Strange News
5:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The Man Who Would Own All The World's 'Speed' — But Only On VHS

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Ryan Beitz feels a need for speed. Specifically, he wants to get...

RYAN BEITZ: All available VHS copies of the hit 1994 action-adventure film "Speed," starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.

BLOCK: It's called the World Speed Project. And please note, Mr. Beitz is very particular: only copies...

BEITZ: On VHS.

BLOCK: No Beta, no laser discs, no DVDs.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Ryan Beitz lives in Moscow, Idaho. He says he has more than 500 copies of the 1994 movie - you know, the one where the madman does his madman thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "SPEED")

DENNIS HOPPER: (As Howard Payne) There's a bomb on the bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is on. If it drops below 50, it blows up.

BLOCK: It may be the most action-packed movie ever made about on-street public transportation.

CORNISH: Just say bus.

BLOCK: Right. A bus. Now, when someone proclaims they're going to get every single copy of the movie "Speed" on VHS, a couple of questions come to mind.

CORNISH: First, how many copies were ever made?

BEITZ: I contacted Fox, like, a few years ago, emailed them and, like, asked them if they would give me just like a count on the production run. And they said they don't keep information like that. So there's no way I can know but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up.

CORNISH: Second, why gather every single copy of the movie "Speed" on VHS?

BEITZ: I was living in Seattle because I was going to community college there. And I walked into, like, a pawnshop-thrift store thing, and they had six identical copies of the movie "Speed." And I thought, this is totally perfect because I have six members in my family and I can buy them each the exact same gift so that each think that I love them equally. And so I bought all six right there. But then when I got them home, something was like humorous about having six identical copies, so I thought...

CORNISH: And, like, he bought more and more and then more.

BLOCK: Now, Ryan Beitz has a website and a Facebook page and a Kickstarter campaign.

CORNISH: What?

BLOCK: That's right, Audie. He's raising cash to help make his 17-passenger bus look like the big one in the movie.

BEITZ: I think I kind of have, like, maybe an obsessive or neurotic personality.

CORNISH: Ryan Beitz, he's 26, plans to go to graduate school. But for now, he is trying to collect every single copy of...

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "SPEED")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: "Speed," get ready for rush hour.

CORNISH: But only on VHS.

BLOCK: Think it'll work?

CORNISH: I don't think we can stop it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SPEED" BY BILLY IDOL)

BLOCK: This is NPR. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.