A few months back, Geofree C. of Enter the Man-Cave emailed us this:
Hello my fellow Philadelphian brethren at Kindertrauma,
I will keep this short and sweet. When I was a little kid back in ’81-’82 (yeah I’m old), I remember HBO used to show a short film as filler between their programming. The short in question is called “The Tape” I believe. It is about a man who goes to a job interview (I think) and is attacked by a massive mound of reel-to-reel tape. The man finds a magnet which he uses to fend off the sinister tape, but puts it down to make his escape. The Tape uses this opportunity to wrap around the man and eat him. All that is left is his clothes…it even spits out a shoe. Back in the day, it creeped me out. Nowadays, I would appreciate a stop-motion, low budget attempt at entertainment by a hopeful filmmaker now that I am older. If anyone knows the name of this short or could point me in the right direction to see this again after many years, I would greatly appreciate it. I researched the internet over the last year or so and have been unsuccessful, so trust me that I am not asking this out of laziness. I put this on my website Enter the Man-Cave as well, but the response and accuracy at kindertrauma is uncanny. And if I can’t trust a uber-blog like kindertrauma run by a fellow Philadelphian, who can I trust to help me out? If this has already been posted and I missed it…my apologies!
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
Having addressed this short with Reader Phibes a few months before, I emailed Geofree the answer and forgot about it until it popped up again this past week from Reader Bill P. who emailed us this:
I can’t remember if I have submitted this before, or seen it in your archives but his has bugged me forever. Back in the good old days of cable, when they had short subjects between movies; I saw one about a guy who goes to an office for a job interview. He finds the office empty and wanders around calling out and looking for signs of life. He wanders into a sound editing room and suddenly tape begins unreeling off a rack of spools and attacks him. He is chased around and around, at one point he finds a magnet and fends off this seething mass of tape, until one bit of it burrows into the carpet and comes up behind him and the rest follows, swallowing him up, leaving nothing but empty clothes. The entire time the tape is in motion it makes this sped-up rewinding sound, even having weird little conversations with its component parts. Any leads on this would be greatly appreciated.
The answer to both questions is the 1975 short RECORDED LIVE:
Chalk me up as a tyke who was freaked out by this nifty little short as well. I don’t remember how old I was when I first saw it (it had to be 4 or 5), but man, it scared me to death! I think it was thanks to the little noises the thing made, and that not only did it eat the guy completely, but the sucker covered its tracks!
“A thing by S.S. Wilson”! One of the writers of Tremors. And some other known things, but nothing else as cool as Tremors.
This is great! Never seen it before, but even as an adult it’s easy to see how the hopelessness of the conclusion, and the weird sounds of the tape, would be enough to fuel a few sleepless nights.
Oh for the good old days when you could see awesome short films on HBO inbetween the big films. Great stuff all around.
Oh god, leave it to Kindertrauma and it’s awesome readers to constantly pull out memories I was trying to repress. The just reminds how awesome these channels used to be. Not that HBO wasn’t awesome when I could watch The Wire, Sopranos, Rome, Deadwood and Oz all in the same week. But this kind of stuff (Recorded Live) was so off the beaten path. Reminds me of the early cable days when Nickelodeon would show things like The Third Eye and Tomorrow People. I miss the old days of cable.
Kinda reminds me of “The Blob”…
Holy crap! I hadn’t thought of this in ages! It’s still a lot of fun and extremely well done. I was planning to say something snarky about the choice of scoring the short with that old player piano style score, but the closing credits reveal that the music is by New Age pianist George Winston! Wild!
Hoo Yah! Dank you Dank You! You Folks are the Best Out Dere Bar None. You have been for at least three years my home page for the scary and verboten. Every other day I log on, catch your bits, and then travel on your wonderfully wide-ranging highway of different. Bill P.