If you are like me and you can vividly remember the artwork on the covers of certain VHS movies sitting on the shelves of your local Family Video…then you are getting old, the blog is over, and goodnight.
Okay, not really. But seriously people, this is something that the next generation of horror fanatics will never be able to experience. Sure the movie cover is on their Netflix queue, but they will never be able to hold the film in their hand. They will never have to go from one end of the store to put the Texas Chainsaw Massacre tape into the Milo and Otis case to attempt a rental switch for the ages. They will never be like you and me, scouring Ebay and Amazon for films of which you barely remember the title, but you would buy today because the cover art would take you back to a certain place in time. Yeah, you’re still old as hell, and if you’re still reading, you’re probably just as much of a nerd as I am.
When all is said and done, we are all nerds about one thing or another. My newest internet shopping obsession is VHS tapes. You would be surprised to know that there are VHS tapes out there fetching $20, $50, and even $100! This is completely insane, but in the age of streaming media you forget to think about the films that never got DVD releases. These films are becoming insanely rare, and the streaming services aren’t rushing out to buy the rights for them. Most of the films may not be worth their time or money, but neither are hundreds of the films that are already on Netflix.
The other problem is that since some of these films never went digital, there are too many damaged and low quality transfers out there. Luckily there are companies like Full Moon Films and Shriek Show that are trying to restore many of the films we thought we had lost. I have recently purchased Necropolis and Dreamaniac from the Full Moon Grind House DVD Collection and they are awesome. They came off of VHS transfers, so although it is a DVD, you get all of the low budget grainy goodness you want from your days of 1980’s horror films.
The pictures in this post are some of the more memorable VHS cases from my childhood, that I have found at flea markets, garage sales, and Ebay. Some are more rare than others and some may get a DVD or streaming release someday. I, like many horror collectors out there, cannot wait for this. Besides, this antiquated format seems to be going the way of the vinyl record, so it may prove to be a good investment somewhere down the line. So your homework is to search Ebay for “Horror VHS OOP” and see the amazing number of films that come up in your search. You must be cautious of the insane Ebay seller, of course, asking $100 for something just because he can.
So do your research, and maybe you will have me to thank for something new to waste your money on for your film collection. I have over 350 VHS, 200 DVD, and 75 Laser Discs, so I have the collecting part down.oh yeah, I’ll give you one last tip. Spend more time in flea markets and less time on Ebay. Although, some of my best finds have come from Ebay lots where the seller didn’t really know what they had, many of my great finds come from underneath dusty flea market tables, where the seller also doesn’t know what they have. The flea market people were buying our video store stocks back in the day and now they can hardly sell their DVDs, let alone their VHS stock. So hit them hard when it’s cheap, and good luck.