Terror Tape of the Day: Night of the Creeps

Posted by Brian Salisbury - August 5th 2011 @ 10:00 am

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…

Night of the Creeps 1987

 

It is almost unlawful how much I love this movie. Saw it for the first time at a Drafthouse reunion screening two years ago and have not stopped hating the fact that I didn’t see it as a kid. Up until that screening, the film was not available on DVD and the only copy I had prior to its subsequent, Drafthouse-fueled DVD release was a laserdisc bearing this same image.

Another among the VHS powerhouses was Cannon Films. When they partnered with HBO to bring us Night of the Creeps, I truly believe they reached the height of their genius. This cover is remarkable. The detail on the face and hair of our handsome, undead Lothario is as striking as his sunken, pallid eyes and the sharp streaks of blood. The roses burst through the window granting a hint of violence and yet his expression is quite dispassionate. The signature titular font at the bottom is almost as enticing as the film’s phenomenal tagline brandished across the top; a bit of dialogue chewed and spat out by the imcomprable Tom Atkins within the movie itself. It’s a great example of a picturesque VHS cover that easily could, and definitely did, double as a poster.

Thrill me? You bet it does!

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