Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tape Headz Session 1: Hiding Out (1987)

Our first viewing session was a smashing success, viewing the classic 1987 comedy/thriller Hiding Out starring John Cryer. Everyone ate popcorn.

The selection process was pretty fun. Some people gave a large amount of points to individual films and others split them up evenly between several. The selections and final ratings were:

Hiding Out - 110
The Last Starfighter - 106
Night Patrol - 82
Robot Jox - 72
Police State 2000 - 50
Dragon Against Vampire - 50
Monster Squad - 20
No More Baths - 10

The sneak-peaks were for a Burt Reynolds film called Rent-A-Cop and a Donald Sutherland film called The Trouble With Spies. Both were fun, but not cool enough to receive more than a one from most viewers. The exception was Andy, who liked the brevity and quality of the previews.

Hiding Out was a very strange film, starting out as a gory action thriller, moving into an offbeat teen comedy with a slightly gross romance, and shifting back to the action thriller. There was a great scene where an FBI agent said he had to take a wicked dump, a super gory kill, John Cryer flying out a window, and a great all star cast.

Many points were allotted because of a specific black janitor character, specifically kool-kasting and sweet-emotion. The janitor meets John Cryer in a great scene where they start drinking in the basement of a high school, and later on there's this great shot where he's punching the crap out of Eddie Munster assassin man. The end is some truly gripping stuff.

We loved this one montage where a teacher bends over and a "YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH" sound played in the song. It was some sweet-emotion and eye-candy for everyone.

Justin and I did not like the box art. Everyone else adored the photos on front and back.

Police State 2000, Dragon Against Vampire, Monster Squad, and No More Baths are eliminated for eight days. The Last Starfighter, Night Patrol, and Robot Jox are in contention for the next viewing session.


Tape Headz: Our Mission

So much of the magic of the VHS era is lost in our world of digital streams and downloads. With Tape Headz, we relive this magic in order to recapture and better understand what made that time so great.

Tape Headz has one primary objective: to view and rate VHS based on various subjective criteria. While many may view the categories as arbitrary, we feel they do a good job reflecting both the quality of a film/show/documentary and the quality of common elements found on any VHS rental.

A viewing is in four phases: the preparation, the selection, the viewing, and the rating/discussion. The timeline looks like this.


In this phase, quarter page sheets with all of the rating categories are printed and eight tapes are selected. Tape selection can be decided by any participant of Tape Headz, but once the limit reaches eight, there can be no more.


On the back of your rating sheet, participants write down the films they want to pick. Each is given 100 points to allocate to any of these films as they see fit. You can give one film 100 points, give five different titles 20 points each, or however you see fit as long as the sum of all these does not exceed 100. Afterwards, all participants share how many points they allocated to different tapes. The bottom four tapes are put aside and cannot be selected for another Tape Headz viewing for eight days. If the following viewing takes place more than eight days later, that means it's again in fair play.


Enjoy the darned movie. It's strongly recommended that you rate the film during viewing and keep track of what you liked for discussion, although this is by no means a requirement.


Tape Headz ratings are based on eight hyphenated categories. Most of these terms are very vague for the express purpose of giving audience's some subjective decisions during their final ratings. These include the following terms.

Kool-kasting: Great acting or performances that reflect kool-kasting decisions.

Visual-touchdown: Great effects, cinematography, editing, or set design that can only be described as a visual-touchdown.

Sneak-peaks: Great sneak-peaks make a great tape.

Eye-candy: If there are any key players in the film that you think are cute, sexy, hot, etc, then this category needs some points. Can also be given if you appreciate a character who is intended to be cute, sexy, hot, etc.

Sweet-emotion: If you can relate to or appreciate the drama of a scene, then you've been struck by sweet-emotion.

Hip-tunes: Great soundtracks or sound design equate to some hip-tunes.

Spiffy-scripting: This is a catch-all term for anything related to plot/dialogue. If you really liked one line or loved a general sequence of the story, this is for you.

Cover-appeal: We judge tapes by their cover just like anybody else would. Let it all hang out with this rating of how great or putrid the box looks.

Each category receives 0 to 3 tallies based on your personal thoughts on the film. If deemed necessary, a single bonus tally can be given to only one category that really stood out. When done, the viewers add up their tallies to a single number. The highest a tape can earn is 25 including the bonus point.

Viewers then begin discussion by stating their totals in order. A category is then named off and participants chime in with their thoughts on different elements of the film. After going through and discussing all elements, the totals of all are added up and divided by the number of viewers. This average is the total score for the tape.

And that's Tape Headz! Feel free to follow along and give your own ratings to films, or simply run your own Tape Headz viewing sessions! Just make sure you follow the rules.