There is ambition and then there’s Ryan Beitz. Earlier this week, Vice ran an interview with this seemingly unusual and eccentric young man, whose sole mission in life is to obtain every VHS copy of the 1994 action thriller Speed, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. And when I say that he wants every copy, I mean his goal is to somehow find and own every VHS copy that exists in the world right now. It is an absolute shame that there are multiple Real Housewives and Kardashian reality shows and this guy is still telling his story to websites. But I digress.
Beitz has set up a website called “The World Speed Project,” as well as a Facebook page with 1,772 fans as of today, through which supporters can send their VHS copies to Beitz. He already claims to have more than 500 copies, with an additional 26 Laser Disc versions, which don’t count, because that would just be ridiculous. On top of the collection, Beitz has also launched a Kickstarter project to raise money for fixing up his 15-passenger van to make it look like the out-of-control bus from Speed. In case you haven’t made the connection yet, this dude REALLY LOVES SPEED.
Why don’t you tell me what got you started collecting the Speeds?
I lived in Seattle and was super broke, and I had to come up with Christmas presents for my family. Usually I would just, like, dumpster-dive books or something and give them to them, but when I was at the pawn shop they had six copies of Speed, and I thought it would be really funny to get everybody in my family the same gift, even me. I wanted to watch them open them one at a time and go, “Oh, Speed. Don’t we already have this?” Somebody else would go, “Oh, Speed. Really funny, Ryan.” Then by the time you went around, everybody would have gotten the same gift from me. Then I could tell them that I love them all equally, you know? Just some bullshit.
Then when I bought all six it was, like, way too good. I realized it was really fascinating to have that many, like, same copies of a thing. What really cemented it was when I went to another pawn shop, and they had, like, 30 copies. I said, “I’ll take them all.” They sold them to me for 11 cents a copy.
How many copies do you have right now?
I don’t know, like 550 or something. I haven’t counted in a while ’cause who really cares?
And you’re going to collect them all.
Yeah. People always go, “Dude how many of these things are you going to get?” And I’m like, “All of them, duh.” (Via Vice)
I know that people are looking at Beitz and wondering what the hell would drive someone to work toward such a bizarre goal, but I have to admit that I think this is pretty awesome, because if it makes the guy happy and he’s not hurting anyone, then more power to him. The one question that I’m upset that Georgia Perry failed to ask, though – and I strongly urge you to read the entire interview, because Beitz has some thoughts on capitalism and Freud as well – is why he’s just settling for Speed? Why not Speed 2: Cruise Control as well? Is that the goal for after he accomplishes the first plan? Will he purchase his own boat to make it look like the cruise ship from Speed 2 or, like most of us, does he not recognize the existence of the sequel, because it was stupid to replace Keanu Reeves?
There are so many questions yet to be asked. Especially, does he really bathe in his copies of Speed? Because that’s not really bathing.