How about a brief introduction of yourself?
I’m simply another one of those random people on the Internet that happens to like schlocky horror and strange video clips. I enjoy the underground video scene and am happy to at least attempt to give something back in the form of these mixtapes.
What inspired you to make your mixtape?
I first stumbled across Crazy Dave and Retard-o-Tron through a mixtape usenet flood a few years ago. I was mesmerized by the combination of insane clips and in the case of crazy dave, strange setup clips. I decided that I simply had to join in on this and sat down and created Video Armageddon.
How do you get the clips?
I have a fairly large collection of genre films, mostly on Laserdisc (about 2,000+) plus a ton of DVDs and VHS, so a lot comes from my personal collection. Otherwise I scour the usual sources online (usenet, cg, t3, etc) as well as charity shops etc. Of course there is also a lot of great genre videos on DVD these days.. so it’s a combination of everything really.
How long did it take to get all the clips?
The original Video Armageddon took about 6 months to compile the clips for. Video Armageddon 2 took probably about 13 or 14 months so well over a year. I had over 6 hours of clips before I even started putting VA2 together and ended up having to get an hour or two more when all was said and done. Problem is you might have a 5 minute clip thats fairly awesome but in all honestly only about 15 seconds are truly insanely awesome so 6 or 7 hours whittles down to not very much in the editing stage. I see why a lot of mixtapes include long clips or even short films – to pad out the running time because its hard to do 70 or 80 minutes of just clips. But I hate long sequences in mixtapes so i never do that.
Were there any clips you didn’t use? (if so, which ones!)
Absolutely. Some clips seemed cool at the time but ended up just not flowing well or being kinda boring. Clips that I thought were too ‘famous’ or that people may have already seen I also took out. I know genre hounds will recognize a lot of clips no matter what you do but I at least try to keep everything fresh and generally obscure. I made a super mistake in the original Video Armageddon with the clips from things like Story of Riki. I never want to have something so “underground mainstream” again, at least not intentionally! I even avoided clips from some newer films as I figured they’d end up on everyones tape.
I also instituted a new rule on VA2 – no more than 1 clip per source – which I mostly kept to. So even if there were two really kick ass clips from one movie I only used one.
The best of the clips that didn’t get used will show up in the DVD version as an extra.
Was there anything you thought was too harsh to include?
I had a few porn clips that were a bit too close to just being pure gross out clips that I decided not to use. We’ve all seen the German or Japanese shiza video stuff, it’s not all that outrageous anymore so no real reason to throw the flow of the tape off with that sorta stuff. And while I love the most vile gore you can imagine in a horror movie I’m not the kind of person that sits around watching autopsy videos so I stayed away from that sort of thing as well.
The presentation is slick, how long did it take to edit the mixtape?
The hardest part was definitely getting the clips. The editing was easier, probably taking about a month or two.. With the original I taught myself how to use Adobe Premiere, on Video Armageddon 2 I also learned a little bit of After Effects to punch up the titles a bit. I also tried to shake things up a bit with the chromo-key and animation sequences.
The goal was always to make something that at least looked semi-professional. I didn’t want to put something out that screamed ‘I used Windows Movie Maker to do this!!!’. Obviously I’m not saying either tape is some perfectly edited piece of art.. but I at least tried to make it look good.
Do you have a favourite clip from your mixtapes?
It’s hard to pick any one clip. My favorites are the ones that are just completely insane, or completely insane when taken out of context. I think that’s one of the best things you can do – find a clip that makes reasonable sense in it’s original narrative but becomes a complete non-sequitur when show on it’s own. That or anything from a East European horror film, hard to beat that shit.
I’m a big fan of all the sub genres – horror, fantasy, gore – you name it. I love everything from the ‘classics’ to some of the better new schlock films. My favorites though are probably the delightfully cheesy low budget straight to video films from the 80s and 90s. Definitely anything by Full Moon or Charles Band.. that sort of thing.
Will there be more mixtapes from you?
The amount of time and effort Video Armageddon 2 took was staggering. I’m a big fan of trilogies so I can’t imagine not doing at least one more at some point.. but it might be a year or two. I do have something planned for probably next year, but it won’t be a mixtape in the traditional sense but should be very useful.
What can we expect in the next mixtape?
Anything else you’d like to add?
I never charge anything for these tapes and in fact urge everyone to please spread them as much as possible. The only thing I ask is if you liked it (or hated it even) drop me a note (firstname.lastname@example.org) or stop by the myspace (myspace.com/video_armageddon) and let me know. The only reason i made a second tape was because there was so much positive feedback on the original. So if you want to see a 3rd at some point let me know if you liked part 2!
Otherwise stay tuned there will be a DVD edition of VA2 sometime in the next few months. Like the original there will be a significant amount of ‘bonus’ footage to make it worth the wait and download, promise!
Many thanks to Mr. Video Armageddon man for answering our highly probing (ooh-er!) questions. I promise to review both Video Armageddon tapes soon, but needless to say, they both kick ass. So drop Mr. VA an email and demand VA3. If not, I’ll have Alex do horrible things to puppies…