In the Stuff to Blow Your Mind episode "The Horror," I chat a little bit about the horror movies at the local video store -- movies I never got to rent as a child, but movies with garish VHS covers capable of traumatizing and inspiring young minds like mine.
I mean, the 90s video store was such a fantastic thing -- this gallery of little painted boxes, each one encapsulating an idea. But unlike a book in a library or anything on the Internet, there was no instant gratification. You actually had to rent this crap to learn more -- and that simply wasn't an option for a kid like me. What the cover art hinted at (and maybe the back of the box if you were daring and dad was over in the war section) , your imagination continued to build upon.
And build upon for years...
At least, until you were finally old enough and bored enough to hunt some of these flicks down. YouTube and Wikipedia entries would ultimately drown out most of the mysteries. But I still get a sense of that old feeling when I walk through Atlanta's Videodrome rental store, where the various foreign, horror and video nasty DVD covers still echo those wood-paneled halls of horror and wonder I walked through in little old Paris or Fayetteville, TN.
So here are 10 VHS covers that had a profound impact on my young mind back then. Some of them horrified me. Some inspired me to write horror myself. Let's revisit them.
Originally published June 21, 2012.