Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Video Store Memories And Creepy VHS Covers

You may have noticed lately that some of us horror bloggers have taken to sharing some of our fond memories associated with going to the video store when we were young ankle biters. I had a different experience than most when I was a kid. You see, at the very end of the long aisle of videos, nearing the curtained off nudie section, was the row of 'No no.' My parents would take me and allow me to rent the latest in Disney fare or the safe PG flick but never, under any circumstances was I ever allowed to rent a horror flick.

I guess I should take a minute to describe my household a little growing up. I did so in one that loved horror films but because of the questionable content, I was not allowed to watch them. So I'd pretend to go to bed at night and sneak out into the living room and hid in the dark while my folks watched one. Or I'd luck out and sleep over at a friends house who's parents didn't really care what we watched (thank you Mr. and Mrs. Keeley!). But by and large, my real exposure and 'awakening' to horror films didn't come until I was in high school.

So when rental time came at the video store, and my dad was checking out the latest action flick or sappy romantic comedy for my mom, I'd sneak a peak down the row of horror films. I'd get that rush you get when you know you shouldn't be doing something combined with being genuinely freaked out from some of the VHS covers. These my friends are the all-time, burned to my brain, scarred for life, VHS covers.

The Company of Wolves

Just look at it. A wolf's snout coming out of some dudes face hole. And everyone's heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood by the time I first saw the cover to this film. Which made me flip my shit even more.

The Evil Dead II

A skull face staring at you from the corner of his peepers. Forget the fact that the movie was decidedly more 3 Stooges than the original. For a kid going completely by the merits of a DVD cover, this one was super duper creepalicious.


This one always reminded me of the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disneyland. In particular, the talking skullhead warning you of a certain impending doom. Scared the beejesus out of me--both the ride and movie cover.

The Gates of Hell AKA City of the Living Dead

A green skinned, rotting ghouls face was all it took to freak me out. And that one eyed look of crazy only further wratched up the creep factor.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch

With that demonic looking face in the back drop and kids partaking in the annual All Hallows Eve ritual, that was all it took to rattle this little kid's nerves.

What are some of your favorite, most creeptastic VHS video covers?

Cortez the Killer

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C.L. Hadden said...

Fulci's Zombie was one for me, as was Peter Jackson's Bad Taste - any film with a zombie whipping the bird had to be good, right? And of course all the nastiness of I Spit on your Grave, Tx Chainsaw, and The New York Ripper. But my favorite is still probably Argento's Deep Red.

Nice post!

Trav28 said...

Zombie Flesheaters

And the UK Dawn of the Dead poster

Tower Farm said...

I remember being mesmerized by several in the Marsh Supermarket video section in Muncie, IN. I always loved looking at the boxes for "Curtains" and "Unsane" (aka "Tenebre). I also remember the box for "Exorcist II" always made the movie look really scary to me. Little did I know it would turn out to be my favorite comedy of all time!

Bryce Wilson said...

The one that really sticks out for me is the back of Nightmare On Elm Street: Dream Master, the back of which showcased a full on picture of Freddy's chest faces.

Those looked a whole lot less silly when you where six let me tell you.

Will Errickson said...

Definitely Fulci's ZOMBIE, as well, and the various Herschell Gordon Lewis gorefests. But I was also mesmerized in a delightful way by the pouty bee-stung lips of Nastassja Kinski on the cover of CAT PEOPLE!

Andre said...

Yeah I was gonna say for me it was mostly the back of the covers that did it for me. Especially Sleepaway Camp (a letter home cut off midway and interrupted with drops of blood!)

Mike said...

I just want to say this is one of the best posts I have ever seen on any blog site. It sums up my childhood to a tee!
Mine were:

Evil Dead 2 - I was scared to look at it because I serious thought satan would kill me if I did.

Silent Night Deadly Night - I specifically remember staring at this case and playing the movie in my head how I thought it would be.

Halloween 4 - That white face with the little boy next to it. It was so foreign and terrifying to me at the time...and I loved it. I didn't understand how a little kid could be in a horror film considering I was told horror films were bad and not for little kids.

X-tro - Wow. I love this case I will buy the poster some day. Amazing case, freaky alien with red eyes. GOD!

Future Kill - Could possibly be the best VHS case ever. Again, another movie that I made up all in my head while looking at the case.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre 1 and 2 - Both weird and I imagined they were the most disgusting bloody gory films I would never see. Funny how tame they actually are in comparison to todays films...

The Howling IV - That half white half black case with the red eyed picture of the werewolf from the film was so nasty, I always imagined him tearing me apart and biting my face. Weird.

Emily said...

I love that HIII cover. The shadowy trick-or-treaters really got under my skin back when I was a kid.

Emily said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carl (ILHM) said...

My longstanding favorites were always DEMONS and RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 2, classic!