One in a Crowd: Jungle Trap
VHS madness needs a little help to get on tape
By Richard Whittaker,
12:00PM, Fri. Feb. 27, 2015
The VHS era was a glorious cavalcade of low-budget debauchery and untrammeled indie idiocy. Sadly, many of those 90-minute slabs of strangeness are disappearing, with no studio to save them from the gutter from whence the came. But the brave fools of Bleeding Skull! Video are hoping to resurrect the era, one tape at a time.
The Bleeding Skull team (aka current Alamo Drafthouse Terror Tuesday host Joseph A. Ziemba, TT founder Zack Carlson, and author Annie Choi, in association with local print leviathan Mondo), has already issued some seriously weird creations, including body-swapping gorefest The Soultangler, inexplicable New Wave gambling horror Cards of Death, and the flat-out deranged Run Coyote Run (all on VHS and, for the technically challenged, digital download).
Their latest restoration is more of a first release. James Bryan, along with his longtime fellow film terrorist Renee Harmon, was one of the lead maniacs of the direct-to-video era. He churned out 11 homemade crazies between 1980 and 1987 alone, with psychoslasher Don't Go in the Woods and gonzo beat-’em-up Lady Street Fighter still holding a special place in many hearts. Yet even he could not evade the end of the mom-and-pop video store, and so his final project, Jungle Trap, was left incomplete. Decades after he finished filming, the Bleeding Skull fiends are looking to raise completion funds: Just a few thousand dollars will pay to edit and mix the extremely rough cut, add a new period-accurate synthesizer soundtrack, and get this load of lunacy out and back onto tape, where it belongs.
Find out more about Bryan's insane career at the project's Kickstarter page, and unearth more of the mad world of VHS obscurities at www.bleedingskull.com and bleedingskullvideo.com. Meanwhile, here's a quick clip of what the Skull crew is trying to save from the trash pile.
One in a Crowd is a series intended to showcase Texas film and tech projects that are crowdfunding their way to a goal, be it distribution, a prototype, or production costs. If you have a project that we should know about, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.