VHS: Viral Kills Itself (Review)

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What once has been is now lost. That statement sums up the 3rd entry into the VHS series, which truly had potential to be a huge franchise. The film was clearly rushed and created just for the sake of putting out a new installment right before Halloween.  Where VHS part 1 and 2 offered amazing shorts from seasoned film makers, the same can not be said about part 3.

To clear the air, the whole film doesn't suck. There is one decent short and one boss short, but the wraparound and final short really diminish the quality of the film. In order to give each contributor a fair shake I'll break each short down with why and why not the segment fails to deliver. I'll start with the best and work to the worst.

VHS: Viral Killed a Potential Franchise, Full Movie Review

"Parallel Monster"

If you have ever seen the TV show Sliders, think of that but to the power of 10 with demons and Satan air ships patrolling the skies. Written and directed by Nacho Vigalondo, we meet a man who opens a gate to a parallel universe. Once it opens he and his other self agree to trade places for 15 minutes.

This is the best short in the film. Nacho delivers a crazy "what if" that delivers a stunning look at a what could possible be in our mirror universe. The filming is handheld, but really tells the story with very minimal shaky cam work. The story is concise and to the point. I would love to see this idea turned into a feature. 9/10

"Dante The Great"

 When a hack magician come into ownership of a mystical cloak, he goes from a nobody to a headlining act. Greg Bishop wrote and directed this entry. Again filmed in a more traditional way, because it's a semi-documentary there are no lame or overly shaky shots here. The story is on par with Parallel Monsters in quality, but the ending leaves a bit to be desired...not a lot,just a bit.

This is the first short in the film and it's pretty cool with a great premise. The ending could have used a bit more development, but I like it for what it is. Overall this is another positive short to come out of the film. 8/10

Now we get into what drowned the film like an anchor around a newborn's neck. Had they just came up with a better wraparound and third short it could have easily saved the film, but instead we got this.


Two kids trying to show off their average skating ability hire a camera man to shoot and produce a skate video. After the get kicked out of the park, they head south ( Tijuana) to skate in a secret place.  Written and directed by Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson, this short takes part 2's "Safe Haven" concept and throws skaters into the mix.  The shooting style is almost entirely GoPro'ed and more-often-than-not is just an extreme closeup on the skater's faces,It's very distracting. What could have been a cool short just falls apart due to shooting style and lack of coherent story. Only positive....the kills?

This is the last short in the film and stands out as the worse of the bunch. 4/10 *I feel that might be to kind*

"Vicious Circles"

The worst way to tie the shorts together has been brought to you by  Marcel Sarmiento. What kills me is that a few people had to have seen this and said "Yep, it works great! Let use it as the wrap." It's all over the place and makes zero sense. Ignoring the fact that the film abandons the VHS premise completely, there are still tape tracking and static found within the cuts. Then to top it all off there is a box with a toggle switch that says UPLOAD...YEA, IN THE ICE CREAM TRUCK THERE IS A SWITCH THAT WHEN FLIPPED WILL UPLOAD EVERYTHING WE HAVE JUST SEEN...I guess using the format of VHS tapes just didn't make sense for this outing of a film titled VHS.

Reshoot the wraparound and save this could-be franchise. 0/10

Oh and not be out done, there is a mini segment that makes no sense and adds nothing to the plot. I would like to use the title "Mexican Fork Fight" for this one. What happens exactly? A Mexican kills a bunch of friends with forks while the ice cream truck drives by...1/10 at least it was better than the wrap around.

As it sits, it's a 50/50 shot of whether or not you should see or buy this. On one hand you have two cool shorts, but on the other you have a poor wraparound and two weak stories...Solution: watch the two good shorts and turn it off. Don't buy the blu-ray, wait till someone just gives it to you.
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