectors who still cherish it. Featuring interviews with both filmmakers and enthusiasts from the VHS era, including Troma legend Lloyd Kaufman, indie auteur Atom Egoyan, and Hobo with a Shotgun filmmaker Jason Eisener, REWIND THIS! is the definitive story of the format that came to be synonymous with the home video revolution. So gather up your friends and start the pizza party just make sure to have your tapes back on time. 

Special Features:
Packed with extras, including commentary, original animations, a special music video, and over an hour of bonus interview footage on laserdisc, remix culture, video panic and more!

Product Details

  • Actors: Atom Egoyan, Frank Henenlotter
  • Directors: Josh Johnson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00FUABK36
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,186 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Martin D. Wurst on September 24, 2013
Format: Amazon Video
This movie definitely succeeds in the nostalgia factor. It's nice to see that there are still serious collectors out there and why not? So many movies on VHS never made the transition to DVD, so hold onto those tapes! I guess the tragedy is they do wear out eventually. I recently had a home video from 1986 literally crumble away in my VCR before I could digitize it. That's the first time that's ever happened.

I enjoyed learning about the history of the VHS tape, especially from the Japanese market perspective. Kind of wish the movie touched on "Akira." That must have been a HUGE best seller. I feel like every serious collector picked that one up sooner or later. Rewind This covers a lot for it's running time though and there are some amusing clips from those very strange shot-on-video flicks that found its audience through colorful box art. Frank Henenlotter's (Basket Case, Brain Damage) contributions to the subject are entertaining, and I loved his disdain for Criterion's cover art- he's right! What the hell happened to good cover art? There was really cool box art with buttons that light up the monster's eyes, or that triggered a sound effect. There were holograms. Video stores in the 80's were awesome. There were cardboard ads all over the place. Lot of stuff in those stores would give you nightmares- the atmosphere was fantastic.

Back to the movie, we get good interviews with Elvira and Lloyd Kaufman too. As a kid, I was very intrigued by Surf Nazis Must Die! or ANY Elvira video...man it makes me sad that video stores are pretty much gone. On the other hand, I'll never miss Blockbuster- good riddance!

This movie also introduced me to an amazing phenomenon. A guy who likes the pan-and-scan format. Say WHAT?

Much like the pinball doc "Special When Lit," this movie left me a little sad about the serious decline of a successful business, but also very glad that they're not completely extinct. Definitely worth a look!
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Growing up as a child of the 1980′s. VHS was my life. Every Friday night I would hop on my bike after school and head down to the local video store with the largest selection of horror movies. I’d run to the back of the store where the “really good” horror movies were and enjoy the bloody feast of gory eye candy. It was a rush of adrenaline that every horror fan should experience regularly. The painted covers, the delicious puns, the bonanza of blood! Ohhh, they were some good times.

Watching the new documentary Rewind This! brought back these incredible memories with a glorious gory grin on my face through the entire 92 minute running time. Directed by Josh Johnson, Rewind This! tells the story of the 80′s VHS boom, the collectors today that are still holding on to their VHS collection, and the future for the medium. Filled with interviews from collectors as well as filmmakers from the era, the documentary has a lot of fun showing the power VHS has over fans even today. Want some vintage VCR commercials? Oh, believe me, they are all here. I especially loved the commercials that feature the state of the art “cordless remote feature” as well as the cutting edge “rewind option.” It’s a nostalgia lovers wet dream as is some of the rare VHS tapes featured.

As the doc moves on to the world of today’s cinema and the advent of streaming video, it plays as a bit of a heartbreak for horror fans. One film professor mentions how her students have no desire today to start a video collection as anything they could ever want to see is available on streaming. How sad is that? Early VHS was an artform in and of itself and film lovers of the new generation are surely missing something with the lack of a physical medium. This film understands that and celebrates the great years with great enthusiasm. This is a fantastic documentary for the film lover in all of us. Check it out!
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Format: DVD
Rewind This! is a perfect documentary; an amazing blend of historical information and personal passion, with a set of well-chosen clips that will entice newcomers and enthrall the experienced. That's really the strength of the documentary, the way it imparts all its information without feeling either too boring or too scattered. The film opens on a shot-on-VHS trip to go VHS hunting in Texas, and from there we move on to the VHS/Beta wars, the different kinds of covers, and the recent resurgence in the format. The talking heads are all interesting, and many of them are interviewed along with their collections or in other non-standard locations. Many names will be familiar to those who grew up on VHS—Frank Henenlotter, Charles Band, Lloyd Kaufman—and though many will not, the unknown enthusiasts convey their knowledge and passion effectively.

Then, of course, there are the clips. Some of them will be familiar to many viewers. Of course, Jane Fonda helped sell VHS with her famous exercise video. Some, however, are pretty obscure. Before watching Rewind This!, I didn't know that Bubba Smith released his own workout video, and the excerpts seen here are pretty convincing. We also see parts of an independent shot-on-VHS Western, a ninja flick from the late eighties, and more obvious choices like Frankenhooker. There's a good mix of the obscure and the well-known, so VHS-lovers and those born after the format's demise will be satisfied.

The DVD itself is great. The 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer is solid—contemporary material is clean and bright, and all the glorious artifacts of VHS are there when the film turns to clips. The film isn't really a visual feast, but the presentation is watchable and serves the material well. The Dolby 5.1 Surround audio is similarly good for the film.
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