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  • videoarchives
  • July 19, 2022

The store is officially open: it’s Day 1 of the Video Archives Podcast!

Our first episode is now live on all the podcast apps - tune in to hear Quentin and Roger talk about the history of the original store, how the idea for the podcast came about, and the first two tapes they watched for the show, John Carpenter and Dan O’Bannon’s sci-fi comedy Dark Star, and Ulli Lommel’s rock star crime drama Cocaine Cowboys. Then, come back here to the front of the store for Counter Talk, where you can see the VHS box art for both films in full analog glory, learn more about the movies and get behind the scenes scoops about the episode taping! Let’s get into it…

The store is officially open: it’s Day 1 of the Video Archives Podcast! We taped the debut Video Archives episode way back in December 2021. (In this case, “we” is Quentin, Roger, Gala, our engineer Devon, and myself, editor/producer Josh.) Here’s a little secret; we actually recorded discussions of four films for the pilot! We ultimately decided we didn’t need more than two film segments for this first episode, but you’ll have a chance to hear about the other films initially covered on the pilot very soon - including one coming just next week, on the first Video Archives after show…

We really do record each episode inside Quentin’s VHS library. The archive rooms are lined with tapes, still on the original Video Archives shelves…and there’s lots of other groovy memorabilia too. Check out this classic store sign, in beautifully faded neon:

But let’s get into what you all are really here for - the movies! Dark Star was a debut masterpiece from a director who would go on to make many masterpieces, but it’s still singular for being Carpenter’s lone collaboration with Alien screenwriter Dan O’Bannon, and an absurdist highlight from a filmmaker with underappreciated comic skill. It was also one of the first films to really find a cult following on home video, making it a perfect first selection for the Video Archives podcast.

The Video Archives copy of Dark Star is a United Home Video clamshell that asks “What would you be like after 20 years aboard THE SPACED OUT SPACESHIP?”

It’s a special edition box complete with ‘signatures’ from the filmmakers.

Ulli Lommel’s Cocaine Cowboys features a noteworthy drop-in from Andy Warhol (and was partially filmed at Warhol’s Montauk home), but did you know this is also the debut film of the great Hong Kong/American actor Tzi Ma? He’d go on to feature in films from the Rush Hour series to Arrival and Mulan.

The official Video Archives copy is from New Pacific Pictures, where a blurry shot of the Sunset Strip (a strange choice for this decidedly East Coast film) reminds you that “All that glitters is not platinum or gold”:

Thanks to Gala, however, the collection now also features this terrific Video Gems box, with more plot description. a misspelled “Ulli Lommell” and a striking powdery title treatment:

Finally - the connection between Tommy Sullivan and Margaret Trudeau is no joke! Here they are dancing together, documented in Anthony Haden-Guest’s book on Studio 54, “The Last Party.” You’ll have to draw your own conclusions from there…

And that’s it for this week! Be sure to bookmark our website, videoarchivespodcast.com - we have some exciting features coming soon where you'll be able to learn more about Dark Star, Cocaine Cowboys and the whole Video Archives collection. While you’re here, give us a follow on Twitter! Finally, if you want to get in touch with the show, we’re planning a segment where you’ll be able to ask Quentin and Roger your burning questions. Since we don’t do email, however, you’ll have to send us your thoughts the old-fashioned way, by writing a letter to The Video Archives Podcast, c/o Earwolf Media, PO Box 66, 5551 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, 90028.

We’re so glad you’re here with us for our grand opening. Boot up your VCRs for next week’s debut after show, and another full episode with Quentin and Roger in two weeks!