I, like many of the HND writers, am an avid collector of VHS tapes. To some, collecting out dated technology is less a hobby and more the early warning sign of a serious psychological disorder. But there was a certain magic to VHS tapes that never made the transition over to DVD or, subsequently, Blu-ray. Sure the picture quality isn’t as good, but that is by no means the point of collecting. VHS represented a new and incredibly lucrative home video market and there were bajillions of films released on the insanely popular format. Many of these were horror movies and many of those never made the jump to DVD; the tragic orphans of technological progress. So therein lies one facet of their appeal. But even those films which are now readily available on the “superior formats” suffer from inferior cover art. In fact, compared to the beautiful, intricate, and often hand-painted VHS box art, lazily photo-shopped DVD covers are embarrassing. In other words, these movies came standard with genre-tastic pop art in tow.
In an effort to celebrate these works of art, we will be featuring one horror movie VHS cover every day. Be kind, rewind, and click on through to see this week’s tape…
Miami Horror 1985
I’ve never seen this film, nor has its title ever even graced my ears. But one look at the VHS cover and I can assure you I will be tracking it down post haste! Also known as Miami Golem (oh the Italians and their multiple titles), Miami Horror was released by AIP. No, not American International Pictures (one of Corman’s great schlock purveyors). Rather this is Action International Pictures. This cover is more jam-packed with crap than a George Lucas film post 1998. There’s a swamp mobile in dire peril, a pair of dog-fighting helicopters, the painted figure of a man who vaguely resembles Tor Johnson next to a woman with massive knockers, and a monster-y, snake-y thing overseeing everything. Amazing! This is most likely a piss-poor film, but the cover is the perfect example of marketing by way of sensory overload.