List

List

Best of 80's UK Monster Movie VHS Cover Art

up
67

Rewind back to the 80s, a beautiful decade to be a horror movie fanatic here in the UK – a quick trip to your local VHS rental store would be a day out in itself – any store worth its salt would have a horror section hidden away at the back much like a dark, dirty little secret. Some of the films on display would be of such questionable quality that they would have no choice but to fall back on the strength of the  cover art alone – Just take Charles Band’s Ghoulies as exhibit A. Others were so proud of their visual effects set -pieces that their lead monster would be up there on the cover in all it’s screaming glory for the world to see, if they wanted to or not. Here is a misty- eyed toast to the past and a brief run-down of what we think were some of the more memorable and effective 80's monster movie cover art to ever grace the front of a VHS cassette.

The Evil Dead VHS Cover

THE EVIL DEAD
Release Date :1981
Distributor:  NEW LINE CINEMA

ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Hard to believe that Sam Raimi’s tale of rampant possession and demon slaying  was once terrorizing conservative British media way back in the day,  eventually leading to being  condemned to video nasty blacklists to rot in video purgatory. A group of teens unwittingly summon an ancient evil that threatens to devour them one by one – easily one of the majorly seminal titles in modern American horror movie history.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
The go to movie poster choice for horror aficionados looking to decorate their bedroom wall. Rich in colour and gritty detail you can almost feel, this is a fine example of cover art done right by Graham Humpreys , the man responsible for some of the finest poster art in horror. The image of deadite Cheryl (Ellen Sandweiss) would later be echoed in a homage for the cover art of Rob Zombie’s ‘Hellbilly Deluxe: 13 Tales Of Cadaverous Cavorting Inside The Spookshow International’.  The ‘ultimate experience in gruelling terror’ tagline is now stuff of legend.

Basket Case VHS Cover

BASKET CASE
Release Date: 1982
Distributor: ANALYSIS FILM RELEASING CORPORATION


ABOUT THE MOVIE:
Frank Henenlotter’s ultra low budget creature feature about a pair of reluctantly separated Siamese twins on a gore soaked vendetta against the surgeons who parted them quickly became a midnight movie favourite.
 

WHY WE LOVE IT:
Original theatrical posters wanted to tease you with a mere black and white glimpse of the murderous Belial peering from inside the basket, the tagline screaming ‘The tenant in room 7 is very small, very twisted and very mad.’

Ghoulies VHS Cover

GHOULIES
Release Date: 1985

Distributor: EMPIRE PICTURES

ABOUT THE MOVIE: 
Will eighties teenagers ever learn? After one of their group decides it would be a blast to halt a decent night of drinking to toy with black magic in the basement, setting loose a band of spritely nasties known as Ghoulies.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
If you’ve ever walked the floors of your local VHS store and thrown a glance over at the horror section then you probably would have discovered this one, the image of a cheeky little Ghoulie protruding ominously from some unlucky soul’s toilet. Shame the actual film fails to live up to the cover art.

From Beyons VHS Cover
 

FROM BEYOND
Release Date: 1986

Distributor: EMPIRE PICTURES

ABOUT THE MOVIE:

Stuart Gordon’s follow up effort to Re-Animator reteams Combs and Crampton for a darkly gothic body horror adapted from another H.P. Lovecraft story, boasting some of the more impressive creature effects of the eighties.  Crawford Tillinghast (Combs) assists his mentor Edward Pretorius (Ted Forel) in constructing the Resonator, a machine that activates the human pineal gland, allowing them to see a reality beyond ours.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
This one just screams body –horror with Ted Forel’s face melting off into the infinite. Another fine piece of cover-art that we don’t doubt gave many a kiddie who was unfortunate enough to get a glimpse many a restless night. Truly horrific.


 

PUMPKINHEAD
Release Date: 1988

Distributor: UNITED ARTISTS

ABOUT THE FILM: 
After his son is killed by a gang of careless high school kids, Ed Harley enlists the aid of a local witch to summon a ghastly vengeance demon known only as ‘Pumpkinhead’. A pretty impressive main beastie designed by the late great Stan Winston himself.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
Despite having a pretty decent main beastie designed by director Stan Winston to show off to the horror masses, it’s surprisingly the old witch that takes the cover star spot for this European version of the VHS release. One of the golden examples of old school make-up effects way before CGI came and ruined it all.

Killer Klowns From Outer Space VHS Cover

KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE
Release Date: 1988

Distributor: TRANS WORLD ENTERTAINMENT

ABOUT THE FILM:
It’s a vast universe with unlimited possibilities, so it stands to reason that if there is intelligent life out there, they could very well resemble evil clowns. Right?...Right? The Chiodo brother’s zany live action horror cartoon about killer aliens armed with candy floss and pop-corn guns had it’s tongue firmly in cheek but still managed to bring a whole new level of freaky.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
Just take one look at it. If you think your kids are scared of clowns already, just whip this poster past their faces and it’ll save you plenty of cash on future birthday parties until they’re eighteen.

Slugs VHS Cover
 

SLUGS
Release Date: 1988

Distributor: NEW WORLD PICTURES

ABOUT THE FILM:
Another sure fire way to find yourself up to your eyeballs in mutated beasties –the age old folly of spilled toxic waste – an age old monster movie trope. A huge strain of evil black slugs descend on a small rural town. They’re highly intelligent, capable of carrying you away and have developed teeth capable of taking your fingers off.


WHY WE LOVE IT:
Giant. Freaking. Slugs. Need we say more?

Little Shop of Horror VHS

LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS
Release Date: 1986

Distributor: WARNER BROS

ABOUT THE FILM:
While some of you out there may argue that Frank Oz’s kooky musical romp isn’t fit to lick Dr Frank N Furter’s leather clad feet, there can be no denying the impact this had on the genre during it’s VHS run. Rick Moranis starts as Seymour Krelborn, a lonely shop worker at Mushnik’s flower store who happens upon a stange looking Venus fly trap whom he names ‘Audrey 2’.  Cue murder and mayhem as Seymour sets out to tend to his new plants disturbing taste for human blood. Amazing appearance from Steve Martin in gloriously goofy form as Audrey’s abusive boyfriend. The film would go on to spawn an animated series.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
That iconic image of ‘Audrey 2’ wrapping her tentacles around the main cast in a classic 50s drive-in monster movie pop art homage.

The Monster Squad VHS Cover

THE MONSTER SQUAD
Release Date: 1987

Distributor: TRI STAR PICTURES

ABOUT THE FILM:
Co-written by Shane Black and directed by Fred Dekker, The Monster Squad is pretty much The Goonies versus the Universal Monsters. A gang of high schoolers take on Dracula, The Mummy, Wolfman and Gil-man in a battle that will determine the future of all mankind. Must been seen for Tom Noonan’s stand out performance as Frakenstein’s monster.

WHY WE LOVE IT: ‘You know who to call when you have ghosts but who do you call when you have monsters?’ Stan Winston’s marvellous take on the classic Universal villains designs looming behind the titular squad, who are all perched on a damn sexy Cadillac...what’s not to love? Sure beats the hell out of the recent dvd release cover, anway.

Puppet Master VHS Cover

PUPPET MASTER
Release Date : 1989

Distributor:  FULL MOON PRODUCTIONS/ PARAMOUNT

ABOUT THE FILM:
A case of puppets are brought to life by Egyptian black magic in this Charles Band scripted cult classic.  Released a year after Child’s Play, capitalizing on the subsequent fear of creepy ass dolls.  Cheesy, fun-size classic horror with a cameo from stellar scream queen Barbara Crampton.

WHY WE LOVE IT:
Seemingly innocent puppets all arranged in a beautiful display case – Wait, is that a power drill on that puppet’s head? Imagine a Punch And Judy show conducted by Satan himself and it would probably look alot like this.

<none>