It's Friday, October 30th...
Welcome back to the '80s, when slashers ruled the silver screen, arcade games were king and your next nightmare was as close as the local video store. It’s Friday night in the west valley and Halloween is on the horizon, that means it's time for "Friday Night Frights" at Atomic Video! 2-for-1 Horror rentals, free popcorn and 8 terrifying hours until the doors close at midnight. For the staff and customers of Atomic Video, tonight is going to be, one Hell of a night...
Call your friends, order a pizza and pop a tape in the VCR, because SHADOWORKS® and 5-time Emmy® winning writer/director Wade Stai are taking you back to the video store! Where the popcorn is stale, the movie you want is never in stock and the late fees are a real killer!
It's not a sequel. It's not a remake. It's not PG-13.
It's the return of ANALOG HORROR!
For the better part of the ‘80s, Horror ruled the world…
The VCR was the fastest selling appliance in America and from coast to coast, neighborhood video stores, mom and pop shops became nightmare merchants for neighborhood kids. It was the gory, glory days and the dawn of the “splatter movie.”
Each year, multiplexes were haunted by the titans of terror, the cinema slashers! You know their names. Freddy, Jason, Michael… but there were also countless movies, imitators, foreign knock-offs, skin flicks, violent exploitation movies and low budget marvels that found limited audiences among the drive-ins and the grindhouses from New York’s fabled 42nd Street to the sleazy cinemas on Hollywood Boulevard.
Made on a shoestring budget, relying on sex, violence and special effects, these films would find a massive audience of rabid fans on the shelves of their local video stores. Time passed, technology evolved and these films, like the once thriving video stores they populated began to slowly fade away. Now, nothing more than forgotten cult titles and obscure footnotes in pop culture history... This is ANALOG HORROR!
It was during the last night, inside the last Blockbuster Video in Tucson, Arizona that Emmy® winning writer/director, Wade Stai realized from this moment forward, there would be entire generations who would never experience these films. They would never know what it was like to wander the aisles of a video store on a Friday night with their friends and family only to discover some hidden gem among the titles on the shelf.
'FRIDAY NIGHT FRIGHTS' was created for those who had a VCR as a babysitter. It is for the horror fans and the "tapeheads" keeping the flame alive. It is for the filmmakers who used video stores as their film schools and for all the kids who will grow up not knowing what a videocassette is or how video stores changed the way we experience entertainment forever.
"Wish in one hand, sh*t in the other..."
My journey back to the video store began appropriately enough in the Horror section of a video store. More accurately what remained of the Horror section of a video store. It was the night before my birthday in 2014 and I was standing inside the corpse of the last Blockbuster Video location in Tucson on the last night it would ever be in business. This wasn’t one of the small mom & pop rental shops I grew up in, this was one of the big, slick, corporate machines that destroyed them, but in a world of Redbox and Netflix, this was still my neighborhood video store.
I stood in the desolate aisles looking at the bare shelves and thought, after tonight no one will get to experience this again. I took out my phone and snapped a few photos, then another thought hit me. It was something my girlfriend had said repeatedly as the places we loved were shuttered… when everyone is shopping online and all the retail stores and shopping malls are closed, where will people go? See, for my generation, Friday nights at the video store and weekends at the mall were our social network and they were dying right in front of me. That is when "THE VIDEO STORE MOVIE" came to me. It wasn’t a spark or a glimmer, it was like a hand grenade going off inside my skull. I knew what I wanted to do, I knew what it needed to be and I knew how to do it… but I had no idea how I was going to pull it off.
I’m not rich. Not even close. I come from a lower middle-class, blue-collar family and one of my father's favorite old chestnuts when we wanted something we couldn't afford was; "Wish in one hand, shit in the other." -- I’m not famous, or wealthy. I'm just a dude who busted his ass for years trying to do something awesome and thanks to a bit of talent, years of hard work and a lot of luck, I’ve been able to make a living on the fringes of this industry for almost 20 years. I’ve lived in L.A. and I've won plenty of awards, but I'm still an outsider. I don’t have money falling out of my asshole and I don’t have the luxury of NOT working a full-time job to survive like many of the rich kids in Hollywood. So, when things like work, bills, car repairs and real-life shit happens... it is a major setback.
By August of 2016 I'd written 6 drafts of the screenplay, 2 drafts of the planned sequel and the outlines for the third and fourth installments in case anyone should give a shit about the first. I started collecting and building key props, scouting locations and designing the world. During all of this, much like the creature in John Carpenter’s THE THING, this project infected and assimilated itself with several other projects. It evolved organically, blossoming into a thriving ecosystem. It became a living, breathing, shared universe.
Now, I need your help to bring this nightmare, kicking and screaming into reality, so I can share it with audiences around the world! I hope you will consider helping me SUPPORT FRIDAY NIGHT FRIGHTS, or you can simply help us by spreading the word to anyone who will listen.
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