Event Recap: SLASHBACK VIDEO: THE BEGINNING
Like the iconic horror villains they showcase, Slashback Video has returned for a trilogy after much anticipation. And if there’s anything we learned from Randy Meeks, it’s that true trilogies are all about going back to the beginning.
Slashback Video: The Beginning” celebrated its opening reception with hundreds in attendance at the Mystic Museum on Saturday night. It came as no surprise that the event would be a hit considering the amount of attention it generated on social media, which helped play a part in selling out VIP tickets.
Horror aficionados of all ages instantly stepped back in time and were welcomed with music, complimentary treats, and a completely immersive experience. A few notable attendees include James A. Janisse, Chelsea Rebecca, Travis Barker, Larry Zerner and the Boulet Brothers.
The Doctor Frankensteins of Slashback, Ryan and Ciara Turek, Erick Wessel and Kiko Bailey assembled their latest creation to embody the early ‘70s to late ‘80s era of horror. If you’ve previously visited the pop-up, rest assured that the team has kept all the fan-favorite elements true to the era, from the photo ops and vintage memorabilia to the film posters and monstrous collection of VHS tapes.
The show’s sponsors are Fangoria, Bill Neil, Fright Rags, Mixtape Massacre, Rad Coffee and the 4th Horseman. Each of their contributions (magazines, tapes, t-shirts, board games, coffee and beer respectively) added to the authenticity of dearly missed video store visits.
Many of the hundreds of VHS tapes guests gape at the sight of were donated from Neil’s vast collection. When you browse through the seemingly endless rows of tapes, you’re bound to find something for everyone whether you’re looking for a classic horror fan, B-movie buff, or your very own spawn.
While the concept is similar, the team worked their fingers to the bone to present guests with a new adventure, as they do with each installation. This time, they went the extra mile to pay homage to slasher cinema by adding a narrative element that rewinds to the very beginning.
Yeah, truly amazing.
When you first enter Slashback Video, you find yourself in the employee break room as a store clerk trainee. You get to see what a regular day on the job looks like with personalized lockers, employee of the month photos, the current work schedule and a must-watch training video.
You can take a seat on the couch during your 15-minute break and anticipate the release of Hellbound: Hellraiser II with your coworkers or snap a polaroid photo with My Pet Monster.
Once you make it past training, you’re off to do what you do best — recommend the best horror films to customers. If they want to know what’s now available, you can refer to the marquee that lists: The Fly, Chopping Mall, Friday the 13th VI, Critters and Night of the Creeps.
Pay close attention to the clues scattered throughout the mock store, and you’ll catch onto who Slashback’s mascot, Tapehead, really is.
If you’re a sucker for visuals, Slashback has such sights to show you. You’re bound to appreciate the choice of advertisements, alternate cover art, hanging mobiles and of course, artist works.
Think time flew by when you were trying to decide which movie to rent based on the original VHS covers? Well, prepare to lose track of even more time when you check out the art show portion of the exhibit.
Forty artists designed their own VHS covers to pay tribute to the imaginative sleeves of the ‘70s and ‘80s. The almighty cover is what convinced customers to give a film a watch. Even if it happened to be a dud, you could at least say the artwork was pretty cool.
Some artists crafted their customizations using broken vinyl records, colored pencils, or clay, and others used mixed media, Photoshop, or combined traditional and digital techniques. Trying to dissect just how they did it will make your head spin like little Regan MacNeil’s.
Do you remember watching Friday the 13th Part 2 for the first time? Using all your quarters to pass a certain level on Ghosts ‘N Goblins? Or wanting that talking Freddy Krueger doll you begged your parents for and never got?
Slashback Video keeps these memories alive through their nostalgic setups and photo ops. And although you can’t stack up tapes and check them out at the register, you can still admire the work put into celebrating the VHS era.
It’s no wonder Slashback Video has gained a bigger audience with each pop up since 2017. Based on the opening night turnout, it’s evident this exhibit has created an even stronger horror community in Magnolia Park, where every day is Halloween.
Travel back to the ‘70s and ‘80s and relive the good ol’ days before digital conquered all with this immersive experience. If you’re looking for a killer time, you won’t want to miss this.
“Slashback Video: The Beginning” is on display through June at the Bearded Lady’s Mystic Museum, 3204 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Admission is $12.