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

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")

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")

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.

Audie Cornish
Over two decades of journalism, Audie Cornish has become a recognized and trusted voice on the airwaves as co-host of NPR's flagship news program, All Things Considered.
Melissa Block
As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.