Anyone who grew up as a film fan throughout the 1980’s and 90’s will have been a part of the video craze at some point. Before the days of DVDs, Blu-rays and, of course, digital formats, those beautiful, brick-like objects were real treasures to behold, and gave the promise of escape and entertainment.
The “video nasty” phenomenon in the 1980’s made forbidden horror films, particularly those with creepy artwork and the highly tempting “18” certificate, all the more appealing. Ask any adult of a certain age and they will confess how browsing shelves in the local video store was a treat in itself. And, with several of these films becoming collectables, horror movies have become some of the most sought-after artefacts in the vaults… especially when found in their original format.
To celebrate the release of V/H/S Viral, the highly entertaining third and final film in the hit US horror anthology, we look back through some of the rarest, most collectible VHS horror films of all time…
5. Torture Dungeon
Midnight Video was a highly collectible distributor with a small, niche catalog of only eight releases. This video cover art is still infamous today and, not only was this released as a regular clamshell case, but as an extra large box as well. Six of their eight films are more readily available, whereas the rarer Torture Dungeon and Blood Thirsty Butchers are much harder to come by, with a higher price to boot!
Torture Dungeon is slightly rarer than Blood Thirsty Butchers, but both have a price tag of up to £150 each.
Snuff became something of a conversation piece in video stories. With its comical, badly drawn cover art and such an alluring title, what could possibly appear on screen after pressing play? This is where legend perhaps exceeds reality. This video was one of the few, perhaps only, films
released by little known distributor Video Warehouse and, with such a rare find, comes an asking price of anything between £100-150. Arguably worthwhile for this artwork alone…
With a release date of 1982, this VHS, along with several Planet Video titles, is among the first “big box” videos released. What’s more, Planet Video’s films remain extremely rare and collectible and this early slasher flick, Nightmare, takes top place in the catalogue. For a collector seeking this gem, you’ll be looking at nearly £200.
2. Warlock Moon
For anyone who may wonder how a VHS could be so valuable, Warlock Moon provides a good answer. The VHS version is uncut, making it a must-have for collectors who want more than just the edited DVD release. Plus, there is an even rarer version of the video with Spanish artwork, but whichever one you find, it’s worth around £200.
1. Tales From the Quadead Zone
Very little is known about why this horror, in particular, has proven to be such a rarity with collectors. Could it be the crazy skull-themed artwork? Could it be the film itself? Either way, this collector’s dream, released by BC Video, remains an extremely precious find. In 2011, a copy sold for over £400 on eBay after an intense bidding war. Now that’s fan dedication!
Get ready for scares. V/H/S Viral is the explosive third and final instalment in the celebrated American horror anthology trilogy. As talented writers and directors take us to some crazed, dark places…
Fame-obsessed teens hell-bent on filming high-speed car chases to capture the next viral video discover they are the stars of a lethal sensation…
DANTE THE GREAT
An untalented illusionist discovers a cloak that grants him the power to perform real magic. He quickly becomes famous but learns the cloak requires sacrifices to work…
A successfully created inter-dimensional portal leads to demonic parallel versions of reality – and total chaos for its inventor…
We follow a trio of skateboarders perform increasingly dangerous stunts until one injures himself and bleeds on a magic symbol. Out of nowhere a group of cloaked cultists attack…
V/H/S Viral is Written and Directed by Oscar™ Nominated Nacho Vigalondo (The ABC’s of Death, Timecrimes) plus Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl) Gregg Bishop (Dance of the Dead) Justin Benson (Spring) and Aaron Scott Moorhead (Resolution).
V/H/S Viral is out now on DVD from Koch Media. Order on Amazon