With a DIY aesthetic reminiscent of the 80’s horror boom that provides the inspiration for the 9 tracks found on Hi-FI Horror (Uncut Edition), this Punk/Death/Grind offering from Canada’s VHS is a rotting blast from the past.
80’s horror and slasher films in particular are as popular with Worship Metal as Metal itself so this should be a match made in heaven! While the endless references to gore-filled schlock horror certainly had as reminiscing about the eye-catching, splatter-filled video covers that caught our attention as children, there was an aching familiarity to a feeling we also had when we finally rented those taboo-breaking odes to gory glory….the promise of so much more than is actually delivered. That same feeling is appropriate here. VHS do deliver a thrill but it’s not quite a match for the level of expectation we had before diving in, the idea surpassing the actuality of the product.
Nevertheless, VHS do conjure great imagery with their quick-fire bursts of noise and there’s great fun to be had in trying to identify the plethora of movies VHS are growling about. Here’s how we fared in this particular guessing game: The 20 seconds of “Choke On It” echoes the final words of Captain Rhodes as zombies tear him in two in Romero’s brilliantly bleak Day Of The Dead. The thrashy “Fornicating In The Furniture Room” takes the underrated sci-fi slasher Chopping Mall as inspiration while “There Shall Be Nights Of Terror” and “Radioactive Rat Attack” refer to two Z-grade exercises in terror in the shape of Andrea Bianchi’s Burial Ground (aka Le Notti Del Terrore, Nights Of Terror, The Zombie Dead) and Bruno Mattei’s Rats: Night Of Terror respectively. The inimitable Friday The 13th franchise crops up in “When Sleeping Bag Meets Tree”, an unsubtle nod to Jason’s unsubtle dispatch of a teen in Friday The 13th Part 7: The New Blood (a sure-fire classic if only Paramount would reinstate all the excised gore footage!) while “The Tastiest Chilli In Texas” is a comedic ode to Tobe Hooper’s brutally humorous The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Lucio Fulci’s seminal zombie epic The Beyond is the inspiration for “Possessed/Room 36” but as for the remaining 2 tracks – “Hairspray And Blood” and “Weight Reduction Through Terror” – we give up! Any suggestions, pop ’em in the comments below.
As indicated, there’s a lot of nostalgic fun to be had with Hi-FI Horror (Uncut Edition) but it’s unfortunately a little too throwaway to leave a lasting impression – much like the majority of straight to video B-movie nonsense that hit the shelves in the 80’s – but its dedication to keeping the classics of horror cinema alive should be commended. 6/10