Read VICE MOVIE CLUB: BAD RONALD at Vice Magazine
The Apocalypse is coming in a mere eight days according to the Biblical calculations of Evangelical math guy Harold Camping and his Family Radio Worldwide media group. With the clock ticking, there’s no better time than the present for us to take a little look at the countless films and television programs generated to feed the evangelical and born again appetite for all things rapture. To help you make sense of the tribulations to come next Saturday, we met up with Christian VHS enthusiasts Harry Merritt and Reid Bingham of Cinebeasts to get the lowdown on the apocalypse as foretold by the Evangelical film and television industry.
VIDEO 50 is a televised artwork made in 1978 that depicts the dream life of television, while anticipating the flexibility of video in the computer age. The work is 50 minutes long and consists of 100 episodes, each 30 seconds in length. As per Wilson’s intentions, each episode can be viewed separately or in groups, in any order, for any duration of time.
Human Resources is a guy who makes really good music, and Eyebodega are two dudes who have their hands in a whole bunch of different creative pots. The two camps recently got together and scrounged up a lot of weird, sampled media, on purpose and frequently at random, then mutated it until something beautiful happened. The result is a 20-minute VHS tape called Saving Lady/Pauline, with Human Resources providing the sounds and Eyebodega conjuring the visuals. I talked to them about this project over at Vice Magazine.
A consideration of the suspense films of Brian De Palma, for Vol. 1 Brooklyn
Brian De Palma’s films are about either amateur detectives or monsters. Without conducting a poll or consulting the grosses, my gut tells me that the monster movies have been more successful at imprinting themselves on the culture and enriching their investors. Among these, Scarface and Carrie have surely left the deepest impressions, for they are films in which every single character manages to take a turn at being a violent grotesque. Tony Montana isn’t simply a guy who sold and snorted too much coke before getting his head blown off, he’s a folk hero who gets to hang out at the top for a minutes, while Carrie White presents the ultimate sad-sack teenager who gets to off her mom and the kids at school in a great big fireball of justified pyrohormonal rage. Like all great monsters, they destroy all they they encounter until they self-destruct.
I have this VHS tape labeled “Slap Happy” that was given to me by a friend who works as a porn actress. She doesn’t remember where it came from. The first hour of the tape is this weird old lady doing some kind of calisthenics routine for seniors around the edge of her bed. It involves a lot of clapping. There is no soundtrack and she does not talk at any point. I’m not sure whether it’s actually a workout video or performance art or what, but it is one of the most hypnotic and creepy things I’ve ever seen.
About a year ago I brought it over to Tucker’s house so we could watch it on the roof along with Nightmare on Elm Street 3 while drinking beer with our shirts off. At some point I got drunk and left without the tape, which gave Tucker the opportunity to steal its contents and make a music video for his band. The song is called “Life On Easy Street (uCouldDieInBedstuy)” and it’s about how life is pretty easy but the video kind of suggests that you could die in Bed-Stuy. I predict that if Tucker dies in Bed-Stuy it will be from falling off of his roof while making videos.
John Maus is a philosopher, professor, and musical composer who used to perform with Ariel Pink and Panda Bear. Nowadays he’s more or less exclusively a solo act. When he performs, Maus hits a button on his sequencer and launches into the most passionate, sweaty karaoke act you’ve ever seen, alternately jabbing his eye or his heart with the microphone while spit dribbles down his chin. My girlfriend loves John Maus. She says she loves John Maus because “he’s a mentally ill creep and hella hunky.” My girlfriend says I “should also note that he basically wears a uniform every day of his life: a button up shirt and New Balances. I’ve never seen him perform in anything else.” Here is my girlfriend’s hella hunky love at Market Hotel a few nights ago.