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average rating is 2 out of 5


Chris Buick


Posted on:

Oct 15, 2023

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Alex Russi
Written by:
Alex Russi
Alex Russi

After his last film school is unexpectedly left bankrupt from its own president’s embezzlement, a young student filmmaker determines to go it alone and create his own submission, both self-funded and self-made for the prestigious University of North Texas film program.


VHSVID presents itself as a satirical look at the trials and tribulations of the filmmaking process, especially for new filmmakers with almost no resources and even less money. Getting actors to be in your movie, sourcing music, or even writing the damn thing, filmmaking is no mean feat.


One must start by saying that writer/director Alex Russi is an aspiring filmmaker positively brimming with undeniable passion for his craft, which is evident with this project and should absolutely be applauded. Filmmaking isn’t easy, but Russi has the desire and enthusiasm to make it work. However, as this film stands, there’s a way to go yet.


If VHSVID accomplishes anything, it does indeed prove just how painstakingly difficult the filmmaking process is, although it's unfortunate that the film itself, rather than its story, shows us that. VHSVID suffers from a severe lack of focus. Of course, one can forgive rough camera-work and poor lighting due to budget constraints all day long, but a decent, coherent and well-told story is essential. The film is littered with grating voice overs, quite often disturbing dialogue with a mishmash of silly voices and non-sequiturs very, very loosely connecting what are not so much scenes but more random streams of consciousness assembling something that could tenuously be considered a plot, and any of the more promising moments that could have shone or the jokes that could have actually been quite funny are weighed down by the rest and just don’t get off the ground. Unfortunately, it seems like a case of throwing mud at a wall and seeing what sticks. Apart from the steak gag, that was good.


However, despite all that, there is somehow an undeniable charm that flows through the film, and despite everything, one might just find themselves rooting for Alex all the way to the end. The fact that the film references Stand By Me (one of the greatest films ever made) might be a factor for me, but despite a lot of rough misses in this eccentric twelve-minute scramble, Russi, it has to be said, undoubtedly has a distinct voice, a clear sense of humour and a unique and unabashed way of storytelling meaning that with time and experience and FOCUS, they could probably make themselves a half decent filmmaker one day.


While VHSVID doesn’t hit the mark here, Russi clearly has a passion for filmmaking which one hopes can and will be honed with time. With a more focused and contained approach to storytelling, as well as executing fewer ideas with greater attention, it could be sooner rather than later.

About the Film Critic
Chris Buick
Chris Buick
Short Film
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