The Home Videos series has been around for a few years. Put together by low budget specialists Trash Arts and Vestra Pictures, the films take the found footage and anthology format of the likes of V/H/S to the extreme. With some great underground directors involved such as Jason Impey, Sam Mason Bell, Tony Newton, and Jason Figgis, the results are way above expectations. It’s also good to see familiar indie actors such as Martin W. Payne
One of the great things about this concept is it allows filmmakers with no budget to let their creative juices (and blood) flow. In the first instalment, for example, Jason Impey mashes genuine footage of his childhood with modern slices of horror. This gives us a much more voyeuristic feeling than we’d get with the average found footage flick. It brings to mind the cine film in Peeping Tom where the antagonist’s father filmed his child to record his reacts to fear. Not that there’s a sinister motive in Impey’s father’s recording of his child’s birthdays and such. Other sections vary from engaging to surreal and experimental, and there are not many that don’t hit the mark. Stories intersperse and there are random flashes of innocuous footage as if the tape has been reused.
The DVD release contains all three instalments of Home Videos, each running 90 minutes, so it’s not really advisable to binge watch them as the impact will be lessened greatly. There are some really good sections amongst the vast collective running time, and some genuine nasty moments. In the third film, for example, Noel J. Rainford’s Fare Game involves footage from a taxi camera and focuses on the downright offensive passengers the poor driver picks up.
If the three Home Videos weren’t enough to tempt you to grab the disc, the release also includes Melvin, written and directed by Henry Weintraub. Running at just over an hour, this is a Toxic Avenger-type revenge film in which the title character becomes a reluctant cannibal and gets his own back on the bullies who continually prank him. The packed disc isn’t finished, as there’s a half-hour look at various American monster legends such as Sasquatch and Boggy Creek.
There’s no faulting the value for money on the DVD, and fans of raw, indie filmmaking will get a lot of out the shorts put together here.