Sunday, March 18, 2012

VHS Horror Memories

They say that once you start with the “back in my day” rants, you're getting old. So, on that note, I'm going to embrace my inner old fart and look back at something that means a lot to me.
I was four years old when I watched my first horror movie (HP Lovecraft's The Unnameable). Since then, I have been addicted to anything spooky and scary. I can remember nights when I couldn't sleep and would sneak out of bed and watch movies like Hellraiser, Dr. Butcher MD, Pieces, Return of the Living Dead, Gates of Hell, Evil Dead, etc.
Before long, I didn't have to be sneaky anymore. I could watch these great movies with the rest of the family. I liked them, I was going to watch them anyway, what would be the use in stopping me? Then I got to venture into the video stores and seek out the movies of my choice. These trips introduced me to another of my favorite childhood memories.
At one time, Hendersonville NC had gobs of small mom and pop video stores (Video King, Cinema One, TR Video, Movie Stop were my main haunts). They all had thick horror sections that were off to the side in dimly lit areas. It was like light wasn't permitted into such areas. I loved it! It is those places that helped mold me into the wonderfully warped individual I am today with movies such as Devil's Rain, Sleepaway Camp, Madman, The Burning, Deathstalker, I Spit on Your Grave, Last House on the Left, movies by Lucio Fulci, Dario Argento, Mario and Lamberto Bava... it was my home away from home.
I can still remember snooping through the shelf and being in awe of the horrific artwork that adorned each box.
Today, there are very few of these stores left (if any). And movie covers are fifteen minute photoshop jobs that have nowhere near the skill of the “good ol' days.” The movies themselves were a whole new breed as well. If you watch a horror movie from the 70's or 80's, even the bad ones are still good and have merit. Even the really really bad ones are good to make fun of!
There are a few people who are trying to keep these wonderful things alive. Many director's are trying to capture the look and feel of the old greats and there are people who are working hard to preserve old VHS tapes and the cover art.
If you're an old tape fart like me, then you understand this little tribute and the pictures above are making you smile.


Also be sure to check out the guys at VHShitfest

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