Hundred Dollars and a T-Shirt, A: A Documentary About Zines in the Northwest US DVD

The sleeve says this documentary DVD contains over sixty-four hours of zine-type footage. What?! I don’t think I watched all of it then. Or maybe I did? I don’t know. But, really, who in their right mind would want to spend that much time watching interviews and zine festival footage? SIXTY-FOUR HOURS? I LOVE zines, but come on. I think the most important lesson found here is if you really are into the zine scene, you should spend your time doing what you do best: making amazing zines and circulating them. Per many of the zine-makers interviewed in the documentary, the only way to know what a zine is is to make one. So true. And if you are positive you can’t make one due to lack of funds or originality, you are always welcome to go get some to read. There’s no harm in that! Reading is fun!

So, this DVD may bore many zinesters, but what about the uninformed public? I’m pretty sure those who aren’t into zines or have no idea what zines are, are not very likely to watch such a long, drawn-out film as this. Imagine you were someone who doesn’t give a shit about what zines are or who makes them, but figure this could be an interesting documentary and you might as well figure out what the hype is all about. Your thoughts might go something like this: “What a bunch of bored, nerdy white people. And all they talk about is themselves. There is nothing important or groundbreaking on here. This DVD sucks. I should have picked up the Bush’s Brain documentary. Or maybe the Disinformation DVD collection. Damn!” The quality of the footage isn’t spectacular, but I guess it adds to the DIY feel, and it’s not like you’d expect special effects in a documentary about zines. I’ve written, put together, and read many a zine, and never have I said to myself “I wish there was a documentary about this”—have you?

Microcosm, I hate to say this, but this DVD stinks and it was a big waste of your money, not to mention my time. Two enthusiastic thumbs down. What am I gonna do with this DVD now? I can’t even bring myself to give it as a gift and pretend I bought it for someone, because it sucks so bad. –Mr. Z (Microcosm Publishing)