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…
The Video Dead 1987
Possibly the definitive direct-to-VHS horror movie, The Video Dead is truly rancid in pretty much all ways. But, ours is not to judge the quality of the film (at least not in this column). We are here to marvel at that wicked cover art! The design of the zombie is, true to form, far better than the makeup effects of the zombies in the actual film. I love the sort of anti-MTV caveat we get here and the attention to detail on the shattering tube of the television set. The blood-red, electro-static font on the word “dead” is fantastic. Thanks, Embassy!