Category Archives: video rental

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/

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).

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