Jonny T here bringing you a new regular feature to the blog named "VHS-I Love" Basically i was looking around the old tinterwebs and i started to see a hell of a lot of VHS video covers that brought streaming back a ton of memories, so i decided to do a few posts on my favourite labels from back in the day along with some hopefully good stories that tell you my own personal thoughts on the days i first set eyes and hands on these classic labels that released incredible titles into the new forming world of VHS/BETA and home entertainment.
So, my dad came home, with a VHS video player, i was blown away! The only exposure we had to a Video Player before was the man across the road that had a Betamax top loading player of which i had previously seen An american werewolf in london, My very 1st exposure to a horror film on VHS, i would have been about 13 at the time.
My dad always being a bartering type of chap had done a deal with the place that he brought it from wherein if you brought the player you got 1 years free rental so it was straight in the car and down to the video shop, i walked in mouth openly stunned, the only ever Video sleeve i had seen had been for An Amrican werewolf so to be presented with shelf after shelf of some insane cover art i didn't know what the hell to choose! But alas, i was only allowed to get certain films, NO Exorcist, NO Texas chainsaw massacre, NO Driller Killer and DEFINATELY NO I Spit on your grave! But then again like i say i was only 13!!
In the end on this occasion you were only allowed 2 rentals at a time, my sister chose Grease and i got Dirty Harry, when i finally got to use the video as my sister had Grease on constantly for a day and watched Dirty Harry at least 3 times, awesome! You could keep the films up to one week then take them back and renew the rent unless someone had reserved it, my sister re-rented Grease and i chose Dawn of the dead on the good old Intervision label, there where to be no fights on who would use the video player 1st this time it was all mine!Which to this day remains my favourite film, little did i know of course that it was the BBFC cut version, missing the head explosion and many other scenes, at the time of course there where no such extra's as a directors cut or deleted scenes, this at the time was all i knew about.
The reason i chose dawn of the dead was mainly because back in the day we used to have once a month at school "Film Club" on a Friday afternoon, we had one cool teacher that brought in Dawn of the dead, we all in class watched it and cheered, what a man! And also on the back of the box which was in an awesome slip case (which eventually years later i brought and still own to this day) i had seen a picture of an ultra creepy looking zombie(see picture below) and thought thats it i'm having it, I had to see it again and did many many times before my week was up and i returned to get more zombie films, that was it, i was hooked.
I returned again to the shop this time seeing a film called Night of the living dead also on Intervision, i delved deeper this time and compared and i thought "This has the same director as Dawn, must be good" never of course realising it was the 1st in Romero's Dead films and in black and white, i can tell you know i shit myself, never been so scared, although i didn't let this show to my dad as it would have been only kid's film rentals for me!
So i returned many many times, a lot of the rentals i can't quite remember but looking back at some of the covers i do remember them and watching them, especially The Exterminator where every one in school was talking about the scene with the meat mincer, that was watched and shown to my friends time and time again.
Over the years and looking back at there back catalogue i also saw and Intervision/Alpha released the David Cronenberg classics The Brood, Shivers and Rabid (that also has an amazing cover) and looking today in the shiny shiny world of Blu-Ray Arrow video have obviously gone back to the Intervision vaults and picked the cream of the crop,
The Opening Alpha logo, ah the memories!
More Great Intervision/alpha Video sleeves!
My own personal VHS copy of Dawn of the Dead along with some of my zombie toy friends!