One thing that we certainly miss as a society for sure is perusing the aisles at the video store. Yeah sure, streaming services have made it way easier to just search and find what you want and just click a button. It is not a substitute for turning the corner and discovering that unique VHS box that catches your eye. I worked at a video store for a long time, and the most popular aisle was the horror one. In honor of next week’s Halloween holiday, we chose our 8 favorite 80’s horror VHS boxes! These are ones we saw on the racks at our local video store and we couldn’t take them up to the counter fast enough.
Fright Night has one of the best horror posters of all-time. That cloud over the house with the person standing in the window, it feels like you couldn’t possibly be safe. Bonus points for the horrible film still choices on the back. One of the best.
Fun fact: Happy Birthday to Me was consistently one of the most-stolen VHS tapes we had in the store. Arguably this is one of the most iconic slasher images of the 80’s, and that is saying something. The film doesn’t hold up very well, except for the end. We will always have this shish kabob murder to stare at. If the stick didn’t kill him, the giant tomato in the center would have.
Speaking of slashers, we would be fools to not include any covers from the two most iconic 80’s slashers. For Freddy Krueger, we are going to go with the first film. The shocked look, the glove, the way the bottom of the box looks slashed. A Nightmare on Elm Street screams ‘Rent me”. Friday the 13th however was a little trickier. Sure, the easy answer is Jason Takes Manhattan. But we are going with Part 6: Jason Lives. Partly because the front tombstone with the light shining through the mask looks fantastic, but the still on the back looks damn interesting doesn’t it? Plus, it is the best Friday film, and we stand by that.
Once Bitten is the best film Jim Carrey ever starred in, it has one of the best VHS box tag lines ever:
Mark Kendall just found out that his one-night stand has been around for centuries!
This film had a great 80’s theme song too!
So, everyone’s homework this weekend is to watch this movie.
Night of the Creeps has got to be one of the most underrated great 80’s horror films. It has some of the best effects in any films from back then, Tom Atkins is at his best, and has one of the best ending ever. Look at that box up there! How did those flowers go through that window? Would you go on a date with him? Of course we would!
This list was made for The Video Dead. A paranormal TV births zombies into the world? Sign us up! It is not-so-great, but anytime you want to put beings coming out of a television on the VHS cover of anything, we are game. The moral of the film? If someone delivers a television to your house that was meant to be delivered to Paranormal Research facility, leave it outside.
Finally, Chopping Mall. A bag full of body parts on the VHS box and that title are all it should have taken to get anyone to take this home and watch it. If you have not seen it get your friends together and watch it, it plays great to a crowd. Here is the trailer (NSFW):
And as a bonus, here is a a personal favorite as well:
This is a terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE film. That cover though…it might be the most 80’s cover on this list. Movie podcast How Did This Get Made did an episode on this film that is one of the funniest things I have ever heard. Check that out too.
What are some of your favorites? Let us know below, or send me some on Twitter to brighten my day!