the best horror VHS jackets in history

Okay so, when I was a kid, my parents didn’t really let me watch that many horror movies. Sure, Arnold taking down a small military installation holding his daughter for ransom on his own, not a problem. Kevin Costner throwing a man off of the roof of a Chicago court house and landing in the street; No worries, five year old Josh can handle it. Kurt Russel…well, virtually any Kurt Russel movie was fine. My mom had no problem with him. But horror movies, no such luck. Either way, I used to walk through the local video rental store and gaze longingly at the horror section and the movies that I could not see. But the great thing was, when I was a kid, those VHS jackets were almost better than the movies themselves. Each one told a tragic, hilarious and enticing story that made me want to know what those films/worlds were like. I had to know.

Friday the 13th Part 8: Jason Takes Manhattan



Jason Voorhees has always and will always be my favorite movie “villain”. Personally, I kind of identified with a guy who was bullied for looking different. I always kind of cheered him on as he was cutting a bloody swath through camp Crystal Lake. But with this cover, as his hands literally take hold of the island of Manhattan, his true threat was finally realized. There was just no place to hide from this undead wonder… lawsuit notwithstanding.


Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2


Holy crap, where do I even start? I’ll admit to never actually have seen this movie, but that is neither here nor there. This VHS cover made me laugh at first and then it made me wonder; who the hell is that with Leatherface? I never actually saw a Texas Chainsaw movie until I was in my early twenties so I had no idea that this was Leatherface’s family. I had thought that this was some kind of slasher movie supervillain team up film the likes of which no Legion of Doom could compete with. Also, compare this to the VHS jacket for the Breakfast Club. It’s good for a laugh.


Silent Night, Deadly Night


Before I realized that I was really a Halloween kind of guy, I fucking LOVED Christmas. The weather, the songs, the cartoons, the presents and two weeks off of school, and then I saw this VHS jacket and instantly that I had better mind my P’s and Q’s. Santa Claus is out and he is apparently on the hunt.  While I may be a little dramatic at times, this cover really messed with me as a kid. My father always told me that Santa gave bad kids a lump of coal for Christmas, but this film made the argument for good old Saint Nick fuckin’ capping a kid on Christmas Eve.


The Brain


Holy…shit…this is everything I have ever been afraid of and it is looking at me wherever I go. I thought this was an advertisement for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sequel that never came to be. The image of a ghastly alien brain that lived for little more than devouring human flesh was almost too much for me to handle. Its eyes seemed to be a bottomless abyss of fear and despair the likes of which only Dante Alighieri could conceive. This so called Brain was the most monstrous force my young eyes had ever seen HOLY SHIT IT’S EATING SOMEONE ON THE BACK COVER!!!!


Elvira: Mistress of the Dark


Okay, full disclosure; there is a very obvious reason why this cover jumped out at me when I was a kid and I am not going to be ashamed of it now so…is she just creating all that smoke around her? Look at her right hand, smoke is just pouring out of it of it. That is smoke, right? I’m not just seeing things, am I? Do you think she can control fire as well? Does she not need matches? Is she always helping her friends light a grill? I mean, I never knew that Elvira had the potential to be a class four mutant. Is Stan Lee involved in this somehow? You’re not buying this at all, are you? What can I say, Cassandra Peterson was breathtaking then and she is breathtaking now. It’s obvious why this jumped at me, right?

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