Category Archives: Horror Nostalgia

The Art Of Horror: Celebrating The Best Horror VHS Cover Art- Part II!

Movie Box Art is an all-but-dead form of advertising for movies these days. A while back, I wrote up a piece on VHS Horror Cover Box Art and the films that had some of the most intriguing rental art boxes that served to pique our curiosity when strolling down the horror movie aisle at your local Mom And Pop Video Store on a Saturday afternoon. You went to rent Nightmare On Elm Street 4 and left with films like Cheerleader Camp and Frankenhooker. Case in point, the cover art was the main selling point for these movies back then along with word of mouth; and when mom or pop gave you the precious video rental card to go get what you wanted when you were old enough, that my friends, was goddamn better than a credit card itself. The freeing feeling of being able to rent whatever your little heart desired, well just not shit behind the curtain anyway, without an adult hovering over your back as you’re staring intensely at a copy of Class Of Nuke ‘Em High. Then walking like a gangster to the counter while grabbing a box of Sugar Daddies, a Cherry Coke, and presenting your rental punch card to the clerk. The only thing that made that moment even more glorious was if you were due for a free rental.

So let’s take another walk down the horror aisle of the corner video shop where some of the greatest horror movie cover art existed. That being said, there are way too many to put into one article, so I’ve decided to put together another piece championing VHS art with Parts 3 and 4 likely to come in the following weeks/months.

These are just some that really stood out to me at that age. Oh, and for the record and refresher from my last entry, I popped that solo video rental store cherry visit with Return of the Living Dead and The Blob.

What are some of your favorite VHS covers? Get crackin’ on those comments Nostalgic Nuggets and come back for parts 3 and 4 of wild and wonderous VHS Horror Box Art!

Let’s Listen To Howard The Duck Get Weird On 1-900-Duck-Calls

I don’t know about you guys, but as a kid, I absolutely adored Howard the Duck. The movie was batshit bonkers and at times I didn’t know if I was watching a movie for kids or strictly adults; which made the movie sort of “dangerous” so to speak. Like one of those movies that made you question whether or not you should be watching it. I mean, Beverly and Howard “in bed” was pretty goddamn awkward seeing through a 5-year-old’s eyes. Better yet, I got to see my first set of tatas courtesy of LucasFilm. Feathery, but anatomically correct I came to find out a few years later.

Howard the Duck was released in 1986, as well, technically the first big-budget Marvel Movie (so to speak) to a box-office failure, and is probably considered one of the worst films of all time according to Cine-Snobs. Maybe it’s nostalgia speaking, but I have a soft spot for this wildly inconsistent movie that mildly promotes alien/human relations.

I can’t even believe I just wrote that.

As an adult, watching this movie now makes a bit more sense with the adult humor, but as a kid, I wasn’t really watching it for the depth. I was here for a shit-talking duck from outer space and by god, they delivered on that. Can anyone who was a kid in the 80s’ really say otherwise?

While the movie was a bomb commercially and panned by critics, it still had a 900-number promo attached to it. The 80s’ and 90s’ shamelessly used these 900 hotlines for a quick buck and subtly preyed on us dumb kids to call these numbers; only to receive an ass beating later when the next month’s phone bill came in. And 1-900 “DUCK CALLS” were no exception to the unsuspecting mass of children wanting to hear that wise-cracking Howard on the other end talking some smack.

Unearthed by Split Screen Entertainment, Duck Calls were designed to tie in as a promotional campaign of the film. By dialing 1-900-410-DUCK, the 2-minute calls consisted of listening to a different message every day, featuring new and exclusive interviews (by Howard’s voice actor Chip Zien) mixed with audio clips from the movie. The hotline served to add a degree of backstory to Howard’s character for those who were actually interested. And thanks to SSE, we have these long-lost messages in full, completely in lo-def for added nostalgic purposes because what other way would we want to listen to this hot mess?

If you made it through all that, you deserve a prize.

Congrats, you earned a gander at some Duck Tits.

Spend The Holidays With Freddy Krueger and This Dream Master Vintage Christmas Promo!

Are you ready for Santa Freddy?!

Ahh, the days of VHS retailers’ promos. If you’re new here. you should know this stuff is my Kryptonite and you’ll see me rant and rave over this a lot- so buckle up. In case you’re not hip to what the hell a VHS screener may be, let me break it down for you:

It’s basically an early release of a VHS tape sent to video store owners that will ultimately either sway them to stock the shelves with said movie or give it a hard pass. In addition, some of these screeners would be sent to the media for review. Hard to imagine a time when critics would have to actually wait on the postman to deliver physical media as opposed to a screener email that can be obtained in under 60 seconds, eh?

In the horror genre of the 80s, there was no better salesman than that of Robert Englund pimping his Nightmare movies to Mom and Pop video shops. Freddy, or rather the TRUE Sandy Claws here, gets into the holiday spirit as a December release date approaches for the Nightmare franchise’s biggest hit yet, A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. For Video Stores, this wasn’t really a hard sell as stated, the movie did monstrous at the box office for a Nightmare film, and was a big hit for Freddy fans alike.

However, that didn’t stop Englund from making the promotional rounds in and out of his Freddy makeup to advocate for The Dream Master! From late-night talk shows to his own MTV hour-long special, 1988 belonged to Freddy. Also, let’s not forget this was also the year Freddy’s Nightmares debuted on syndicated television!

Yes sir. Freddy was the KING of horror in ’88.

The promo begins with a few snippets of 1985’s The Santa Claus Movie but is quickly interrupted by the 1988 “Sandy Claws Movie” as Freddy dives right into pimping his product that made him a pop-culture phenomenon and why Video retailers should stock up on Dream Master.

I mean, if that 3D media lightbox insert wasn’t enough to get them to buy even if they hadn’t seen the movie, then nothing would have swayed them.

This thing is totally on my horror treasure hunt list.

Anyways, enjoy another rad VHS Retailers promo but with a horror holiday slice to the gut nuggets!