Basement Party 2

Basement Party 2

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Back to VHS!

I found a cool article about the resurgence in VHS culture.

The articles is about how some of the younger generation have a retro fascination with watching horror films on VHS for the aesthetics of it. It's always cool to see what was once considered a dead medium kept alive but kids into retro stuff. It's like what happened with vinyl. Back in the early-mid '90s you could not find a new release on vinyl to save your life. This is not the case anymore. This article goes on to say that there are some movies still issued on VHS.

Another part of the article talks about how it used to be fun to go to mom and pop video stores and browse the cover artwork looking for something cool to watch. I still have fond memories of browsing the horror movie section of a store like that in my hometown of Fowlerville called Marshall's, circa 9th grade (1994)

I remember there was a certain period of time in the early-mid '90s when Media distributors lost the rights to the movie John Carpenter's "Halloween," so you could only find it in video stores to rent. If you wanted to  pick up a copy at a store in the mall that sold videos (like Suncoast) you were out of luck. This was remedied in 1995 when Blockbuster bought the rights (Anchor Bay would later pick them up in 1997).  The Blockbuster version was also how I saw the movie for the first time, and the first (of many!) copies I owned. Fun fact: I saw "Halloween II" before "Halloween," when it aired on late-night cable in the fall of 1995. That viewing was what inspired me to want to check out the original.                                                                              

Anyone remember when the best place to rent movies was at a grocery store? I can remember being 8 years old and thinking no movie seemed scarier than this one (based on cover art):
I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my love for VHS. I recently found copies of  "Star Wars" (the ORIGINAL, not dicked with version) and "Conan the Barbarian" at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store for a quarter a piece. You can't beat that! I still love stumbling across something cool at a thrift store for cheap. But that, my friends, is a topic for another day. Another topic I might further address is cool VHS cover artwork for '80s movies. Chris Sims over at Comics Alliance has touched on this subject a few different times. Head over to their site and check it out if you want a chuckle, some of those covers are over the top!


  1. I just moved all my VHS tapes into the Matt-Cave. I watched a few of them, and I agree that certain movies should be seen in a lower quality than blu ray. Movies like Blade Runner...Taxi Driver...Predator. These benefit from the grainier look, imo.

  2. I would love a copy of Predator on VHS! I'm glad that I have kept mine all of these years (although some I had did get replaced by DVD versions at one point, most notably my copies of Kevin Smith movies).

  3. I'm really kicking myself for getting rid of Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead on VHS when I bought the blu-ray versions. I really dig te blu ray versions, but the VINTAGE WARRIOR in me wishes I kept those tapes...

    Predator on VHS is great. So is Predator 2. I highly recommend you pick them up if you find them.

    Love your blog, btw. This is the perfect thing for you to be doing. I am enjoying it immensely so far.

  4. Thanks for digging the blog Matt. As Nicholas Cage would: "That's high praise."

    My appreciation of VHS has slowly grown over the last several months. One thing that got me thinking about how much I enjoy it was after I spent the weekend at my friend Jesse's house in Kalamazoo around this past Halloween. (Jesse was an old co-worker and the bass player/singer in the band I was in from 2008-2009).

    Jesse wanted to show off his new TV, blue ray player, and home theater system so he popped in "Freddy Vs. Jason." I remember noticing, during the climactic battle scene, how the detail in the image was so precise it made the movie look very FAKE. I remembered thinking, for the amount of money spent on the equipment, the fakeness of a movie shouldn't jump out at me so much. It took me out of the story.

    I came to the conclusion that CGI and hi-def do not compete with rubber latex, corn syrup blood, and video fidelity. There's just something about it.

    Oh yeah, I still have my "Dawn" and "Day" VHS. They are down in the man-cave (aka "the dungeon") along with my copies of Friday the 13th 1-4, Halloween 1-6, and many others.

  5. Dude, I've always hated the era of CGI in movies. Even my brother and sister recognize that the movies we grew up with were better than what they did, because at least our movies had soul and were made with actual things, rather than a computer.

    I'll most likely replace Dawn and Day on VHS. I see VHS tapes practically everywhere.

  6. I decided my next VHS acquisition will be "Teen Wolf."