Tuesday, October 25, 2016

VHS Video Cover Art: 1980s to Early 1990s



One of the best parts of growing up in the 80's was taking a visit to the local video store! Once you entered, you were usually greeted by a large cardboard cutout of whatever the latest movie to be released on VHS was. I have a vague memory of the excitement I had seeing a life-size cutout of Michael Keaton's Batman when the VHS was released. Going to the video store then was an anticipated event where you were surrounded by aisles of what seemed like an eternity of VHS. There was a section for Action, for Horror, for Comedy, and for New Releases. Each had their own distinct personality. Back then, you didn't have the luxury like we do now of getting all the info you needed before decided on spending the money to rent a video. You simply grabbed a VHS Cover that caught your attention, read the synopsis on the back, and took a chance by shelling out your hard earned money. There was a 50/50 chance the movie was going to be a good choice, or a waste of money. So basically, the VHS covers were one of the main selling points. Looking back, these covers were so much more than just cardboard or hardshell plastic cases. They were pieces of art! That gets me to the book "VHS Video Cover Art: 1980s to Early 1990s" by Thomas Hodge. This book is the closest thing you can get to revisiting a video store in the 80's. Flipping through the pages of the book is a walk down the aisles of the long lost video stores. It is a book that pays homage to a very unique time that is missed nowadays. I thoroughly appreciated the time and detail put in to the art in these pages. It really felt like being warped back to the 80's! Bravo to Mr. Hodge for putting together a book that takes us back to a much simpler time, where a trip to the video store was an irreplaceable experience.