If, like most Americans in the mid to late-’80s, you quit your law firm in the city to move to the boonies and open a video store amid the Great VHS Boom, you were probably fairly clueless on the subject and immediately found yourself struck with the most imperative decision of your new business venture: what do you stock your shop with?
You turn to your family for answers: your boy says “Freddy”, whoever that is; your daughter suggests anything with Johnny Depp; your wife offers something classic. All fine suggestions, but what do the people want? At a retail price of $99.95 a piece, video cassettes at the time were too pricey to simply buy blindly. That’s where promotional videos come in. In a pre-Google world, movie distribution companies — wanting to secure some video store shelf space — would send these promotional tapes directly to video store proprietors. Continue reading Horror VHS Promo Videos!
Long before the Internet — before Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, and whatever else people use to search and share information nowadays — details on the latest movies releases (especially the more obscure titles, especially horror titles) were a lot harder to come by. A lot harder. There were newspapers and word of mouth, of course. But if you were a gorehound or looking for info on more underground stuff, having a subscription to a magazine like Fangoria or Starlog was a necessity — especially if you wanted to buy these movies. (There were other movie-centric publications, like Movieline which was actually pretty decent, but the best genre-specific info required genre-specific magazines.) Continue reading Horror Video Ads from the ’80s!
Perhaps the most basic — and yet somehow, most effective — approach to the VHS/poster art: the killer silhouette! When all else fails, just drape your figure in some shadow, and boom: instant scariness. There’s no denying it — it works!
This is a far from comprehensive collection, so please, if you have any suggestions, feel free to email me. Lastly, I won’t be updating this page with any new additions, but I will be updating the Camera Viscera FB page every time I add a new one – so be sure to check back there occasionally. And now, without further ado… “kill-houettes”! Continue reading Killer Silhouettes!
Welcome to the future. It’s 1990. Or maybe it’s 1998. Or maybe it’s 2010. Or maybe it’s even later.
The landscape is a vast desert wasteland where madmen roam the scorched earth on sputtering motorcycles culled from spare parts and outfitted with human skulls. Or – maybe – the landscape is a trash-filled, neon-soaked city overrun with crime and violence, where drugged-out maniacs in leather gear terrorize innocent, law-abiding citizens. Continue reading BRUTAL FUTURISTIC POSTERS!
With “Judged by the Cover” I take a look at some VHS boxes of movies I’ve never seen — and most likely never will — and try and summarize what I think they’re about, merely by their box. This week, I look at: The Dark (1979) Continue reading JUDGED BY THE COVER – “The Dark” (1979)
EDIT: After posting this to several typography-specific Reddit pages, there were a lot of comments informing me that the typeface was originally called Shatter. Shatter is available from Letraset directly (the original foundry); Glass Houses was a digitization done in 1999 by a group named Digital Graphic Labs. Even more info can be found here. Continue reading An Ode to “Glass Houses” / “Lower-West Side” typeface!