Technologically, there’s no reason to hold any particular fondness for the VHS era. In the age of Blu-Ray (and the quickly approaching epoch of 4K), the image and audio quality of the VHS format are the analog equivalent of the Atari. Films on VHS were either cropped with frequent indifference to proper framing or – still worse – desecrated with pan-and-scan. The portions of the VHS tape viewed most frequently would begin to deteriorate – meaning you were bound to find static all over the exploding head in Scanners or Phoebe Cates’ pool scene in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.
So why is there still such an abounding affection for VHS? Because adolescents weened on the format were the first generation in a century of film consumption to be able to easily watch whatever movie they wanted in their own home, however many times they wanted to watch it. The nostalgic pull of VHS is practically gravitational to a certain generation of cinephiles. So too is the allure of the VHS box cover. (continue reading) Continue Reading ›