An Australian volunteer who was doing whatever volunteers do in PNG.
I was there for 2 years until Dec 2005 .. I hope I made the most of it.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Bad VCD's

Yesterday I went into Lae to do some banking and I had a bit of time to spare while waiting for my lift so I popped into Brian Bell (PNG's leading retailer - with a very annoying ad on radio with a jingle that goes "hey hey mister B") to browse for a while. I stumbled as I usually do to have a look at VCD's on sale.

PNG seems to have taken to the VCD's in a big way. Probably because they are very cheap. At 14 kina you can walk home with a copy of a latest film that has come out only recently in the cinemas back in Australia. And when no cinema's exist in Lae this is a big plus for the entertainment starved locals.

The reason they are so cheap is because they are all bad quality pirated movies made in Malaysia using the old video camera mounted on a tripod trick at the back of the cinema.

I have purchased a couple of them so far, these being "Eternal sunshine for the spotless mind" and "Shrek 2". The quality has been passable and only once have I noticed a black silhouette of a figure stand up and leave their seat.

From what I have been told in regard to some of the other VCD's people have got the quality can become almost unwatchable. I was told a story about one film where halfway through it the video camera tilts forward on the tripod and for five minutes there is nothing but footage of some guys shoe. In another there is the distinct sound of someone munching on popcorn throughout the film and it's not unlikely that you will hear plenty of laughter from the audience if you are watching a comedy.

Some of the VCD's that land on the shores here are not only dubious in quality but the content of the films is dubious quality as well. After looking through some of the C grade crap yesterday on the shelves I had a laugh at the description of one film called "666: The Demon Child". I even wrote down the synopsis it made me cringe so much.
Five archaeology students discover an unusual egg, which hatches releasing a demon child into the world. The creature attacks the students who try and discover its origins. This leads them to a hidden temple, the sacred tomb of the giants and millions more eggs...

Pity I could not scan in the backside so you can see the demon child attacking the students. Very funny stuff. I might just buy it for looking so bad.