“So Wrong They’re Right” — The 8-track Movie, directed by Russ Forster

So Wrong They’re Right (1994) is a 92-minute documentary directed by Russ Forster that encapsulates a 10,000-mile journey undertaken by Russ and fellow 8-track enthusiasts Dan Sutherland around the U.S. in search of 8-track fanatics, or “trackers.” The result is over 20 interviews that delve into reminiscences, rants, political diatribes, fantasies, fix-it tips, sales pitches and everything else defining the skeptical yet inquisitive mind of the 1990s 8-track mind. It’s not a film about nostalgia, as some might suggest; it serves as a statement of outrage from a population of consumers who are tired of being told what to consume.

Stills from the film:

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The irrepressible Abbey Lavine

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James “Big Bucks” Burnette outside 14 Records, Dallas, TX

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Phil Millstein, who coined the term “So Wrong They’re Right”

Jeff Economy of Chicago and his copy of Lou Reed’s “Berlin”

Liz Russell discusses her exploding KISS tape

Marci James in her Funk and Groove 8-track bunker

Abigail Lavine, the 8-track librarian

Malcolm Riviera with the super-ejecting Wollensak 8075

Rock group Gumball talk about their 25,000 8-track tape score


Purchase So Wrong They’re Right on Amazon.com

Accolades for SO WRONG THEY’RE RIGHT:

  • Winner of Best Feature-Length Documentary at the 1995 Chicago Underground Film Festival
  • Second Place Feature-Length Film at the 1995 Central Florida
  • Wired Magazine Review (Oct 1998):
    In an era when upgrading is routine, it might seem odd that some folks would openly champion a technology that died nearly two decades ago. Yet more than a few music enthusiasts advocate the joys of the defunct 8-track tape, and these cheerful eccentrics are the subject of the intriguing documentary So Wrong They’re Right. For those too young to know better or old enough but too embarrassed to recall, 8-track tapes were the clunky forerunners of audiocassettes. After being withdrawn from the market in the early 1980s, these tapes and their players were quickly and happily forgotten by most people. So Wrong They’re Right takes the minority view, in a sweeping search of 8-track faithfuls. Interviewed are both aging boomers who prefer the medium’s peculiar charms and hipsters who like the sound and ambiance of this vanished technology.This movie presents a deadpan tribute to people who refuse to consider the past as passed.– Phil Hall

The Men Behind the Film:

  • RUSS FORSTER (director, producer, sound) is a 90s-style loser (otherwise known as a “Renaissance Man”), having toured and recorded with several unknown bands, scripted and directed several short 16mm films, and published “8-TRACK MIND” magazine practically single-handedly since 1990. His distrust of CD (a.k.a.“seedy”) technology stems from cynicism toward the lemming-like Pavlovian consumer culture of the past decade and his general unfriendliness toward the Baby Boomers who made him believe that a job at Kinkos was an incredible career move. (He only lasted a couple of years.)Russ also released a 2nd feature-length documentary on DVD, a 70-minute video about “tribute” bands bar bands that imitate famous groups down to the costumes and stage sets. The video is called TRIBUTARY, and features interviews and live footage of   GIANT BUG VILLAGE (evangelizing for GUIDED BY VOICES), MORONIC REDUCER (raping the memory of the DEAD BOYS), MONGOLOID (preaching the gospel of DEVO), and many others. He’s also gotten into the one-man-band business with his solo act RAKEHELL, and has two CD-R EPs available for purchase below.
  • DAN SUTHERLAND (cinematographer) has had many notable theatrical achievements over the past decade in his adopted home town of Chicago. Hailing from Muskegon, Michigan, Dan has written some harrowing and hilarious 8-track related adventures of his youth in the pages of “8-TRACK MIND.” Now Dan is back on track making movies, and teaching film at Chicago’s premier film school, Columbia College.

 

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