The Trailer Park

Back before everyone had access to streaming video on the web, we used to trade tapes of old trailers. It was like getting a brief peek at what we were missing, and all the flicks to look for when we were digging for kung fu movies.

From a Do It Yourself/punk rock perspective, it was pretty cool. Fans of these long out of print or unavailable films were building international networks of tape traders, in part as a means of gaining access to and ensuring the survival of the films they loved.

I was able to get some great flicks from trading, and it’s still kind of endearing to watch one of those old fourth generation VHS copies with the tape hiss and the tracking problems, the old TV shows at the tail end of the tape…

My favourite tape was a 6 hour odyssey of trailers. I thought of it as a sort of chain letter from one film nerd to the next, collected over the years and couriered from VCR to VCR, through sleet, rain and snow. By rail, truck or plane. Piece by piece, until it found it’s way to me. I made a copy and added a few of my own. A couple weeks later, I mailed a copy to an address in New York City, part of another trade.

Sometimes I wonder if it’s still going…


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