Category Archives: vhs video

Before Mad Max – There was STONE (1974)

I had this very poster hanging up on my bedroom wall for several months in the early 1980s, courtesy of the nice man from Replay video in Fazeley;

The poster tag-line is, in fact, incorrect – Stone was before Mad Max. Handily, the box art of the VHS video from the VTC label got it right;

The film is more than a Mad Max rip-off though – it was more of a descendant of that landmark Aussie film.

Stone is a 1974 Australian film, produced and directed by Sandy Harbutt. It was a low budget movie, written by Sandy Harbutt and Michael Robinson.

Police officer Stone goes undercover with the Gravediggers outlaw motorcycle gang, to find out who is murdering their members, one by one.

The film stars Ken Shorter and features Rebecca Gilling, Bill Hunter and Helen Morse. The film’s soundtrack was composed by Billy Green and featured some members of his group Sanctuary. Motorcycles featured include the legendary Kawasaki Z1(900). Stone initially rides a Norton.

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stone(film)

It is also worthy of note that the magnificent Hugh Keays-Byrne, aka ‘Toecutter’ in ‘Mad Max’, plays the role of ‘Toad’ in ‘Stone’.

Here is the theatrical trailer for the film;

It has a cult following – so much so that there was a follow up documentary;

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0282185/
– ‘Stone Forever’ Documentary at IMDB

http://www.urbancinefile.com.au/home/view.asp?Article_ID=2612 – Article on ‘Stone’ and ‘Stone Forever’ at Urban Cinefile

Finally, here is the theatrical release movie poster;

VHS Video Posters from the 1980s (both pre & post certification era) and Video Rental Chart posters! (1980s)

I guess, in a way, I am doing some free advertising for this guy here;

http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/argento1972/

but he has so much excellent VHS Video / Video Rental shop nostalgia that he recently put up on ebay, it is only fair he gets the credit. Looks like the guy owned / worked at a video shop in the 1980s, because he has some cracking posters from that era, including some Video Rental charts from 1983. You cannot really see a lot of the listings for these charts, but you can make out a fair few of the entries (I spotted the likes of Kramer vs Kramer, The Cannonball Run, The Sword & The Sorceror, Candy Stripe Nurses, The Life of Brian & Q – The Winged Serpent). The posters for forthcoming Video releases are great to look at – pity the guy did not take better pictures of them, but still, it is good to reminisce about some of these old films and their great poster art. I had a couple of these hanging up in my room when I was a teenager (both The Alchemist and Metalstorm were huge posters). If you click on the title of each movie, you get linked to their IMDB entry. Enjoy.

Video Rental Chart for 4th – 10th August 1983

Video Rental Chart 1983 (not specifically dated)

Ator The Invincible (1982)


Barbarian Women (1975)


Invincible Barbarian (1982)
& 2020 Texas Gladiators (1982)

Timeslip (1979)

Thunder (1983)

The Alchemist (1984)


The Executioner (1978)

Parasite (1982)

Ninja Terminator (1985)

The Iron Master (1983), Speed Fever (1978) & The Dark Room (1982)


Metalstorm (1983)

Once again, this is the guys ebay profile;
http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/argento1972/

Last House on the Left and Cannibal Apocalypse VHS scans (pre-certification, early 1980s)

Further to my previous post, here are the VHS cover scans of both the unsettling ‘Last House on the Left’ and the mediocre ‘Cannibal Apocalypse’;

Cannibal Apocalypse scan courtesy of;

http://www.itsonlyamovie.co.uk/

Last House on the Left scan courtesy of;

http://www.witchmans-precert-horrorvideos.freewebsitehosting.com/

VHS! VHS! VHS! (primarily 1980s)

Men of a certain age (and women too!) will feel a certain sense of pride / nostalgia / warmth upon seeing pictures of VHS video art, and even more of a feeling of general well-to-do if they are shown pictures or even video of the films the covers were advertising.

Welcome to the death-throes of true exploitation cinema – the video age! Where else, but in the comfort of your own home, were you going to get a chance to see anything like this when you were 13?

The internet can feel like a massive brain dump for those who caught on to the technologies potential as a huge repository for lost youth. But hey, who cares when I can look at old video covers!

So the reason for this post is to specifically pay tribute to those sites who cherish the appalling or brilliant Video cover art of the past. Some of these sites even do reviews of the generally low-budget, usually poor quality films. Some of these sites even have video clips of the films. Please give them a look and you will be rewarded with nothing more than a lot of fluff, but its good to turn your brain off every now and again and just wallow in the sheer pointlessness of it all.

The covers used to illustrate this blog all came from the marvellous http://www.coverbrowser.com (they do comic covers as well!)

Links!!

http://grindhousefilms.blogspot.com – lots of exploitation goodness – reviews, clips, artwork etc

http://soundtracks.cinema-suicide.com/ – a bit off message, but this site details all the soundtrack news from obscure and cult films and is very, very nice to look at.


http://scandyfactory.blogspot.com/
Not for kids! But well worth a look if you don’t mind nudity.


http://critcononline.com/video_companies_cover_art.htm
Originally a paper based fanzine, the site is great, if a bit pre-Y2K in the design of it and it has some quite disturbing (and pointless) scrolling going on.

http://blondezombies.blogspot.com/ – a few covers, some nudity, but for all round fantastic visuals with little rhyme or reason other than it looks good, then this is unbeatable. Trashy, arty, unclean fun (it is in Spanish, but it really isn’t prohibiitve to the fun the site offers if you cannot speak the language).