VHS Finds: The Video Store Edition

A film called Killbots is released in March of 1986 to limited screens. It doesn’t do well at the box office. However, it’s given a rename, Chopping Mall, and is released later that year on vhs where it created a cult following that still exists today. Betamax was developed in 1975. VHS was now accessible in 1976. And between that time period, the birth of the video rental store was born.

Horror and video rentals have a relationship that cannot be replicated. Movies that were in theaters now are readily available to borrow… the covers of an unknown film can make you fall in love with it or absolutely hate it… a film’s life can be revisited after being shelved or not doing well at the box office.

The energy of being overwhelmed about what movie to rent and how many, if you can get snacks, how much are the posters that are on sale. Those memories are cherished. I know some people, possibly younger generations, would question why is it important or why hold onto something like that?

And the answer is simple: without the availability of video rentals, our love for film wouldn’t be as big as it is. Doesn’t matter about a specific genre, but cable tv back then didn’t show everything that film could offer. I think video rentals filled in that gap of “oh you want to see a film from the 1930s? Perhaps a classic like Casablanca? Metropolis?

Video stores filled that gap.

This post is just for fun, a little trip down memory lane. I went through my vhs collection and found quite a number of tapes that came from a video rental store of some sort. Some are popular, some I had no idea existed and one all the way from Tucson, Arizona. How did it get to Indianapolis… fascinating.

  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1975, dir. Jim Sharman – Blockbuster Video
  • Hellraiser: Bloodline, 1996, dir. Kevin Yagher, Joe Chappelle – West Coast Ent. Corp.
  • Tales from the Darkside Vol 3., 1984-86, dir. various – Hollywood Video
  • Dracula, 1931, dir. Tod Browning – Blockbuster Video
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Warriors, 1988, dir. Renny Harlin – Blockbuster Video
  • The Guardian, 1990, dir. William Friedkin – Video Unltd.
  • Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, 1985, dir. Danny Steinmann – Casa Video


What other videos are going to join in this brigade? Come back soon to check put part two! Do you have any video renting memories? What did you often get from them?

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