What is it about film production company bumpers at the beginning of movies circa 1984-1993 (roughly) that just strikes a chord so deep in some of us who were alive to experience them first hand?
It’s truly Pavlovian, in a way. We hear a certain bumper and we begin to salivate. We know the quality of the film we’re about to receive when we hear those opening notes. We can even guess the genre with overwhelming accuracy, thanks to the logo that materializes on the screen.
When the glimmering, metallic logo for Cannon Films assembles before our very eyes—the letter C and an arrow shape, joining to create what’s come to be known as “the Cannon Hexagon”—and those synth notes fuzz to life, backed by electronic drums, what movies come to mind? Delta Force? Death Wish 3? Or perhaps some other Golan-Globus display of excess? For me, it’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Continue reading Every. Video Bumper. Ever. →
This piece originally appeared in No Friends Magazine. Parts have been edited for clarity.
VIDEO STORE DUST MEMORIES aka A WALK DOWN THE AISLES aka TERROR IN THE AISLES aka A WALK TO DISMEMBER aka EVERYBODY KILLED THE VIDEO STORE aka POSTCARDS FROM THE VIDEO STORE’S EDGE.
I wish I had a time machine to go back and see what the first video I rented was. I wouldn’t stop any fascist rulers, I wouldn’t make any bets on the World Series. I just wanna see what that first tape was. Continue reading VIDEO STORE DUST MEMORIES →
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! →