Basement Party 2

Basement Party 2

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Essential VHS Viewing #1

Today I'm going to start a new semi-regular theme for reviews of old VHS tapes I have recently purchased and viewed. My love for the medium of VHS is no secret to regular readers of this blog and I feel like it is ESSENTIAL for watching '80s horror and action flicks. The tinny music, the wavy lines, the graininess of the footage, and the cheap production values of the video company logos at the beginning all add to the viewing experience. Here's a clip featuring some of the more well-known home video companies...

VHS also transports me back to my childhood, when renting a movie meant going to a dusty part of the grocery store (past the machine that sold Freddy Krueger stickers and 6 packs of Tab) and checking out the artwork on the boxes for the movie that looked coolest. Back then nothing beat the thrill of holding that clamshell case in your lap on the ride home, anticipating a Friday night of thrills.

In the past few months I've been seeking out and purchasing only the finest of old videos. A while back I posted a pic of a large pile of videos I found at an area Goodwill. Just two weeks ago I found some cool cheap vids at one of my local record stores; look for a post reviewing those as soon as I watch them. Today I plan on talking about three worthy additions to my growing collection I recently found on Amazon Marketplace and watched over the weekend. The titles? "The Stoned Age." "Teen Wolf." And "Squirm."

"The Stoned Age" is a comedy that came out in 1994 about two stoners in the late '70s looking for booze and broads. As for whether it's better than "Dazed and Confused?" Well, that's a matter of taste. I do prefer "Dazed" but this movie has a certain charm for it. It is at times cheesy, cartoonish, sophomoric, and thinly plotted, BUT it's also a lot of fun. Plus, there are some fine chicks in it to look at and an ass kicking soundtrack featuring Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat, and Black Sabbath.

The movie also creates it's own language with all of the slang the characters use, most of which has probably never been heard elsewhere. Here's some examples:
                                                      Worm = Back-Stabber
                                                      Lumbo = Good Weed
                                                        Talls = 16 oz. beers
                                                     Skankweed = Bad Weed  
Here's a clip where we meet our two main protagonists, Joe and Hubbs:

This movie also features Grace Slick and Paul Kantner's daughter China and has cameos by Eric Bloom and Buck Dharma from B.O.C. "The Stoned Age" is so bad it's good, and worth checking out. Just make sure you have plenty of talls to consume while watching it. 


My love for this movie is well-known, and I talked about it in my review of it's horribly unworthy sequel which I posted back in March. Not only is this flick one of my favorite '80s movies, but it's also one of my favorite movies of all time. It just hits all the right notes. I can watch this movie over and over and never tire of it. I watched it just this past Sunday and still got chills at the end where Michael J. Fox brushes past the sex goddess Pamela for the girl next door, Boof.

*Sigh* Boof. As soon as time travel technology is perfected, I'm going back to 1985 to win your love.

Another highlight of this flick? Jerry Levine as Stiles. He's the typical '80s flick teen bad influence. This movie is where I first got a look at what high school life was like. Here's a clip of him trying to buy a keg. The party store brings back memories of similar establishments I used to go to with my dad back in the day.


I first saw this '70s b-horror movie as a 13 year old in a heavily edited version that aired on the "Thriller Double Feature." Every Saturday afternoon on Detroit's Ch. 20 they would show two horror flicks, typically from the '70s and '80s. Here's a clip of the intro for that gotta love those old school low budget production values!

Anyway, I later saw "Squirm" in its' unedited glory years later when I found it on Netflix. This movie tells the story of three teens in a small Georgia town who have to face the wrath of carnivorous worms. The worms become frenzied killers after a freak lightning storms sends hundreds of thousands of volts of electricity into the wet soil. I totally love the red-headed main character, Geri, played by the beguiling Patricia Pearcy. Here's a link to pics and a clip of her brief topless scene in the film, showing a side view of her small but pert breasts.

I just can't get enough of those '70s gals!

"Squrim" is a total low-budget, drive-in movie theater style movie. The way it's filmed gives it an almost documentary feel, and I would compare it in that way to the legendary "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." Here's a clip of the trailer:

Well gang, that's all for this first entry in my series of "Essential VHS Viewing." Next on the docket? Three movies that didn't come out during the Carter or Reagan administrations but were still worthwhile: "Halloween: H20," "Halloween: Resurrection," and "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie."


  1. Great post man. I as well have been re-enjoying the world of VHS and share your opinion that there's nothing better than a 70's-80's action or horror flick on VHS. I have come to regret getting rid of certain VHS tapes once they were replaced on DVD or Blu-ray. Even though both Dawn of the Dead and Day of the Dead look great on Blu-ray...I still miss having the Day VHS (still hunting it down).

    The Stoned, that is one hell of a bad movie that you can't help but watch all the way through. Definitely some hot babes and a killer soundtrack...but there was some definite cheese to that flick.

    Here's some fun facts from The Stoned Age that may interest you: The lead asshole guy with the black hair was the "bad guy" in Powder. Some of the Blue Oyster Cult songs in the movie were actually released in the 80's, even though the movie takes place in the 70's. The rat-faced guy who they ditched about 15 minutes into the movie was one of Nero's henchmen in the new Star Trek.

    For the life of me, I do NOT know why I know all of that.

    Teen Wolf is one of my favorite movies of all time as well!! Definitely in my Top 5. Great minds think alike. I always wanted a Styles for a friend, and I think Schorsch was the closest I ever got.

    I WANNA SEE SQUIRM!!! That shit looks awesome, I have to track it down. If you can recommend some other lo-fi horror flicks worth checking out, please do. Perhaps a blog series on the topic, eh?

  2. I think I will tell Schorsch when I see him Saturday that he reminds you of Stiles. I know he will be honored.

    I kick myself over getting rid of some of my old vhs too, in particular "Clerks." I did keep a lot of the older, cooler ones (Romero's zombie flicks for example). As cheap as the budget was on "Clerks," it would make it essential to watch on video.

    Oh yeah, the guy who played Joe in "The Stoned Age" played Hellhound in "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead." Jenna watched this with me and compared Joe to Schorsch and you to Hubbs. I told her the character of Hubbs was how you viewed yourself LOL.

    Dude, "Squirm" rules. If you're interested in some lo-fi horror flicks, check out "The Pit" and "There's Nothing Out There."

  3. Joe was also the stoner guy on the beach who got a lock of his hair cut off by Gary Busey in Point Break.

    Now that's a movie I almost bought on VHS not too long ago, but its always on TV so I passed.

    Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead...that movie is a classic. Wish i had it.

  4. Oh yeah, speaking of "Don't Tell Mom," the actress who played the youngest daughter in it, Danielle Harris, was at the comic con. You may also remember her as Michael Myers' niece from Halloween 4 and 5. I didn't get a chance to talk to her though. Tis well, because I probably would have gotten nervous and tongue tied due to the crush I've had on her since she played the next door neighbor on Roseanne when I was 13.

  5. Holy shit, that's her! Haha, I know exactly who you are talking about, she was fuckin' hot on Roseanne. Christina Applegate still has a piece of my 13-year-old heart.

  6. I've been watching "Married With Children" on Netflix streaming. That show still cracks me up, lately I've been watching episodes from season 5, around the time Marcy married Jefferson. And yes, Christina Applegate is the goddess of puberty years.

  7. I have my DVR set to record MWC from TBS when they play 4 episodes in a row at like 6 am. I always liked Marcy's first husband. His guest appearances on the show after he left were some of the best episodes.

    I've been recording Roseanne from TV Land as well, and enjoying the hell out of it. Those episodes with Danielle Harris just played recently (also featuring Wings Hauser as her dad...who was the villain in Beastmaster 2! It all comes full circle!!!). It just got to where Sarah Chalke takes the reins as Becky and David is secretly living with Darlene. Good era of the show!

  8. Also, I found The Pit in its entirety on Youtube. I plan on watching it asap.

    I also found (and watched) Cemetery Man and Five Element Ninjas.