Here is a video I found recommened on digg.com recently. So far, we have made many mentions about collections about video tapes but what about collections of VCR’s? This chap appears to have quite the collection.
Next up on the film studios list is my Palace collection. To me, Palace will always remembered as one of the main distributors of horror movies.
During the mid to late 80s they issued a collection of horror tapes labelled ‘Palace Horror’. Each tape in the series was wrapped in a vibrant, bright coloured cover. They even had a cool 18 logo at the top of each case and spine (as pictured). It featured a skull bone which symbolised the number 1, and a skull for the 8.
In the series were the following titles: Vampire At Midnight (need), Dream Demon (need), Edge Of Sanity, Trick Or Treat, Night Of The Demons, Basket Case, Brain Damage, Creepers, Evil Dead II, and The Hills Have Eyes.
Although I don’t own all of the titles in that particular collection, I still own most of them in other cases/covers.
Palace logo 1
I still find it odd that Palace managed to distribute such films like Grifters and King Of New York. I’d love to know if they issued other non horror films.
Palace logo 2
We’ve been thinking about memorabilia from video shops such as membership cards, posters, postcards, standees, t-shirts, rental cases and the like. We happened upon these items in two great video stores: Rocket Video in LA and Scarecrow Video in Seattle.
Do you have anything you can contribute to this gallery? We’re especially interested in memorabilia from UK video shops that have now gone out of business. Please email pictures to email@example.com.
I have finally arrived at one of my largest studio collections, CIC (Cinema International Corporation).
I have tried to separate all of the different types of CIC tapes that I own. You will notice below that there are quite a few pre-cert films. Whenever I can find any, i’ll pay through the nose for them. The best looking CIC tapes, in my opinion, are the ones with the horizontal lines on the spine of the case. They just look so good in a collection! It’s like they took somebody’s bedroom wallpaper from the 80s and decided to adapt the same style to their VHS cases.
Back in the day when most of the obscure VHS tapes were overpriced and largely unavailable, I paid a lot of money for certain film titles. I remember a guy called Ron who used to work at a market that I would visit once a week. He had a large stall full of classic movies on VHS, some original but mostly full of reissues. He would also have a rack above his stall which he labelled ‘Banned, Rare and Deleted’. I don’t think I need to explain which films he used to display there, but he had a lot of CIC films on the rack like The Keep and Streets of Fire along with stuff like the original Last House on The Left, Hot Bubblegum etc.
In particular, I really remember Delirious, the Eddie Murphy live stand up show (a personal fave of mine). He used to have this displayed every week with the hefty price tag of £50 placed upon it. I managed to pick mine up for around the £20.00 mark, and most recently 50p from a car boot sale. I had to mention this guy as he made me pay £25 for a reissued version of Suspiria, only for me to find the EMI original a week later for £2.
“As advertised on Crimestoppers.”
I managed to find a promo tape of The Blues Brothers (pictured below) on CIC about a month back. I thought I always had the original art (the dark blue cover), but this one has an extra six minutes running time compared to the one I had, so I have replaced it. I have a few tapes where the running time differs by a few minutes but I always thought that this was mainly the pre-cert horror movies like The Burning, where all of the released pre-cert tapes were recalled and re-recorded over the top with the ‘cleaner cut’ version and then re-released. This is the reason I have two copies of Once Upon A Time In America and also two copies of The Manitou. The running time on those is a little out too.
My favourite of the CIC issues, were the John Hughes Collection tapes (pictured). I’m pretty sure i’ve collected all of the ones that were released, but I was shocked to find that Planes, Trains and Automobiles wasn’t cased in the same way. Never mind eh?
Next up on my list is my VTC (Video Tape Center) collection. This, along with EMI and Embassy, is one of the smallest but greatest tape catalogues that I collect. Not a lot of tapes were ever released by VTC, but I always remembered them to be the most valuable. I have a price guide which places VTC titles like Alien Terror and Tanya’s Island among some of the most highly sought after tapes ever released.
I managed to pick up some VTC releases for about £3 back in the late 90s, but there was one film that was a little more difficult to track down. That film was Superstition (a.k.a The Witch). As a kid, I was always bugging my Dad to tell me his favourite horror movies because I was obsessed with being scared. One movie that he would always talk about was Superstition. He described a scene where a blade came off a saw in an old house and ripped through a Priest’s chest. That was all I needed to know, so I went to every car boot sale, market and Internet site that I could find to track it down. Nobody had it. I did find one guy who had a copy of it, but he wanted £25.00 for it. I was so desperate that I paid it.
We screened the film on the day that it arrived and I absolutely loved it, which is why it has become my favourite VHS tape from my entire collection. The funny thing is, about two weeks later, I was at a market and came across the original VHS tape of Superstition on VTC. I was happy but I could have cried as it only cost me £5. I love the artwork!
“You’ll believe it just before you die…”
Next up is my Embassy collection. This one is very small in terms of quantity, but there weren’t that many released and I have found them to be the hardest to find.These are (along with EMI and CIC) probably my favourite video tapes to collect. I put that down to the fact that they look professional, and that the sides of the tapes are clean and crisp and look great when put together on the shelf.
In 1983 it set up its own home video division, prior releases from its film catalog had been handled through Magnetic Video. In 1984, Embassy Pictures was renamed to Embassy Films Associates.
Some great films were released on the Embassy label, most notably Phantasm, The Onion Field, The Exterminator, Scanners, Swamp Thing, Zapped!, Eddie and the Cruisers, The Sure Thing and Rad.
In this series of posts, i’m sorting my VHS collection by film studio. Next up is EMI, or better known as Thorn EMI to most of you. EMI and Thorn EMI are one of my all-time favourite studios to collect. Their VHS cases are crisp, and their tapes are heavy. The weight of the tapes feels like a statement: “I’M HERE, WATCH ME.” DVDs are like a limp handshake to any serious collector! Here are some images:
I recently decided to rearrange my VHS collection from an alphabetical layout, to a more aesthetically pleasing method, sorting by film studios. A few options had been rolling around in my head at the time. One was to sort them into their age classification. Another was to organise by genre, and also into chronological order. All options looked very time consuming, but fun for me, of course.
When I finally settled on film studios, I quickly realised that this would not be possible due to many films being released by two studios on one VHS cassette. Another problematic scenario was how to actually locate my films. Would I have to remember that my VHS copy of Once Upon A Time In America is the Warner Brothers/Weintraub one? Or do I have the EMI version? Hmm… It appeared to be all memory based, like Rob Gordon’s vinyl in High Fidelity.
After much deliberation (and also moving the best part of 400 films to the floor), I had a change of heart and decided to place them back into alphabetical order. This is the order in which they will remain for many years to come. I did however manage to get one positive thing out of ‘the move’. It helped me to remember how amazing the various studio logos look on the VHS boxes.
During a series of posts, I will be gathering together all of my films (most of which are in their original cases) and will be posting them on here for the world to see. I will try and skip the more mainstream movies that I own from the mid to late 90’s, and instead concentrate on the tapes from the 1980s. Some of the companies will include CIC, CBS FOX, EMI, VTC, MEDIA and SC VIDEO.
I thought it would be best to start with Warner Brothers. Here I have tried to focus on the large ex-rental cases. These best symbolise my memories of a local video store, Video Vision, which closed down about 8 years back.