Straight To VHS (DVD)
When a documentary director tries to track down the makers of a mysterious 1980s video thriller, he discovers that some secrets are best left buried.
In the compelling documentary STRAIGHT TO VHS, director Emilio Silva Torres tries to track down the people responsible for ACT OF VIOLENCE IN A YOUNG JOURNALIST, Uruguay's first direct-to-video thriller. A bizarre 1980s oddity, that film combines the ineptitude of Ed Wood or THE ROOM with surprising insights into media, violence, and human relationships, even incorporating documentary footage of its own into a suspense storyline. It's developed a cult following over the decades, and Torres interviews many of its most passionate admirers in the film industry. As Torres tries to find the enigmatic director Manuel Lamas, who seemingly disappeared without a trace following his infamous film, he can only locate some of his collaborators...and they refuse to speak on camera, back out of scheduled interviews, or talk about their time on ACT OF VIOLENCE with sadness and anger. What happened during the making of that film? Was the reclusive lead more than just an actress on the project? And are some secrets best left buried for good? Torres discovers that Lamas was a profoundly difficult director, battling his own creative demons and inflicting that tension on his cast and crew. And Lamas was also responsible for a varied and now-forgotten body of work that went largely unseen, financed through mysterious means, rejected by even its intended video store audience. As Torres continues to hunt for Lamas and more information about these strange films, the documentary also investigates our collective fascination with cult movies, underground culture, and the elusive and obscure. Why has ACT OF VIOLENCE continued to compel its devoted, even obsessive, fans? Does the mystery surrounding Lamas, and his strange and dictatorial behavior during the filmmaking process, only contribute to the film's infamy? STRAIGHT TO VHS weaves a tantalizing documentary investigation, one that goes beyond just a single cult movie and its cryptic creator, and probes into cinematic obsession itself.
- Original Spanish language version of the Uruguayan cult classic 'Acto de Violencia en un Joven Periodista' (ACT OF VIOLENCE IN A YOUNG JOURNALIST)