VCR-based gaming existed in one of those strange little pockets of entertainment history when the public wanted an immersive, interactive audio-visual experience before the technology truly existed to make such an experience possible or in any way convincing. While considered the height of novelty in the late ’80s and early ’90s, these games now seem especially clunky and embarrassing, often winding up at garage sales and thrift shops. The good people of the Found Footage Festival, who once created a video series for this site, have decided to honor the dubious legacy of VCR board games with a dandy supercut that emphasizes the shoddy production values, strained premises, and truly abysmal acting of these long-ago favorites.
The delights here are many: Rich Little finding an excuse to do some theoretically funny voices even while (ostensibly) playing charades, an irritable Next Generation-era Klingon (Robert O’Reilly) demanding a response from viewers, and even a sheepish Dana Carvey donning his Garth Algar costume once more as part of some ill-considered Wayne’s World cash grab. Screaming is a major motif in this video. Perhaps operating under the assumption that their games would be playing in the background at noisy parties, the performers in this supercut spend a lot of time bellowing directly into the camera. A particular offender is Belorussian actor Wenanty Nosul, who snorts, growls, and chortles outrageously as the cloak-wearing Gatekeeper in 1991’s Nightmare. In dramatic contrast is Gene Swindell, who is unsettlingly serene as a friendly, evangelistic angler in 1985’s Fisherman VCR Bible Game. Swindell, in fact, seems like one of the only VCR game hosts who doesn’t actively hate his viewers.