Tag Archives: vhs

Trust Your Instincts (1994)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Ephemeral VHS

Running time: 24m 00s
Source film:  VHS; color; sound
Year: 1994
Director: Chris White
Production: Central Productions
Writer: Tucker Barnes
Photography/Camera: Kaye Cruz
Narration: David Arias
Technical Advisor: Det. Buzz Griffeth

Cast: Ashley Greer, Jeanette Longoria, Marj Hadnott, Norma Gutierrez, Cary Garza, Rene Lagunas, Marty Mathews, Keith Hartsfield, Joel Cabello


In the time it takes to read this review, criminals across the United States will have committed roughly three robberies, half of a rape, and about 12.5% of a murder. All this, it should be said, is calculated according to the crime rates used (without citation) at the beginning of the 1994 self-defense video, Trust Your Instincts. I feel as though about 80% of videos like this one start off with ghastly statistics about violent crime, and of those, about 50% reinforce their bullet-point precautions with title cards in ALL CAPS. This video utilizes 100% of the aforementioned techniques during its 24-minute run-time.

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Football: A Woman’s Guide (1999)

Distribution: Borndreamer
Collection: Private

Running time: 35m 00s
Source: VHS; color; sound
Year: 1999
Production: Borndreamer, Rebecca Ayers
Director: Rebecca Ayers
Writer: Rebecca Ayers
Camera: Bob Ayers
Lighting: Bob Ayers
Sound: Bob Ayers
Graphics & Editing: Motion City Films, Santa Monica, CA
Audio Editing: Marty Blasick

Cast: Nancy Barnes, Bob Ayers, Gene Moore, Nick Ayers, Brian O’Brien, Jewell Holmes & Raymond


When the American news cycle starts to contain stories of catastrophic injuries and failed adherence to concussion protocols, it means the NFL season has arrived. Often lost in the deluge of bloviating talking heads and game highlights are the rule changes approved by team owners during the league’s offseason (there were seven this year alone). Such changes — which occur nearly every offseason — can affect everything from player safety to the pace of the game itself. With so much turnover in how the game is played from year to year, how does a football fan keep track of it all? And more important, how can someone married to a football fan keep track of it when they are: a) not a fan of football; and b) a woman? Filmmaker Rebecca Ayers sought to assuage all gender-specific, football-illiterate fears with her 1999 educational film, Football: A Woman’s Guide.

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Dr. Fox Animal Series: Cat Care (1987)

Distribution: Maier Group Communication
Collection: Private

Other titles: CAT; Dr. Fox Series: Cat Care; Cat care: a video guide to successful cat care;
Running time: 43m 00s
Source: VHS; color; sound
Year: 1987
Production: United Media Production; Selluloid Video
In Cooperation with: Actors and Others For Animals

Cast: Dr. Michael Fox


Before there were YouTube tutorials and Pets WebMD (yes, it’s a real thing) people had video guides (often produced on VHS) and could learn just about any skill in the comfort of their own living room in front of their trusty VCR. From swing dancing to gardening, odds are your local library was (and still is!) a treasure trove of analog-based know-how.

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A is for AIDS (1988)

Watch now on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Educational Films

Running Time: 15m 00s
Source film: VHS; sound; color
Year: 1988
Director: Aron Ranen
Production: Perennial Education; Peregrine Productions; Charlotte K. Beyers
Writers: Charlotte K. Beyers, Aron Ranen
Music / Sound Effects: Andrew Newell
Computer Animation: Steven Walsted

Cast: Roger Peeks, Dov Christopher, Larina Williams, Jason Bennett, Jeanette Stoney, Celeste Carrion, Ryan White, Noe Zavala


Animation has a long and storied history of alliterative character names. Classic figures from Bugs Bunny and Huckleberry Hound to SpongeBob SquarePants, have wormed their way into the collective conscience and TV schedules of generations of viewers. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that creators Aron Ranen and Charlotte K. Beyers decided to use this tried-and-true formula to name the talking (doctor) dog at the center of their 1988 educational film, A is for AIDS. Dr. Andy Answer (voiced by Dov Christopher) is the sort of oracle who supernaturally pops up on the television screen at the exact moment three adolescents react with curiosity to a televised news report about the AIDS health crisis. His invitation to the kids to teleport to his laboratory seems rife with problems, both technological and otherwise.

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Musical Saw Instruction Video (1995)

Distributor: Timber Video
Collection: Private Stash

Running time: 77m
Source:  VHS; color; sound
Year: 1995
Production: Art Peterson, John Slattery
Post-Production: Art Peterson, Paul Kealoha Blake at East Bay Media Center
Executive Producer: Charlie Blacklock

Musical Saw: Charlie Blacklock
Accordion, Guitar, Vocals: Art Peterson
Fiddle: Ken Blacklock
Guitar: John Massey
Bass: Sam Morocco
Voice of Ol’ 97: Clark Delozier


Tractors, motorcycles, harmonicas, four children, two monkeys, and a musical saw: this more or less sums up the colorful character that was Charlie Blacklock. Known to many as the “Father of the Musical Saw,” he lived a full 91 years and in that time made an enormous amount of music – much of it from the teeth and blades of both traditional woodsmen saws as well as those purposefully made for musical creation. By the time Charlie died he had engineered and began selling his own variety of musical saws, the Blacklock Saw, which many consider to be the preeminent musical saw on the market to this day.

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