Inside a San Francisco basement lies The Basement, a clubhouse/community space/museum where a collection of 3,000 VHS tapes—mostly of the outré, psychotronic, cult, or just bizarre variety—are preserved, archived, and, on Wednesday nights, screened for the public. The proprietors of the Basement VHS Club are artist Mitsu Okubo, 40, and Colpa Press co-founder Luca Antonucci, 39, who have spent a decade seeking out the strangest commercial videocassettes on the planet. From SFGate:
Horror tapes make the heart of the collection. There's classics like the "Scream" series, "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and "Night of the Living Dead." The B-movie selection is equally important: "Killer Condom" (exactly what it sounds like), "Silent Night, Deadly Night"(Christmas horror),"Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers" and "Psychos in Love," which Okubo describes as "'When Harry Met Sally's' version of a slasher film."
Then there are the smut parodies: "Beaverly Hills Cop," "Foreskin Gump," "Edward Penishands" and "Wet Dream on Elm Street."[…]
But the real gems of the collection are what Okubo calls "ethnographic films."
These are tapes with titles like "How to Yo-Yo," "Tree Stand Safety" and "A Woman's Guide to Firearms." […]
The point of the collection isn't to hoard, Okubo stressed. It's to build community and expose the films to a wider audience. And if some film gets warped in the process, it's not the end of the world. For Okubo, VHS's transience is exactly what makes it special.
"I love this sort of romantic idea of watching a movie that you're only going to be able to see this one time, this one way, forever," he said.
(Thanks, Chanté McCormick!)