Saturday, January 24, 2009

Interesting Find ...

Let me preface by saying that i'm somewhat of a collector of VHS horror movies. I've got a few big boxes of them and for some reason I can't seem to resist picking up a sun faded copy of say, A Nightmare On Elm Street, when I see it for sale at a yard sale or some such event where people would still be selling VHS. I'm sure it's got something to do with my childhood and the fact that I used to rent all those sun faded movies in my youth, but there's just something about watching the classics in VHS form. In any event ...

Jen and I went snowboarding in up state New York yesterday (first time and yes, i'm currently in unspeakable pain) and we hit up a Barnes & Noble on the way home which happened to have all kinds of used VHS for sale. Being that i've never seen such things at Barnes and being that i'm a VHS junkie, I spent a good portion of time perusing their collection for the one gem that I surely would find. And I found it! I'm not a big fan of this movie (although I haven't seen it since probably the early 90's) but for $3 (plus 10% Barnes member discount!) I picked up this screener copy of Wes Craven's Shocker ...

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Pretty cool, eh? I figured a screener copy like this would surely be rare and may even be worth something, so I couldn't resist. Not to mention it's just a cool little collector's item. The back has all kinds of info about the movie and lists the street date as March 22, 1990. It goes on to say that "this cassette is property of MCA Home Video and is being provided for promotional use only. Any duplication or sale of this cassette is strictly prohibited." And yet this was for sale at Barnes & Noble! I haven't yet checked out what's actually on the cassette being that my VCR isn't even hooked up at the moment, but i'll get around to that soon enough.

I did some research when I got home and found out that while such screening cassettes are pretty rare, they're really not worth much. Companys would send out these copies of movies to retailers, as press kits of sorts, and then they could determine whether or not they wanted to purchase and sell them at their stores based on them. And I now own one of those screeners! So while it's really not worth much, it's a pretty cool new little addition to my collection. Who would've thought you'd ever find something like this at a major retail store!

I guess the bottom line is, if you see a big batch of VHS laying around for sale somewhere, browse through them! I came across a whole yard full of VHS last summer at a yard sale down the road from me and it turned out that the woman selling them used to own a video store that had the largest selection of horror flicks on the east end and she now had no use for them! Needless to say, I spent pretty much that whole weekend going through the thousands of movies on her lawn and came out with a few handfuls of gems. My favorite was probably this copy of Texas Chainsaw with some pretty badass cover art ...

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I also picked up a copy of The Town That Dreaded Sundown, which I ended up selling for $25 on E-bay. Those horror flicks that aren't out on DVD yet sell for a pretty penny, so become familiar with which ones haven't yet been given the DVD treatment and don't just walk past a bunch of VHS movies with a for sale sign on them because you're all hip and can't be bothered to watch or even touch anything that's non Blu-ray!

You will always hold a special place in my heart, VHS cassettes!

6 comments:

Steve Smith said...

I agree. I love VHS. I started collecting movies way before DVD came out, and re-buying these on DVD can be a bit of a challenge. There's something about VHS that brings back the memories of my youth... I love browsing around and finding used VHS copies of movies that I love, especially the early ones iside giant cardboard boxes with the platic case inside, sporting garish and colorful cover artwork. I have beautiful vintage tapes of H.G. Lewis' "The Wizard of Gore" and Ray Dennis Steckler's "Thrill Killers" to name a few. If only they made VHS to hold up over time. I've had the urge to watch some artifacts of my video collection only to find that the passage of time has deteriorated the tape to the point where it is unwatchable. Regardless, long live VHS! And you're right, there are many movies on VHS never released on DVD or hopelessly out of print, such as Basket Case 3, a movie I would kill for.

Johnny said...

Nice to see somebody else out there still appreciates VHS! Kudos to you!

Jason Takes Portland said...

I remember seeing a preview for Shocker when I saw the original Tim Burton Batman in the theatre, that trailer scared the crap out of me!

Way to mention "The Town that Dread Sundown"! That is a great movie. Interesting and creepy concept, not to mention that it is mostly true. I can find its influence on Texas Chainsaw and Friday the 13th 2.

thebonebreaker said...

Very Cool Johnny!

I too still have boxes of VHS tapes and I keep an eye out, whenever I come across them - a nostalgia thing, I suppose! :-)

Bearded Weirdo Reviews said...

Niiiiiice. I'm actually a big collector of old VHS myself (actually, I really just focus on VHS boxes... if I can get the tape too, great... if not, I'll still buy the box if I want it). It's cool to see someone else into it, too. I don't really know too many people who share this particular hobby/passion.

Johnny said...

The boxes are kinda all ya need now that I think about it lol. Most of the VHS I own i'll probably never even watch being that I have the DVD's or even Blu-ray's of the movies now. Although the ones that aren't on DVD yet and may never be on DVD, I still watch from time to time.