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Mondo Video Brings Back VHS

Mondo Video Brings Back VHS (photo)

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No longer content to be the coolest, nerdiest indie movie poster label on the Interwebs, the dudes at Mondo are expanding into the world of video. And when I say video, I mean video. Today, Mondo announced the launch of Mondo Video, which will release films on VHS. Their first title is “Sledgehammer,” a 1983 horror film that was, appropriately, shot on videotape. Here is the trailer for the film, in all its analog glory.

Mondo Video Presents SLEDGEHAMMER on VHS from Severin Films on Vimeo.

First of all, I’m surprised these guys could even find someone that still manufactures VHS tapes at this point, but leave it to Mondo to do the borderline impossible (and borderline insane). I don’t know how many people still have VCRs around to play video tapes, but it can’t be many (my friends and I actually share one machine that we pass back and forth whenever someone needs to use it). Regardless, this new label still makes sense to me. Vinyl’s made a big comeback in recent years; I know people who collect records now who don’t even own a working record player. This works along the same basic principle.

To my mind, there are certain reasons why someone would buy a VHS tape of a film they could also buy on DVD (and you’ll be able to buy “Sledgehammer” on DVD, if you prefer, tomorrow). Collectibility, a big part of Mondo’s modus operandi, would be one. Nostalgia would be the other, particularly in the case of a quick and dirty little film like “Sledgehammer” which was both shot and intended to be viewed on VHS. And I could see other movies finding new appeal on VHS as well. I’ve long argued that films of a certain grimy atmosphere are best viewed in degraded copies, rather than on pristine, wet-from-the-lab prints. To me, the proper way to watch a “Friday the 13th” movie is on a beat-up tape your buddy’s uncle copied off HBO, with plenty of video roll and watery audio.

To a certain demented mind there’s actually something appealing about those VHS imperfections. Video ages and degrades in a way that’s kind of beautiful. There’s a certain validation in a crappy video copy of a film, since each blur and pop and skip represents all the times it’s been played. I literally watched my VHS copy of “Gymkata” to death; the first five minutes of the tape are so worn out they’re basically unviewable. But that video destruction is a sort of badge of honor; I loved this thing so much and here is the proof. And I know that there are filmmakers like Michel Gondry (whose “Be Kind Rewind” is about the beauty of old videotapes and special effects) and Harmony Korine (whose “Trash Humpers” was shot on videotape and edited on two VCRs) out there who agree with me.

Either of those films would make ideal future Mondo Video releases (and, of course, a “Gymkata” VHS would break my brain in half with joy). But for now, the “Sledgehammer” VHS will be available on on Tuesday.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…