Thursday, April 8, 2010

FFB: Video Trash and Treasures by L.A...

FFB: Video Trash and Treasures by L.A. Morse

Like the video store, video rental guides were booming business in the 80s and just as on line options have and are killing the video store the net is also killing the video guide book.

For today's Friday Forgotten book I have pulled out my copy of Video Trash and Treasures Volume I, which appeared in 1989 and for my money was one of the better examples of fringe video rental guide books. Divided into festivals, the book looks not only at the individual films but the genre or more often sub-sub genre the film most belongs to. For instance there is a post apocylpse chapter that starts off talking about Mad Max and Road Warrior giving the reader basis for understanding the type of film the chapter is going to cover. Films, mostly ones that were made to cash in on the success of the better known films in the genre, are each given a synopsis and then a review. What I like about this format is that it's pretty easy to identify which festival you need to look at if you are looking for; a Star Wars rip off, a Conan wanna be, or a flick that's riffing on Jaws. I don't always agree with the reviews, I have happy memories and still enjoy watching many of the films that Mr. Morse didn't care for, but I have to respect all the dreck he was willing to sit through for this book.

Video guides have come and gone over the years, each seem to be fading faster and faster into obsolescence with the weekly release of new films on DVD and Bluray. DVD of course has mostly supplanted the VHS most of us grew up with, and is showing every indication of being on it's way out. As the formats have changed and titles have gone out of print, books like Video Trash and Treasure which started out as guides have now become histories, covering films that all too often are once again out of print, and may of which are largely forgotten. Honestly, a lot of them are worth forgetting. but there is plenty that is worthy of redisovery.

There was a second volume of in the series, I still have my copy of volume I, but I gave away my copy of Volume II years ago.

Thoughts, comments, favorites from the video fringe?

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

I just use the Internet now for reviews. Haven't bought one of these books in years.