(Above) The Dutch cover art for the VHS release of Ladyhawke (1985) – in honor of the late Rutger Hauer, one of my favorite actors growing up due largely to this film. Scanned from my personal collection of tapes.
When my dad plunked down a few bucks at a rent-to-own store to take home his first VCR, he and I christened it with a double-bill of AIP’s Frogs and Ator, the Fighting Eagle. My dad may not have had highbrow taste, but he knew a good VHS box cover when he saw one.
There are many things I no longer remember from my childhood. I can’t tell you the name of my second grade teacher. I don’t recall the make or model of our family car. But I remember Frogs. I remember Ator, the Fighting Eagle. And if you put that rent-to-own VCR in a line-up, I swear I’d still be able to pick it out, even three decades later.
That is the nostalgic sway of the VHS era for a certain generation of movie fans, a gravitational pull that swept up Tom Hodge when he made his first childhood trip to the video shoppe and came home with a copy of Tron.
A British artist known for his throwback posters of WolfCop, The Heat and Hobo With a Shotgun, Hodge shares his affection for the analog format in his new book VHS Video Cover Art, out now from Schiffer Publishing. The book brings together more than 250 pages of rare British genre covers. Hodge spoke to Deep Fried Movies about selecting those covers, finding dodgy Rambo bootlegs and what’s left on his VHS wish list. Continue Reading ›
The term “Grand Guignol” – slathered as a descriptor onto genre films which delight in over-the-top gruesomeness – originated at the turn of the 20th century at a Paris theatre famed for creating grisly, realistic horrors on stage. The Grand Guignol tradition lived on in France’s VHS covert art, a gallery of which can be found below. Continue Reading ›
One of the amusing aspects of Wayne Kinsey’s book Hammer Films: The Bray Studio Years is reading how the studio struggled with cuts forced by snooty British censors who saw Hammer’s films as prurient trash…while at the same time shooting extra gore and naughty bits for the movies’ Asian releases.
That leniency for horror’s twin pillars of boobs and bloods can be found in the collection of Japanese VHS covers below. All the images come from Jayson Kennedy’s blog Basement of Ghoulish Decadence, which is full of all manner of fantastic VHS cover art from around the globe many of them from Kennedy’s own collection. He’s also a worthy Twitter follow for champions of the analog.
And if you missed Deep Fried Movies’ countdown of the 100 best vhs horror covers back in October, you can check it out here.
(Correction) I have been informed that the Hellraiser and Branscan covers are actually South Korean. So make that “38 classic Japanese VHS covers….and two from South Korea.”