Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Political > Comedy > TV > Blue Vinyl

Blue Vinyl (Documentary)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B     Main Program: B



It is obvious that anything made of artificial materials can potentially be dangerous, but Blue Vinyl (2002) makes a stunning argument that vinyl products are far more toxic than ever thought to be and that they offer such a high amount of deadly dioxin by-product that one wonder show it could have been produced so massively for so many decades to begin with.


The threat is two-fold, from the production that causes all kinds of deadly waste products, to its application to houses and other consumer uses.  This is so bad, that burning it and throwing it out is yet another bad idea.  A variant of vinyl was even being used in hairspray and it was a big fashion material going back to science fiction and the “future worlds” imagined in the 1950s and 1960s.  The Avengers and Andy Warhol would not have quite been same without it.


Co-directors Judith Helfand and Daniel B. Gold interview every single person they can, including those who may not be very comfortable with what they are doing.  Helfand has a particular investment in this as she was dangerously and permanently affected by the production of these materials through vinyl on her house and a nearby production plant.  She calls the money she received in a settlement her “uterus money” with great irony.  The money was to buy her off, but she is using it to expose how she and literally millions of unsuspecting people have been hurt.


Anything unnaturally produced, especially out of toxic chemicals has to have some problems, but it turns out vinyl may be up there with lead, asbestos and smoking as dangers sold as safe that are beyond scandalous in the way they permanently damaged generations to come.  The title refers to the vinyl on the side of her family home.  The only problem with the program is that it offers a very sound argument, which seems to have great validity, but much more research and science is needed and the massive records they found is under-presented in the 98 minutes of the program.  Nevertheless, I believe her.


The 1.33 x 1 full frame image is recently taped and looks nice and clean for non-HD digital.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is simple stereo usually from audio taped on location, though some music has been added in post-production.  The combination is adequate for such a documentary.  Extras include a stills gallery, deleted scenes, two worthwhile bonus shorts, a different epilogue and a fine audio commentary track by the co-directors.  The extras are the equal of the feature and Docurama once again has issued another thought provoking, highly political, uncompromising look at the dark side of The American Dream.  Blue Vinyl is a must see.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com