I think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends. Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their busy celluloid digesting day.
Collecting VHS on Facebook
Like most movie nerds of my generation, whose formative years came during the mighty reign of VHS, I have extremely fond memories of video stores. In fact, when I started writing for CHUD last August, the very first thing I chose to be Thankful For was video store memories. The video store experience wasn’t just about renting movies. That was the function. But the true fun was just being there, in the store, surrounded by hundreds of movies. In those dark, gloomy pre-Internet days, this was how I learned about the films that hadn’t been marketed directly to me during Saturday morning cartoons. A walk through the catalog film aisles (the older films, that is) was a treasure trove of discovery. The VHS box art would beckon me in. Especially the R-rated movies I couldn’t rent, and could only imagine what wonders and horrors were actually contained within. The cover artwork for many of these films became etched into my mind. Scanners. Chopping Mall. Evil Dead 2. I Spit On Your Grave. The Company of Wolves. Hard Bodies. The list could go on and on and on. Some of the artwork even scared me. These covers took on a life of their own, forming little movies in my mind that were generally hilariously off-base when I finally saw the films years later. Who knew Chopping Mall was a comedy?
Revisiting these VHS box covers now is not only a savory blast of nostalgia, it is also interesting to me in an archeological sense — both of my own tastes/fears as a child and of marketing techniques of yore. So Collecting VHS, a Facebook community collection started by a recent acquaintance of mine, Michael Monterastelli, has very quickly become one of my favorite inclusions to my Facebook status feed. As the page describes itself: Clamshells, big boxes, slashers, post apocalypse, revenge flicks, gonzo action films, slimy monster movies, low budget sword & sorcery, supernatural horror and T & A sex comedies! Be kind, rewind! Speaking of big boxes, I always loved when a lazy video store would crudely hack up big box artwork to cram into the standardized VHS case the store used, often lopping off part of the synopsis and pictures on the back of the box. Ah, the memories.
So for adding some color to my computer-bound work days, I am thankful for Collecting VHS. And if you love VHS artwork, I think you’ll soon be thankful for Collecting VHS too.