The last video store

The last video store
Original title:The last video store
Director:Cody Kennedy, Tim Rutherford
Running time:83 minutes
Release date:Not communicated
In this love letter to the era of the video store, Nyla brings in a collection of films to quite possibly the last video store on earth only to discover she has the legendary cursed tape. A film that holds the power to connect the real world to the dimension where movie fantasy exists as reality. Nyla and the video store owner unwittingly awaken a long-dormant curse that unleashes a series of classic cinematic villains plucked from the bowels of the B-movies themselves.

Mulder's Review

The Last Video Store is a heartfelt and amusing homage to the era of video stores and VHS tapes, capturing the essence of cult cinema and the fervent love that cinephiles have for physical media. Set in Blaster Video, the last remaining video store in Canada, the film revolves around Kevin, the store's owner and sole employee, and Nyla, the daughter of his most devoted customer. Their chance encounter with a mysterious and cursed VHS tape, the enigmatic video necronomicon, sets the stage for a chaotic and entertaining journey through the annals of horror and B-movie nostalgia.

The film cleverly spotlights the decline of video rental shops in the face of the digital age, a theme that resonates deeply with those who fondly remember the experience of browsing the aisles for hidden cinematic gems. Kevin's encyclopedic knowledge of B-movies and his unwavering passion for cinematic trivia take center stage as they navigate the unfolding chaos. His expertise becomes invaluable as they face off against an eclectic array of classic cinematic villains, all brought to life by the cursed tape.

What sets The Last Video Store apart is its meta-horror concept, which adds layers of humor and intrigue to the narrative. The film acknowledges its own genre tropes, poking fun at them while simultaneously paying tribute. Characters and villains draw inspiration from well-known horror icons, creating a sense of familiarity for fans. It's a playful and knowing nod to classic horror and a love letter to the cult films that many hold dear.

The film's production design and special effects contribute to its charm. Embracing a low-budget aesthetic, the filmmakers cleverly incorporate these imperfections into the narrative. The result is a seamless blend of practical gore and effects that perfectly align with the B-movie atmosphere, all while maintaining a sense of authenticity.

However, The Last Video Store does not set out to break new ground in the world of horror satire. Some of its jokes may not land, and its plot is somewhat predictable, but these minor shortcomings are forgivable in light of the film's overall sentiment and love for the subject matter. It's a film that surprises with its unexpected sentimentality, emphasizing the communal experience of sharing horror films with others.

Ultimately, The Last Video Store is far from a flawless homage, but it thrives in its sincerity and resourcefulness. Its appeal is particularly strong for those who hold the golden age of video stores and cult cinema close to their hearts. It is a must-watch for fans of both, offering a delightful blend of nostalgia and campy horror.

For enthusiasts of splatter-filled midnight movies, emotionally charged moments, and indie grit, this film stands as a valiant last stand against the encroachment of digital streaming platforms. It's a movie that should be shared with friends, just as Kevin, the passionate video store owner, would have wanted. The Last Video Store is a heartfelt and entertaining tribute to an era that many thought was lost, and it's sure to find a special place in the hearts of those who remember the joy of discovering cinematic treasures on VHS tapes.

The last video store
Directed by Cody Kennedy, Tim Rutherford
Produced by Greg Jeffs, Laurence Gendron
Written by Joshua Roach, Tim Rutherford
Starring Kevin Martin, Yaayaa Adams, Matthew Kennedy, Joshua Lenner, Leland Tilden
Cinematography : Benji Irwin
Edited by Cody Kennedy               
Production companies : Genco Pictures, The Last Video Store, NJC Picture Company
Release date : NC
Running time : 83 minutes

Seen on October 25, 2023 (press screening)

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