Ryan Beitz has a need for "Speed." Credit: Ryan Beitz
Ryan Beitz is the man with a need for the movie "Speed." The 26-year-old is a collector of sorts: He aims to own every VHS copy of the 1994 classic.
So stirring is Beitz’s task that it compelled the movie's screenwriter, Graham Yost, to use these touching words: “Other than world peace and ending hunger, I can think of no greater cause than what this one brave and visionary man has embarked upon.” The great feat doesn’t end there, though. Helped by a Kickstarter campaign, the film fan from Moscow, Idaho, is aiming to transform an old van into a replica of the original bomb-rigged bus.
Metro chatted with the zany collector about The World Speed Project and taking Sandra Bullock for a ride.
Obviously, what you’re doing is a waste of time, so why are you so committed?
There’s no real good reason for it. I’m dedicated only because it’s totally pointless and stupid. I’m totally dedicated to the uselessness if it.
What are you going to do with the VHS tapes?
We’ve been discussing that for years, and some of the best ideas we’ve come up with are like filling a trailer with the copies and allowing people to writhe around in them. Or maybe shooting them all into space so that potentially all an alien world will know about our culture is the movie "Speed."
Does it annoy you that people are trying to sabotage your goal by holding onto copies?
People can try to thwart me, but they are going to die and then I’ll have my copy.
Any words for the haters?
I would say to them keep doing it because whether you love or hate the World Speed Project, but especially if you hate it, you’re a part of it.
Do you play each copy to check it works?
No, definitely not, but I did at first. Actually it paid off this one time because there was a copy of "The Flintstones" that was in a "Speed" case with the "Speed" label. But I figured that one out and I’ll find that other copy.
You’re creating a replica of the bus, so are you hoping to take Sandra Bullock for a ride?
Oh man, I think I would rather take Keanu Reeves for a ride. But I would take Sandra Bullock for a ride just the same — I would take them both for a ride. I would like to be the bus rider that gets shot so Sandra drives and Keanu tries to rescue the bus, and we’ll play out the movie with me on it.