Video cover art of the 80s (plus FORMAT WARS!) and some videos too

Bit rambling this (nothing new), and its a sort of continuation from the article I did on Ruggero Deodatas ‘Cannibal Holocaust’. The cover art, as I showed, was brutal, and did justice to the brutality of the film;

which got me thinking about all the other fantastic video cover art of that era. In the past, when writing about post-apocalypse films of the early 80’s, I have commented that the cover art on the video was usually far more spectacular than anything the film itself offered (as the majority of the films put out on video in that period was generally low budget – major films could take months to come to video).

A classic example of great cover, BAD film;

and here is a review of the film;

Beardy Freak Review of ‘Mardi Gras Massacre’

Two of the most notorious covers (alongside Cannibal Holocaust) are here;

SS Experiment Camp

Review of SS Experiment Camp

Snuff

Review of Snuff from StompTokyo

Here is an example of a cover that sums up the film nicely – the stark, creepy cover to the brilliant Texas Chainsaw Massacre, prior to its removal off the shelves in 1984 under the Video Recordings Act;

There are a few sites out there that dedicate themselves to archiving these treasures of the recent past;

Video Cover Art of the 80s

pre-certificate video art

Killer Covers

Ade collection of cover scans from the nasties era

That got me reminiscing of the video shops of 25 years ago – something some other people were doing on this forum;

forum thread about old video shops

I love the fact that someone on that forum mentions he collected video posters – so did I, including The Alchemist, Demons Of Ludlow, Ice Pirates, Frightmare, and my most treasured, The New Barbarians, all plastered over the bedroom…..

A modern day format war is now all but over, with Blu-Ray beat HD-DVD as the next format for films & games. Bit like the video wars of the early 80’s, when there was a 3 way tussle for the main prize of being the dominant format at the time competed for space in the rental shops (only the rich could afford to buy Video Cassette films, they cost upwards of £50 per film at the time). Betamax, Video2000 and VHS all challenged, with VHS winning out. There’s an overview here;

A History of the Video Format Wars

A brief history of Video mentioning the format wars

A brief history of the VCR

Finally on this whistle stop tour of video culture in the early 80s, here are trailers or opening sequences for some of the films that were staples of early 80s video shop rentals….

1990: The Bronx Warriors

Basket Case at the IMDB

Bronx Warriors at the IMDB

Creepshow at the IMDB

The Deadly Spawn at the IMDB

Flash Gordon at the IMDB

Hawk The Slayer at the IMDB

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