I don’t have a big collection, I did count: a total of 144 which is around the guesstimate of 150 before actually counting. This post is more like an active list of what I am looking for for the moment. For those who do not know, I collect horror movies on vhs (occasionally on dvd if it’s something I really want) and since 2018, my collection has grown tremendously. I like thrifting, I like the hunt overall (not just for vhs tapes) and so this idea came to me on a Sunday evening, looking at my collection and thinking, hmm there are some that I wish I had in my collection and then instead of 10, I bumped it to 20.
Let’s go through my list of what I want to look for when I am vhs hunting! We’re going to start from number 20 and work our way to number 1.
20. Jack Frost 1 & 2 – The cover for the first one has that holographic cover where we see a snowman turn into the evil Jack Frost when you move it around. I remember seeing that cover a lot in Blockbuster.
19. Holiday Themed – When I say holiday, I mean outside of what I already own like Halloween or Prom Night. I want the more underrated films like Terror Train or Happy Birthday, Black Christmas, Silent Night, etc.
18. Cronenberg – I only have The Fly, which is a great film but I’d love to see and have vhs versions of Videodrome, Scanners, The Brood, and check out the covers of them too.
17. Phantasm Sequels – I only have Phantasm and it’s two different covers. One is clearly a re-released one from MGM and the other is from Embassy with a better, more hand drawn or painted poster art for the cover. The entire franchise is such a mind fuck anyway but I’d love to have the second and maybe 3rd in my collection.
16. Killer Klowns from Outer Space – I own this dvd and while I was going through my smaller dvd collection, this movie stood out as something I’d love to also match along with my dvd. I tend to want at least a “full” collection of matching dvd and vhs. This would be a pretty sweet match.
15. Scream 2 – It’s so common to find Scream 2 and I never went out to purposely pick it up. I have 1 and 3, and 2 on dvd (and one hidden on a vhs tape that was recorded from pay per view, showing my age) but now looking back, I should have picked them up. There are movies that I find constantly and Scream (and 2) seems to be the most popular.
14. Anime Horror – It’s a whole genre into itself but I am a big fan of anime. I know that there are some I have found on dvd like Blood The Last Vampire, but I’d take both television and film. I think it will be a great way to open my eyes to “new to me” anime.
13. 80s – This decade is the most oversaturated when it comes to horror, in my opinion. The big franchises came from this decade, and there are many versions of said movies on vhs. I look at A Nightmare on Elm Street which is one of the biggest in my collection. I have the set of ANOES from the late 90s… the one that if you put them together, they complete an image of Freddy but I also have 3 other inserts from Media (Heron) or another production company.
12. Black Horror – So rare to find them. I’m looking through my collection and there are less than 5 that I would deem to be in the black horror category. Is it because a lot of these films are older and less produced so it’s harder to find on vhs? Maybe dvd is a better chance but also, it comes down to production.
11. Romero/Living Dead Series – Can a girl find Day of the Dead, please?
10. My Bloody Valentine – Fun fact, I actually had this on vhs. I remember watching it but not remembering what happened. Rewatching it last month through Prime made me realize that I do miss having this in my collection. I did give it away and I hate that I did, I hate that let it go. I can’t even remember if it was the fuller uncut version or not. Ugh, I want it back in my collection so bad!
09. Stephen King’s Works – Pet Sematary, IT, Salem’s Lot, The Night Flier, Sleepwalkers, Christine, Cujo, Rose Red and Maximum Overdrive is what I have in my collection but you know there’s more? Carrie? Firestarter? Maybe more miniseries? It’s great to have these in stock because most of these aren’t easily shown either on tv or maybe available on some platforms.
08. TV Horror – Goosebumps, Tales from the Crypt and Darkside, The Twilight Zone, Are You Afraid of the Dark, I got some in my collection. I’d love more to be honest and find Monsters or The Night Gallery, these were very popular but so hard to find.
07. Classic Horror – A rarity to find in thrift stores. Just putting it out there. Any movie before the 1950s is really hard to find or take note of unless you really look hard.
06. Friday the 13th Sequels – I have Friday the 13th, Part 2 and Part 5: A New Beginning. I have seen Jason Goes to Hell, even Freddy vs Jason but who is really checking for that one? I hate that out of the 3 big franchises I have (ANOES, Halloween and Friday the 13th), Friday is the one that barely is present in my collection. I have at least all of ANOES and minus one of the Halloween franchise but it’s basically complete too. What is it about Friday the 13th that is so hard to find?
05. Italian/Giallo – I think maybe like Black horror, it’s in that category of “not pushed in production or overproduction like 80s horror” rarity. I think maybe the growth of easier access to that genre has been happening in the past few years, showcased that there is an audience and being pumped out through dvd or blu ray. However, I know they exist on vhs but it’s hard. And when I mean hard, I mean, finding Creepers was like finding a unicorn in the wild. It shouldn’t have happened but there it was! And if I wasn’t in the horror community, I wouldn’t know about that. On top of that, it wasn’t Phenomena aka the entire film as Argento released. Creepers, the edited version, is what I have.
04. Demons/Demons 2 – Another tie in to #5, I’d like to have Demons and Demons 2. I think both would be a great addition.
03. ANOES on Media – Now Googling about Media, it belongs in the same family as Anchor Bay and under Heron Communications which, I do own vhs tapes in all those categories. However, I am focusing on ANOES because I do have a couple (Dream Warriors and The Dream Master) that are from Media Pictures… Now thinking about it, I think because these are the ones I most likely saw in video rental stores more so than the complete late 90s collection.
02. Video Rentals – I love finding these, I love it. I did a post about this and I broke down where they came from, some from out of state and I wonder how they made it to Indianapolis but I really like the visible “this came from a library/blockbuster/family video (rest in pieces)” kind of vibe. The stickers, be kind rewind, clear case vibes. Gimme more please! I see them in a lot of other genres so it’s not so easy to find horror ones.
01. Hellraiser – This is random but I would love to have Hellraiser on vhs. I have it on dvd, a 20th anniversary one, and I have Hellbound, Hellraiser III and Bloodline but seriously, can I get the first one please? It’s so hard to fiiiiiiind.
In conclusion, I am a perfectionist, it is a libra into the rising virgo thing. I like completion in some form or another and it bleeds into my art and my collection(s). I guess I have higher expectations sometimes and I want to find these things that I’ve been wishing for and going into finding these tapes, you wanna be positive for sure. And I think being cooped up for a year and some change now, just can’t immediately just go out and see constantly which is what I was doing.
I also think a lot of people aren’t giving up vhs tapes, especially horror unless it’s somehow close to fall time, it seems to be like once fall hits, I start seeing them show up. And it seems to be the same movies, too.
I enjoy seeing some surprises pop up (Creepers, Them!, Sleepwalkers, Rose Red, Alice Sweet Alice not once but twice) and maybe it’s the lack of surprises for me. If I find new vhs, you’ll see them on the instagram page (shotsofhorror, please follow) and maybe I’ll talk about them on here. If you’re a vhs collector, what would you like to find? Leave a comment!