Ha! This is kind of interesting to watch now in retrospect, and I stumbled upon it completely by accident as I was searching for old live videos of the band Vision Of Disorder. (Long Island, NY represent!) It’s an “expose” segment from the 80’s on 20/20 about “VCR HORRORS” and how kids were too obsessed with horror movies in the boom of the home video market.
This is a fascinating segment and for me personally brings back a flood of memories as I’m sure it will for a lot of you out there as well. The news crew spend time talking to 3 groups of kids who congregate on the weekends and rent horror movies from the local video store. I had a small little mom & pop independent video store within walking distance from my house growing up (2 of them actually!), and the punk rocker behind the counter had no problem letting me take out whatever I wanted. (Well, except anything behind that little black curtain that had the “adult” video tapes.) I even have a vivid memory of a sleepover birthday party where we all watched BAD TASTE for the first time. Disturbed as we all were, not to mention on the verge of vomiting through most of it, we were also laughing our asses off and having a great time.
I also love that these kids are watching EVIL DEAD 2 which to this day remains my favorite movie of all time. (With PSYCHO being a close second.) The plot description from the news narrator here is hilarious. The kids seem pretty aware of what they’re watching and not taking it too seriously, (I know my gang of friends were always unaffected) but check out the parents squirming in this clip.
There is some terrible real life violence stuff talked about towards the end of the segment which of course blames “horror movies” as inspiring some of this real life violence, but that’s a whole other topic of discussion. The video’s about 15 minutes long, so kick back with a cup of coffee if you’ve got the time to kill.
*Editors note: The photo from above is recent photo not of a video store, but of the video collection of Phil Blankenship. Seeing it immediately brought me back to the days of surfing the video store shelves much in the way this video did. Respect.