10 Horror VHS Boxes That Scarred Me For Life


Hello, inside-out man!

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.


About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.