SXSW Film Fest, Day 6: "You're Next," "Rewind This!," & "Coldwater"

Rewind This!

Director: Josh Johnson
Running time: 94 minutes
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Score: 6/10

There's a very specific audience for Rewind This!, director Josh Johnson's passion project about the fascination with, and importance of, the old-school V/H/S home video format. To see if you fit into its target demographic, have a look through our past list of the 50 best bad movies and ask yourself, Would I ever watch any of these films? If your response mirrors something to the effect of, "I've seen, and loved, most of these," you're the ideal Rewind This! viewer.

A celebration of a now archaic technology, Johnson's informative doc offers a cultural history of V/H/S that's never too scholarly for its own good—if anything, it's positively anti-academic. With his roster of film critics, programmers, directors, tape collectors, and store owners, Johnson makes sure to emphasize the enjoyment factors associated with V/H/S nostalgia over stuffy history-book teachings. He accentuates interviewees' comments about hard-to-find treasures like former NFL star Bubba Smith's awkward workout video Bubba's Until it Hurts with some hilariously cheesy clips. The weirder a person's personal V/H/S collection is—like Alamo Drafthouse programmer Zack Carlson's, which, he's proud to admit, houses 82 movie titles beginning with "Dead, Deadly, or Death"—the cooler he or she comes across in Rewind This!.

And, yes, our recent gallery of the craziest horror V/H/S box cover art confirms that Complex is of the same mind as Mr. Carlson, thus Rewind This! is a charming success. Yet, featuring a majority of pro-nostalgia voices, it's preaching to a B-movie-loving choir, unabashedly catering to people who'll happily watch movies like Witchboard and Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama multiple times.

Frank Henelotter—director of 'the campy '80s flicks Basket Case and Frankenhooker—throws the gauntlet down while discussing the prestigious The Criterion Collection's "boring" DVD/Blu-ray cover art, saying with a smile, "Criterion, go fuck yourself." Whether you're ready to slap him five or shrug Henelotter's comment off as lowbrow pandering should determine your reaction to Rewind This!.

Tags: rewind_this, vhs
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