Classic VHS cover art across the web.
March 27, 2010 3:07 PM   Subscribe

VHS cover art was the pop art of the 80's. It wasn't till the mid 90's and dvd era that the movie poster or a cast photo would become the cover. Here are my favorite places to check out old vhs covers The Deuce Grindhouse VHS Cover Art Critical Conditon has a great break down by company. Scarecrow Video blog has posts pretty regularly like this one featuring painted covers of Klaus Kinski movies. and this post of horror movie cover boxes. At the bottom of that post are links to the rest of the scarecrow blogs painted cover postings. Enjoy.
posted by b2walton (18 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Along the same lines (but mostly posters) is Wrong Side of The Art

Lot's of awesome stuff all around! I know sometime a while ago I saw a post (maybe on MeFi?)that was just one huge page of classic VHS cover thumbnails, I'll hunt for it. Anyone else remember this?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:29 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Found the post (3600-VHS-Video-Covers), but the link is down. Anyone have a cache....?
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:31 PM on March 27, 2010

What on earth...? Sorry about that. I was just saying that the Nosferatu cover art and typography are awesome, and the Fitzcarraldo typography sorta makes it look like The Apple Dumpling Gang.
posted by circular at 3:34 PM on March 27, 2010

The Scandy Factory (extraneous matter often NSFW) has a lot of old scanned box art, too.
posted by Nabubrush at 4:13 PM on March 27, 2010

And, of course, EIT is still the best place for enjoying the wonderful things inside the VHS box.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:42 PM on March 27, 2010

The Scandy Factory (extraneous matter often NSFW)

I went there, and they said that I would experience brief Adult-flavored situations.

I just wanted to know exactly what "Adult-flavor" tasted like. (Kind of bitter and smoky, in case you were wondering. Not too bad.)

I used to show the movie from the top post, Funland, when I was a club VJ. I chose it, and almost everything else, entirely on the basis of its cover, a technique which was successful about 65% of the time. (It's an angry clown with a gun. What could go wrong?)
posted by louche mustachio at 5:29 PM on March 27, 2010

Oh, sweet.
posted by louche mustachio at 5:37 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's an angry clown with a gun. What could go wrong?

That is a HIGHLY situational assumption.
posted by flaterik at 5:56 PM on March 27, 2010

I was more of an LP cover art fan, myself, back in them thar good old days.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 7:16 PM on March 27, 2010

regarding louce mustachia's link:

It is too easy to make fun of these videos, but I have no self control so I am going to do it anyway.

Giving a new meaning to "exploitation film".

... vs. the robot zombies

Lesson 1) when you need to take a break, slip your bookmark in.

Docu-drama about the 4chan murders of 2011

So we have the swords and sorcery angle... now how can we reach out to the gay incest fantasy demographic?

Who, Freud?, never heard of him. No, I am sure I haven't, why do you ask?
posted by idiopath at 7:45 PM on March 27, 2010

I love this stuff so much, I have a print of this one hanging in my living room.
posted by BoatMeme at 7:50 PM on March 27, 2010

louche mustachio, be happy you went for the "brief adult-flavored" instead of the adult-flavored briefs.
posted by Nabubrush at 8:01 PM on March 27, 2010

I think it's fine that folks appreciate 1980s VHS cover illustrations, but this was no more the "pop art of the '80s" than website banner ads or airport concourse posters are the pop art of 2010. There was actually some pretty cool real pop art back in the 1980s. It was a decade of lamenting the extinction of LP cover art and beating up on CD covers (and completely ignoring VHS covers as far as I recall). These are latter-day advertising images that are kind of cool as anachronisms if you're of an age to think that the 1980s were a long time ago. If you think these are great, go to the library and look at newspaper microfilm from earlier decades -- it'll blow your mind.
posted by gum at 8:22 PM on March 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

It wasn't till the mid 90's and dvd era that the movie poster or a cast photo would become the cover.

Simply not true. Plenty of 1980s video boxes (VHS and Betamax, look it up) simply replicated the theatrical one-sheet art.
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:53 PM on March 27, 2010

Oh how I miss renting a VCR in a huge plastic suitcase and picking out the most lurid of VHS tapes at the local rental shop. My youth was coloured by those video nasties and I'm none the worse for wear for it. Except for the twitching.
posted by bayliss at 12:23 AM on March 28, 2010

It was these types of titles that made working in the video store a rewarding experience. First, there was the general awfulness of the cover art, followed by the "questionable origins" of the actors who had started in or made cameos in these movies. Then there was the ability to rent them without having to pay for them - that made it all worthwhile.
posted by Graygorey at 12:43 AM on March 28, 2010

Which of the adjacent links in what seems to be but apparently isn’t a single continuous phrase are we expected to look at?
posted by joeclark at 10:32 AM on March 28, 2010

I've been going through the criticonline link for the last couple of days -- the content is just too much. This is great nostalgia for every video store horror/drama/sci-fi section I idly browsed while my mom picked out a movie to rent. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by Locative at 5:08 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]

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