DVD & Digital HD: Videoman (2018)
I remember the 1980’s well, and especially the golden age of VHS, where collecting ex-rental videos and the thrill of the chase in searching for that elusive missing movie was a pastime that the ‘digital generation’ with everything at their fingertips can barely conceive.
Videoman ticked all the nostalgia buttons for me, despite being set in 2017. It’s strange, yet compelling, mixture of giallo and social realism genres make for a narrative that often takes left turns at the most unexpected of moments.
Ennio (Stefan Sauk) used to run a successful video rental store back in the 1980’s, but now finds his extensive VHS collection, that he keeps in his basement, a sad reminder of better days.
Not content with giving up on the movie format that he loves so much, he decides to start renting VHS movies again from his house.
Out of the blue comes a phone call from a person known only as ‘Faceless’: a collector of rare VHS movies who offers him €10,000 for his copy of ‘Zombie’.
Seeing this offer as a way for him to avoid his imminent eviction through money problems, Ennio sets up a meeting with Faceless to sell his prized movie.
Unfortunately for Ennio ‘Zombie’ goes missing, and so begins a frantic search for where it could be, and/or who could have taken it.
Along the way he meets Simone (Lina Nilsson), an alcoholic woman obsessed with the 1980’s, and as Ennio and Simone’s relationship brings them ever closer together, Ennio’s grip on reality begins to unwind (no VHS pun intended) as the search for his missing movie takes him into ever darker places.
Videoman will resonate with anyone who collected movies back in the 1980’s and can remember the sheer joy of walking into a video store to peruse all of the box art vying for your attention. Younger viewers may well not get the nostalgia kick that is embedded within the core of the movie, but there are themes throughout that will hook everyone.
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