Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Where VHS tapes go to die...

I spent a very large part of my twenties haunting Maine's independent video rental stores. Both the small, local chains and hole-in-the-wall mom & pop video shops. If I came across a corner market with a video rental niche, I checked it over carefully. I think I intimately knew the stock of every video store in Augusta, Waterville, Brunswick, Topsham, Bath and Rockland, Maine.

What was great about these stores was the vast selection of obscure exploitation crap that crammed the shelves. Oversized boxes with some of the most astoundingly lurid art you can imagine. Titles and images that, to this day, are permanently seared into my aging gray matter.

I love DVD, and am thrilled both by the quality of the format and its relative affordability, but even with all the weird stuff on disc, there's so much more that was issued only on tape - and is all but forgotten today.

Fortunately, someone's archiving the best of those sleazy and garish box covers online. I stumbled across this page earlier this evening, and it was a genuine blast from my personal past. I can't begin to tell you how many of these tapes I rented - or simply picked up off the shelf and examined before deciding against laying out my cash.

If you're even remotely nostalgic for the VHS era of the 80s and early 90s, you should really check it out.

1 comment:

Jay Watson said...

Just found your blog... great stuff you've got here!
Thanks also for the link to Critical Condition. The pics of those old VHS boxes bring back lots of memories for me too.