After my last blog post a few weeks ago I promised (nay threatened) that VHS memories would continue. Now we left the history lesson back when I was at secondary school. For better or worse I lost interest in VHS (I know!!…Its sacrilege) back in sixth form, but the story doesn’t end there. Oh no, I was once again reunited with VHS horror, years later I would find out more to do with these films once I reached university.
Now I’m not going to lie, I’m a massive fan of cheaply made horror creature features; particularly those what involve puppets or animatronic effects or anything that’s gooey and dripping. While recently packing my films for my new flat, I stumbled on a set of films I hadn’t watched in quite some time. Films such as Street Trash, Troll, Alligator, Ghoulies and Puppet Master, I these and many more I reluctantly packed.
These where the late night 80s horror gems that beckoned to me with their VHS covers in video rental shops at a young age. And as mentioned in my last post, their VHS cover artwork would be forever burnt into my young subconscious, waiting for the right moment to make itself known again.
Like all good creature features that passed me by during my first forays into horror; Re-Animator, Troll and Ghoulies (actually it was Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go To College) were a selection of those films that became a part of my university-viewing staple in the early hours of the wee morn. This primarily attributed to one particular (some might even say peculiar) gent that goes by the name of Luke.
Now ever since we have finished university, both me an Luke have remained good friends, often sending each other film recommendations or catching up for a drink fueled horror discussion at a Finsbury Park pub. It was he who helped me remember the long forgotten VHS horrors of my adolescent youth and who quickly pointed me in the right direction for more of the same.
But what does this all have to do with VHS creature features I hear you cry? Well my dear friend is one of those cult film gents that also loves (like myself) a good (or badly made) creature feature. He’s also a fan of old VHS tapes, which brings me to the first time I ever saw Street Trash (mentioned in my previous post here).
Much like the guy from school who gave me Leprechaun and Army Of Darkness to watch in my early teens, Luke was to bestow complete trust in allowing me to borrow his very rare VHS of Street Trash. If you have yet to see Street Trash, then your quite clearly missing out on one of the strangest, gloopiest and just plain hilarious comedy horrors of the 80s. It’s a great melt movie, plain and simple.
After watching Street Trash on the grainy old VHS copy I was lent, I felt the need to indulge the long gestating passion and finally watch new and very different films. Ghoulies 3 was one such guilty pleasure, with its always-brilliant line of “I’ll just take one….”(watch it below as writing it won’t give off the same effect).
Soon after I couldn’t stop and I haven’t looked back since. For those that are fans of old VHS tapes, they will know what I mean when I talk about how it’s the film equivalent of Vinyl. Again it comes to the artwork of how the films look with the cover. And if it wasn’t for that strange, curious or weird artwork, I might never have seen some of these great features.
What are your first VHS memories, what was the first horror art that really caught your eye and is it still a firm favorite now? Shout your little heart out below in the comments section.