One of the best things about going to Fantastic Fest each year is discovering all the low-budget, indie, and oddball gems the festival has to offer, and this year, one of the most delightful surprises was the hilarious analog trip down memory lane, VHYes. Directed by Jack Henry Robbins and shot on VHS, the film follows a young boy who gets his first camcorder and immediately starts videotaping his life — from his favorite late-night shows, to adventures with his friends, and accidentally capturing the end of his parents’ marriage — all of it, big whoops, being taped over the video of his parents’ wedding day.
The film features an ensemble of familiar comedy faces, who pop up in roles like a constantly bickering pair of home shopping network hosts, an eerily soothing painting instructor, and the bronzed cast of softcore alien invasion porn — all captured an a cleverly intercut, extremely authentic tapestry of the kind of VHS-era madness you’d get if you watched a kid’s old videotapes from start to finish. It’s a hoot and it’s also got a lot of heart.
VHYes stars Thomas Lennon, Mark Proksch, Kerri Kenney, Charlyne Yi, and Tim Robbins and arrives in theaters nationwide on January 17th. Watch the trailer below and read my full review here.
Here’s the official synopsis for VHYes.
A bizarre retro comedy shot entirely on VHS, VHYes takes us back to a simpler time, when twelve-year-old Ralph mistakenly records home videos and his favorite late night shows over his parents’ wedding tape. The result is a nostalgic wave of home shopping clips, censored pornography, and nefarious true-crime tales that threaten to unkindly rewind Ralph’s reality.
A hypnotic narrative told through hundreds of criss-crossing vignettes and a mix of absurdist comedy, sincere drama, music, and just a touch of horror, this wholly original feature debut expertly walks the fine line between complete lunacy and total sincerity.