Community Vault was a one-night showcase of community media from local-access stations across my home state that ranged from the absurd to the incredibly poignant.
With a presence at the Hollis Flea Market spanning nearly 20 years, and more than a decade of selling VHS tapes, it’s unlikely the Barn will be going anywhere anytime soon. (Ever try to sell out an inventory of 40,000 tapes? Not an easy venture).
In the U.S., we take the influence of Hong Kong’s “Golden Age” for granted, but you can see its fingerprints on everything from the 2000 film version of CHARLIE’S ANGELS and the UNDISPUTED sequels to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the JOHN WICK films. NO RETREAT, NO SURRENDER was a very early version of that classic Hong Kong fight choreography mapped to an American film production, and made primarily for an audience that had gotten its kicks from flicks like THE KARATE KID.
The objects that line the shelves of this museum’s walls couldn’t be more different — a pair of oven-melted glasses sits alongside a group of “flip” cell phones and an antique doorknob, among other exhibit configurations — but all of them, now divorced from their primary use, attain artifactual value in this museum setting. However, in the space between an object and the donor who once used it, an odd phenomenon emerges …
Above all other descriptors, LET’S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH is deeply atmospheric, and that’s due in no small part to the choices in location — they are every bit as idyllic as they are menacing.