Thursday, September 4, 2014

10 Horror Movie VHS Covers Forever Etched Into My Brain

I've talked about this multiple times on my blog but there are few memories I hold as dearly as visiting the video store. I would walk through the horror section every time (even when I was too much of a pussy to watch horror movies I'd still love just looking at the covers).

When I finally became brave enough to rent the videos I would be in my local mom and pops store for 40-50 minutes looking at every cover and considering "should I rent this?" I will say this in advance, 7 of these movies I didn't rent back the and four of them I still have yet to see. Regardless I will always remember these box covers.

10. Monkey Shines
This cover terrified me. TERRIFIED ME. Look at that fucking monkey! This movie would have scared me if the entire thing was just that monkey clashing it's cymbals while staring into my soul. I put this movie off until it was available on Instant watch a few years ago. I thought it was strictly okay (although I know many who love it). 

9. House IV
Don't get me wrong the VHS covers of House and House 2 also captivated my brain but this was the one I remember really freaking me out. The previous covers had an element of comedy that I always felt this one lacked. I've yet to see this one for a pretty ridiculous reason. Despite having multiple chances to watch it I kept putting it off until I had a chance to see House 3: The Horror Show even though I knew it wasn't a legit House sequel. Thanks to FearNet a few years back I finally did get to watch that so House IV you best not disappoint!

8. Bloody New Year
Until about two years ago when I saw this cover on VHSPS' website I thought I was going insane because NO ONE knew what I was talking about. This cover always captivated me (but never scared me). I've yet to see this one but I'll probably order it off VHSPS very soon.

7. Society
I saw this movie for the first time this summer but I've remembered the cover for years. It was one of those covers that looked so bizarre that it captivated me but I wasn't sure if I actually wanted to watch it. Years later I heard nothing but praise for it and decided to grab it off VHSPS. It is nothing short of a horror masterpiece. If you haven't seen this one you owe it to yourself as a horror fan to track a copy down!

6. Halloween 2
This might be one of my all-time favorite posters. This specific image, I've seen other versions that have been changed for DVDs but it's the simplicity of this one that I adore and will always remember. This is the only movie on this list that I saw the movie before I ever saw the cover. I caught Halloween II on television right around the point I was just beginning to get brave enough to watch horror movies. That has nothing to do with the cover, just a fun fact.

5. Elves
When I became a horror movie fan I started taking it seriously immediately. It was right in the beginning of the internet's popularity and I discovered a site called Video Graveyard which was (for about two years) my horror bible. If they praised a movie then I'd see it, if they hated it… I'd avoid it. They were not impressed with Elves so despite how much this cover intrigued me I never rented it. Now I regret it since it's a hard movie to find. That being said I've discovered it's also available on VHSPS so maybe I'll pick it up along with Bloody New Year to prepare for X-mas 2014 and New Years 2015.

4. Blood Beach
This was another notoriously bad movie that captivated me. I almost rented this movie more times than I can remember and constantly wanted to know why this woman was being pulled into the sand. I did eventually see it through VHSPS and while I didn't hate it it's definitely not a masterpiece. Despite all that it's tag-line "Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water - You Can't Get To It" is one of the best of all-time.

3. The Funhouse
I was mesmerized by this cover for years, I saw it on Video Graveyard and thought it looked awesome but my local video store never had it. One night I was spending the night with my grandparents and my grandmother and I went out to rent a videotape. As I walked around her video store I saw that they had a copy of The Funhouse and immediately had her rent it for me. After everyone went to sleep I watched the movie and honestly I struggled to stay awake. I was beyond bored by it. Years later I kept hearing praise about it and rewatched it thanks to Netflix, it quickly became one of my all-time favorite horror films. I hate the new cover out there which is just a close up for the clowns face (with added drool), I'll always prefer this killer jack-in-the-box cover.

2. The Mutilator
I've yet to see this movie but based on the horror podcasts I listen to I'm not missing too much. But much like Blood Beach this was a VHS cover I would pick up and look at during every visit to the video store. One day I do hope to finally see this but I'm prepared to be let down after all these years.

1. Texas Chainsaw Massacre
This is (and has always been) my favorite cover to Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Before I was a horror fan I had an uncle who was. This uncle was the best uncle a geek like I could want. He was rich and owned hundreds of movies, toys and arcade games. I would frequently look at his horror movie covers and I was obsessed with this weird cartoon drawing (I was also obsessed with the cover to Groove Tube). I was so young that I didn't know the title to this movie so when I started seeing the more popular VHS cover for Texas Chainsaw Massacre in video stores I became convinced this was a different movie. It wasn't until google that I was able to look it up and confirm it was in fact an old VHS cover for arguably the greatest horror film ever put to celluloid.

Matt Kelly is the host of the popular podcast The Saint Mort Show, a frequent contributor to, the founder of Chords for Cures and the co-writer/co-director of the upcoming comedy Describing the Moon. He also loves it when people surprise him with purchases from his Amazon Wishlist… just saying.

1 comment:

  1. I'm disappointed Blood Beach wasn't fucking amazing based on that cover. When I was but a wee horror-ling The Silence of The Lambs poster, the one with the moth over the girls mouth, did it for me. Nightmare fuel for years.