You guys have covered most of the bases when it comes to all those things of yesteryear that have stuck with us longer than we would have ever imagined possible. But there’s something you haven’t touched on yet, and I’d like to know if any others had the same experience with this that I did.
The RCA video disc. These flooded video stores in the early/mid ’80’s, and I’m pretty certain they began my love of horror movies. Some had the standard covers that appeared on their Beta and VHS brethren, but some had the most vile and twisted cover-displays imaginable. And if you could make it past the cover, lord only knew what awaited you on the backside of the disc.
A couple cases in point: FRIDAY THE 13TH had a standard cover, but I will never forget what happened when you flipped it over–every brutal death displayed like a comic book layout. I’m not sure what they did or how they manipulated it, but the killings seem way gorier than what happens in the film (I think it might have had to do with a more saturated red used in the printing, and the shot of the girl with the ax in her face traumatizers longer and harder in freeze-frame than it does for the couple of seconds in the movie). And PARASITE showed the goods on the cover as the title creature was seen chewing through a leg (I think). These things were like modern-day porno movie packaging that gives away all the money-shots on the cover/back and makes you wonder why you would want to rent the thing when you could just slip it under your coat and high-tail it home.
I have a few of these things framed in my rec-room, but haven’t been able to find more than 10 or so, and the great one’s remain illusive (does anyone remember that really odd video disc cover for THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD?). A friend of mine once found a CD-ROM done by someone who had lovingly photographed every cover and backside of every RCA disc ever released (so I know I’m not alone in loving these things) but it died in his computer and I never got to see it.
I’m sure you guys at Kindertrauma MUST have a fond memory or two to share about these things (along with some images to post…?) ’cause I can’t be alone with my memories of the RCA video disc. The strange scotch-tape scent of them mixed with that ’80s video store second-hand smoke smell…the gawd-awful quality and image skipping of the actual film…etc.