In our present Screen Age full of likes, influencers and fake news, it’s very tempting to wrap yourself in the snug, fuzzy blanket of the 80s. And what could possibly be more 80s than the VHS? Mullets? Still, any kid growing up back then will relate to Ralph (Mason McNulty), a 12-year-old boy whose parents get him a camcorder for Christmas. It’s love at first sight! Whenever he’s home alone – and that happens a lot – he invites his BFF Josh (Rahm Braslaw) over to dig into the strange delights of late-night cable TV. Censured soft-core porn about global warming, “Painting with Joan”, home shopping hosts selling anything from pens to ‘baking soda’, Swedish sexy aliens from outer space, “Sleeping with Joan”, dumb soap operas… Pure escapist fun but this TV fantasy world spills over more and more into their reality… Many of the TV segments are Adult Swim-style spoofs featuring comedians such as Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenny and Charlene Yi but there’s more to VHYES than simply its oddball humor. Director Jack Henri Robbins, son of Tim Robbins (JACOB’S LADDER) and Susan Sarandon (ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW) – watch out for their cameos – obviously identifies with Ralph and his VHS obsession: cable television allows him to get away from an infinitely sadder reality of a family slowly falling apart… and it’s this poignant coming-of-age story that is the beating heart of the movie. All shot on gloriously grainy VHS and Beta.

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