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VHS: Video Cover Art Book Review

VHS- Video Cover Art Book

“VHS: Video Cover Art” is a fun trip to the past.

For those that didn’t grow up in the 80’s and 90’s, VHS tapes might not mean much to you, but for those of us that did, VHS was essential. Before DVD and before streaming, VHS was everything to those who wanted to catch up on catalogue titles and advance their cinematic knowledge. Going to the video store to rent tapes, browse aisles, and pour over the strange cover art was a weekly ritual. Sadly, those days are long gone, but there are VHS lovers that still exist out there. “VHS: Video Cover Art” author Thomas Hodge is one of those people.

After Mondo CEO Justin Ishmael’s heartfelt forward and author Thomas Hodge’s passionate introduction, it’s near impossible not to get swept up into the VHS nostalgia contained in this hardcover art book. Over the course of 264 pages, Hodge pays tribute to the lost art of VHS covers by displaying hundreds of glossy pictures of VHS covers (front and black). Along with information about the title (or alternate title), distributor, year of release, and artist (if given), readers get to see weird, wonderful, and colorful artwork of obscure films (like “Eye of the Tiger,” “Mugsy’s Girls,” “Hunter’s Blood,” and “The Imp”), cult classics (“Evil Dead,” “The Return of the Living Dead,” “Remo,” and “The Garbage Pail Kids Movie”), TV series, (“Misfits of Science” and the “Robocop” and “Teen Wolf” toons), and overlooked gems such as “The Intruder” (Rambu!), “Strike Commando (Reb Brown!”), “Neon Maniacs,” and “The Atlantis Interceptors.” The book concludes with acknowledgements and an author bio. Note: It should be noted that the VHS cover art included here is by no means a comprehensive collection. It’s all very subjective and heavy on 80’s action, comedy, horror, kids, sci-fi, and thriller titles.

In an era where most poster/cover art is comprised of lousy photoshop crap, it’s nice to see a book that celebrates real cover art. Back in the old VHS days, cool cover art could do wonders for a small indie film despite the actual quality of that film. Heck, while looking over this book, I felt inspired to check out many of these little seen curiosities. Truth be told, it’s a real testament to the talented artists and their underappreciated work. I’m happy to see that someone like author Thomas Hodge is putting the spotlight on this lost art form because it certainly deserves to be remembered.


April 30, 2015 - Posted by | Book review |

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