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HELLO AND WELCOME TO VHS WASTELAND, YOUR HOME FOR HIGH RESOLUTION SCANS OF RARE, STRANGE, AND FORGOTTEN VHS COVERS. EACH OF THESE BIZARRE GEMS IS SCANNED AT 200 DPI. SIMPLY CLICK ON THE THUMBNAIL OF ANY VHS COVER TO DOWNLOAD THE FULL HIGH RES FORMAT. WE WILL BE ADDING A NEW COVER DAILY, SO BOOKMARK THIS SITE AND CHECK BACK OFTEN. WE'D ALSO LOVE SUBMISSIONS FROM YOU. IF YOU HAVE A VHS THAT IS WEIRD OR RARE, JUST EMAIL US AT MADHATTERDESIGN@GMAIL.COM. REMEMBER TO SCAN THE FRONT, BACK AND SIDES OF THE VHS AT 300 DPI. WE WON'T ACCEPT LOW RESOLUTION FILES. WHILE YOU'RE HERE, GRABBING OUR AWESOME FREE VHS COVERS, FEEL FREE TO CLICK THE "DONATE" BUTTON ON THE LEFT. IF ENOUGH PEOPLE SEND US SOME CASH, WE MIGHT BE TEMPTED TO KEEP BRINGING YOU THE COOLEST, HIGH RES VHS COVERS ON THE NET. BUT IF YOU GREEDY, COVER GRABBING... I MEAN... YOU WONDERFUL VISITORS TO OUR SITE, DON'T COUGH UP A DONATION, MAYBE WE'LL JUST FIND SOMETHING BETTER TO DO WITH OUR TIME. LIKE GO MAKE NACHOS. MMMMM... NACHOS. SO HELP A BROTHA OUT AND DONATE A LITTLE DOUGH TO THE CAUSE.

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SERIAL KILLER CALENDAR: THIS DAY IN SERIAL KILLER HISTORY BOOK
PRICE : $19.95

This perfect bound Serial Killer Calendar book includes detailed facts and trivia about serial killers for every day of the year. It also includes the best true crime artwork from around the world.

Want to know what happened today in serial killer history? Its all in this one massive collection of true crime information. This is the perfect gift for any fan of history, murderabelia or the macabre.



 
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Thank you to wildeyereleasing.com for sending us a big box of vhs tapes! As an extra thank you to them, we will be putting their banner at the top of the site for the rest of the month. Any person or company that mails us a box of VHS tapes, will have their banner moved to the top of our links page and get their banner put on the top of the homepage for several weeks. Plus MORE! Click here!
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RIDERS OF THE STORM

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THE THREE MUSKETEERS

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THE BELLFLOWER BUNNIES

THE BELLFLOWER BUNNIES, THRILLER, ACTION, HORROR, SCIFI, ACTION VHS COVER, HORROR VHS COVER, BLAXPLOITATION VHS COVER, HORROR VHS COVER, ACTION EXPLOITATION VHS COVER, SCI-FI VHS COVER, MUSIC VHS COVER, SEX COMEDY VHS COVER, DRAMA VHS COVER, SEXPLOITATION VHS COVER, BIG BOX VHS COVER, CLAMSHELL VHS COVER, VHS COVER, VHS COVERS, DVD COVER, DVD COVERS


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MY SWEET SATAN - SUBMITTED BY RYAN GELATIN

CLICK HERE TO CHECK OUT HIS AMAZING EBAY STORE OF STRANGE AND WONDERFUL THINGS!

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THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE - SUBMITTED BY KYLE DANIELS

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NIGHTSHIFT COLLECTION : DISCIPLES OF THE CROW AND THE NIGHT WAITER
SUBMITTED BY ZACH CARTER

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STEPHEN KINGS NIGHTSHIFT COLLECTION : DISCIPLES OF THE CROW AND THE NIGHT WAITER : WRITTEN BY ZACH CARTER

This tape has two short films, Disciples of the Crow which is based on the same Stephen King story as Children of the Corn, and The Night Waiter, which apparently has no connection to King other than it's setting in a creepy hotel.  Neither are outrageously bad, but you probably won't feel the urge to re-watch them anytime soon. 

Disciples of the Crow is very similar to the feature film that was made only a year later, so besides a short prologue featuring the children actually killing their parents it basically feels like an excerpt from Children of the Corn.  There are some effectively creepy scenes, although the actors playing the adult couple are insanely annoying.  Nothing is really explained, other than that the children have killed the adults and they practice some sort of strange occult religion, and it all has something to do with corn, but no one knows why.  The coolest aspect of the short is that the children have an assortment of homemade weapons, mostly utilizing ears of corn, but not exclusively; at one point they bust out a switchblade crucifix to take care of the outlanders.  The short running time doesn't leave much room for characterization, or even a decent ending really.  The couple narrowly escape the children and then drive away (to what seems like a pretty safe distance) before they realize that their car is getting too hot and it's revealed that a corn-knife is stuck in the grill.  The end.  The car doesn't overheat or stop, but it might.  And therein lies the terror apparently.

The Night Waiter is also a decent short (actually better than anything else in the Nightshift Collection in my opinion) although it's inclusion on this tape is somewhat odd.  The story is vaguely reminiscent of The Shining, but that's where the King connection ends.  The Night Waiter of the title is a young college student on his first night of work at the Bayview Hotel.  His first night isn't going so smoothly, and to make matters worse he keeps hearing strange noises and music coming from room 321 (I had to check to make sure it wasn't the same room as the one in The Shining, neither book nor film).  And the night manager is real jerk too, always playing pranks and trying to spook the new guy.  All he wants to do is a deliver a ham and swiss to the woman across the hall from 321, but things really don't go his way.  The Night Waiter is a worthwhile short, with a pretty decent twist ending to boot.  The scare factor is only a notch above Are You Afraid of the Dark? or Goosebumps, but that's the most you can ask for with something like this anyway.

The best thing on the tape is actually the lone coming attraction before the two shorts.  It's for something called Slightly Astounding Stories (I can't find anything about it online) and it features a giant insect-like craft flying over a crowded city, landing on a high-rise building, clutching it, tearing it out of the ground, flying it far out of the city, and eventually dropping it on an old man who's crawling through the desert.  It's totally bizarre and hilarious, and the cheap special effects are surprisingly well-done.  I hope that some day I stumble across some more info about that movie, but somehow I doubt it.  I'll keep my fingers crossed though.


APRIL 26 2011 VHS COVER SCAN - CLICK FOR HIGH RES VERSION
THE AMAZING MR NO LEGS

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EMPIRE OF THE ANTS - SUBMITTED BY DALE LLOYD

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TUBBY THE TUBA

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THE BELL OF HELL

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EXPOSE

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THE ADVENTURES OF MARK TWAIN

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THE WWF WRESTLING CLASSIC

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BLACK KILLER

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THE GOLDEN AGE OF WRESTLING 2

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MISBEGOTTEN

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APRIL 26 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : EMPIRE OF THE ANTS
From jabootu.com

I have the sad duty of bidding farewell to two of our roundtable members. For personal reasons, Andrew Borntreger of Badmovies.org and Nathan Shumate of Cold Fusion Video have elected to part ways with the B-Masters’ Cabal. Their presence is and shall be sorely missed.

Nathan, like all those I’ve been lucky enough to associate with here, brought a keen intelligence, cheerful good will and, needless to say, a marked amount of humor to both our roundtables and our regular inter-Cabal e-mailings. These qualities I will continue to find from those who remain. What can’t be replaced is his voice and his unique perspectives, his very, dare I say it, Nathan-ness. Keep well, sir, and I still hope for the pleasure of meeting you in person someday.

Andrew’s presence I’ll miss even more. (No offense to Nathan, and I hope none taken.) First, I’ve been in contact with him on a much more regular and personal basis, especially during long phone calls that are always on Andrew’s dime. I’ve also had the happy opportunity to spend time with him during the B-Fests and NOWFFs we’ve attended together. Meeting my fellows is the best thing that’s come out of running my site, and Andrew is one of the primary reasons that’s so.

As much as it might rankle him to hear it said, Andrew is one of the best people, and certainly among the most generous, I’ve ever been privileged to meet. When he’s come in for the yearly B-Fests, rather than relaxing like a guest as he had every right to, he would instead work like a dog at my merely request. Indeed, even without my request. To be honest, I abused his goodwill something frightfully, but with never a complaint on his part. Objectively, I’ve spent a bare couple of weeks’ time on a face-to-face basis with him. Subjectively, I’ve come to consider him a close friend, and frankly, I haven’t too many of those.

That’s the personal side. Then there’s the Cabal side. His site was one of our powerhouses; both in terms of the audience it brought us and the influence of his work. As even our most casual shared readers know, I find myself ‘borrowing’ from Andrew's writings in about everything I post. Moreover, both Andrew and Nathan represented an ever-shrinking pool of Cabal founders still contributing to our roundtables. With their departure, of the seven sites that took part in our initial roundtable, only three remain active members.

It’s a credit to Nathan and Andrew, and to Apostic of B-Notes and Rob and Al of Oh, The Humanity, that the structure of the Cabal has proven sound enough to survive their departures. Perhaps someday it will go on without the input of any of us who started it. I’d like to think so.

Still, one can take comfort in one thing. Those who left us before did so because they’d decided to cease actively running their sites. Nathan and Andrew’s sites, happily, continue to be as vibrant and compelling as ever. And while I’ve been a colleague of theirs, on a more basic level I’m just a reader and a fan like so many others. This I don’t lose, and I’m thankful.

And so the Cabal stumbles on. With the addition of our most recent member, Greywizard of Unknown Movies, we continue to offer what I hope will remain an extremely high caliber of product. (Readers will also be pleased to note Joe Bannerman’s continuing contributions from his sojourns in Europe.) Even so, I wish to salute my departed comrades, Andrew and Nathan and those that went before them, and let them know they are missed and their absence mourned by all of us. God keep you, gentlemen.

As a discrete genre, the Big Bug film was kicked off by 1954’s superlative Them! While giant insects and arachnids appeared in films decades prior to this, they were typically minor elements. I’m sure there are numerous such instances I’m unaware of, but here are some examples.

Tod Browning’s 1931 Dracula opens with a tour of the Count’s subterranean lair. Aside from the infamous armadillo -- actually, I have a reasonable explanation for its presence – there’s a bizarre shot of a bee extricating itself from a (patently miniature) coffin. I’m not sure why the Lord of the Undead would have a five-foot long insect buzzing around his lair, but there you go. Rumors that this same bee was the one who terrorized the feverish young Paul in Irwin Allen’s The Swarm remain unconfirmed.

In a famous ‘lost’ scene from King Kong (1933), car-sized spiders and scorpions attacked men knocked into a gorge by the titular beast. Special Effects director Willis O’Brien later did the stop animation sequences for 1958’s bug extravaganza The Black Scorpion, purportedly using one of the models from this sequence.

Big bugs hit the sci-fi genre with cameo appearances in 1953’s Cat-Women of the Moon and Mesa of Lost Women. The former features a marionette moon spider that briefly menaces the cast. About the size of a greyhound, it sports a bony horn to emphasize its outer-spaceyness. In the film’s trailer this creature is described as the "black terror that threatens the Earth." This remains an odd claim in that

a) It’s on the moon, and sans any apparent space traveling technology that would get it here, and
b) Is quickly dispatched with a .38 revolver.

Mesa of Lost Women features Mad Scientist Jackie "Uncle Fester" Coogin creating a race of invulnerable spider-women. This requires a serum made with the help of another giant spider puppet, one even more inert than Cat-Women’s specimen.

Both puppets reappeared in later cheesy sci-fi flicks, including Cat-Women’s remake (!) Missile to the Moon. Other appearances by these or other puppet/plush spiders occur in films ranging from World Without End (1956) to Queen of Outer Space (‘58). The World Without End spider appeared as well in 1961’s Valley of the Dragons. Horrors of Spider Island (1962), aka It’s Hot in Paradise, also featured such a beastie, one smaller yet sillier than most. Photographically enlarged spiders had their day in the sun as well. Such pop up in The Lost World (1960), 1961’s Journey to the Seventh Planet and, rather more memorably, 1957’s The Incredible Shrinking Man.

In any case, the Big Bug movie came spectacularly into its own with Gordon Douglas’ Them! Aside from being one of decade’s finest genre films – quite a feat during an era that produced The Thing From Another World, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Forbidden Planet, The Day the Earth Stood Still and many others – Them! went on to sire more knock-offs than almost any other film of its vintage.

The format of Them! was often slavishly replicated. We’d begin with a series of inexplicable events: People missing or killed in bizarre fashions, the unexplainable destruction of cars and/or houses, mysterious noises. Eventually investigators would stumble across some gigantic bug or a nest of them. The most humorous tendency was to follow Them!’s ‘mystery’ format while announcing the nature of the menace in the film’s title: The Deadly Mantis, The Black Scorpion, etc.

Oddly, given Them!’s extraordinary box office success – it was Warner Brother’s top moneymaker for 1954 – the rip-offs were slow in coming. The first, 1955’s Tarantula, appeared a full year and a half after Them! hit theaters. 1956, meanwhile, was bereft of big bugs entirely, save for your typical giant spider cameo in the aforementioned World Without End.

In 1957, however, the big bug genre exploded with The Deadly Mantis, Beginning of the End, The Monster That Challenged the World (actually giants mollusks, but close enough), Rodan and The Black Scorpion. This and subsequent years abounded with elephantine insects and arachnids. These were the result of atomic bomb testing, exposure to cosmic rays from outer space, the ingestion of coelacanth blood and experiments to grow both gigantic plants and animals to alleviate world hunger. Reawakened prehistoric specimens were also popular.

The radiated fruits and vegetables causation led to monstrous grasshoppers attacking Chicago in The Beginning of the End. (The climax of which was recycled as the ending of The Swarm.) Liz Kingsley’s review of that film is her contribution to this roundtable. Beginning of the End was also the first foray into giant bugdom for ‘50s gigantism maven Bert I. "BIG" Gordon. Twenty years later, Mr. Gordon produced and directed the subject of this article as well.

Fans of golden age bug movies can search out the above titles, as well as Earth vs. the Spider (another Bert I. Gordon classic!), Cosmic Monsters, Monster From Green Hell, Killers From Space and Attack of the Giant Leeches.

Want more? A giant dragonfly made a quick appearance in Monster on the Campus (1958). The Three Stooges (!) meet up with a flame-throwing giant spider in 1959’s Have Rocket, Will Travel. Nor should we forget Toho’s Mothra (1961) and its numerous sequels. Rodan (1956), meanwhile, featured Them!-like sequences in which miners are attacked by subterranean buggies.

Completists could even include human/insect hybrid films like The Fly, Return of the Fly and The Wasp Woman. (Not The Leech Woman, though, who doesn’t actually become a leech.) Even William Castle’s The Tingler features what looks like a cat-sized earwig.

After the early ‘60s, Big Bug movies waned in popularity. Following the release of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds in 1963, bugs of ordinary size became a more favored screen menace. (The Bees, The Deadly Bees, The Savage Bees, Terror Out Of the Sky, The Swarm, Bug, Frogs, Kingdom of the Spiders, Squirm, etc.) One obvious advantage of this was you didn’t require as many practical or photographic special effects.

Even so, Bert I. Gordon didn’t want a decade to pass without throwing at least one big bug at us. And so a photographically enlarged tarantula pops up in his comedic sci-fi flick Village of the Giants (1965). Rather more competently executed giant bees were featured in Ray Harryhausen’s Mysterious Island (1961). Toho added the fearsome giant arachnid Spiega to the mix, meanwhile, in Son of Godzilla (1967). This also featured some pretty cool giant praying mantises. Spiega returned in Destroy All Monsters.

Cheesy Big Bug movies occasionally hit drive-ins in the ‘70s as pollution replaced nuclear power as the prevalent sociological fear. Bert I. Gordon again led the way with 1976’s Food of the Gods (giant wasps) and the following year’s Empire of the Ants. Another ‘70s misfire was Bill Rebane’s gloriously silly Giant Spider Invasion (1975). Giant scorpions, meanwhile, made a desultory cameo in the lame sci-fi actioner Damnation Alley (1977).

The ‘80s proved a fallow period for the genre. One of the few contributions to the roster was 1987’s Blue Monkey. This revolved around giant insects slithering around a hospital. (Not a fact easily inferred from the title, as you may have noticed.)

During the ‘90s things picked up a bit. Direct-to-Video features included the surprisingly effective Ticks. One species making their debut was the mosquito -- a variety of bug mysteriously absent from earlier efforts – who made up for lost time with dueling features, Mosquito and Skeeter.

Actually, giant mosquitoes first hit theaters in 1991’s Popcorn. Set during a sci-fi film fest, the movie featured various film spoofs. One is "Mosquito", a pre-"Mant" take-off on ‘50s bug movies. "Mant", of course, was the much more elaborate spoof of giant insect movies found in Joe Dante’s Matinee. Fans will find these films worth seeking out for these elements alone, although the "Mosquito" spoof is rather short.

The ‘90s also saw the thoughtful Mimic (1997), one of the more solid additions to the genre. This was followed in 2001 by Mimic II, which again beat expectations by proving a quite decent entry. A third chapter is due out on video next year. We’ll see if the series can continue defying the odds.

And we shouldn’t forget the giant space bugs in 1997’s Starship Troopers. Despite the lackluster box office for the film, a fairly well done CGI animated series was subsequently produced and is available on DVD.

With CGI effects becoming affordable for low-budget productions, the 2000s have witnessed a minor resurgence in such fare. I’ve already mentioned the second and third Mimic films. Lame Giant Monster movie specialist Nu Image tossed their hat into the web with Spiders (2000) and the inevitable Spiders II (2002). Meanwhile, an alien giant spider and sundry other bugs threaten an expeditionary team in 2001’s Arachnid.

Schlock specialists Cine Excel, meanwhile, threatens to produce a film wittily entitled GiAnts. This has been listed as "in production" for some time, however, so I’m not sure if it’s actually going to get made. Trailers and experimental CGI footage can be found here.

As well, the superlative Eight Legged Freaks (2002) proved a comparatively big budget effort that garnered an increasingly rare theatrical release. In my opinion, and at least I’ve seen pretty much all the competition; this is the best big bug movie since Them! Appallingly, though, the film bombed at the box office. One can only hope that it does extremely well on home video and DVD and gets into the black.


APRIL 26 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : DEMON OF PARADISE (1987)

A group of fishermen in Kihono, Hawaii are illegally fishing with dynamite when they unleash a long-dormant creature (in other words, a man in a rubber suit). After causing the fishermen to blow up their own boat, the creature then goes on a killing spree. The local natives believe that a mystical beast called Acua has returned, so they perform an ancient ritual (lots of hula dancing) to keep the creature at bay so they can continue fishing. It doesn't work. Local cop Keefer (William Steis), who use to be a sheriff in Reno, Nevada until a serial killer made him lose his edge, joins forces with visiting herpatologist (it's a reptile expert, stupid!) Dr. Annie Essex (Kathryn Witt) to get to the bottom of the killings. Complicating matters is nosey tabloid reporter Ike (scripter Frederick Bailey), who is working in cahoots with down-on-her-luck resort owner Cahill (Laura Banks) to publicize the creature's sudden appearance, so it makes the resort a popular tourist attraction. Also on the island are two criminals, Langley (Nick Nicholson) and Shelton (Henry Strzalkowski), who are waiting for a huge shipment of TNT to arrive, which they plan on selling to the local fishermen (the ones that aren't superstitious, that is). As the tourists start pouring in, the killings begin to escalate and Keefer wants to close down the resort's lake, but in true JAWS fashion, Cahill refuses and tells Keefer to do his job ("I'm not going to let anyone railroad me!"). Cahill holds a "Creature Egg Hunt", where the tourists search for eggs hidden around the resort (you've got to be kidding me!), but when Keefer and his men have a shootout with Langley and Shelton and the creature puts in an appearance and kills Shelton, all the tourists leave the resort in a panic. Keefer calls in the National Guard and they drop grenades on the creature from a helicopter. This just pisses-off the creature, as it then walks on land for the first time and traps everyone in the resort's main cabin. The creature begins picking off people one-by-one and then chases the remaining survivors to the ruins of an ancient temple, where the creature faces-off with Keefer, Annie and the National Guard in the film's explosive finale. This is prolific Filipino director Cirio H. Santiago's second horror film (after VAMPIRE HOOKERS - 1979) and it's easy to see why he didn't make any more. He stinks at it. This is basically a remake of UP FROM THE DEPTHS (1979; which Santiago produced) and it's a boring mess, with long stretches where nothing happens, followed by an explosion every now and then, followed by an appearance of the creature, which is laughable at best. The subplot about Keefer's past is never fleshed out, besides him saying "I came here to get away from this stuff!" when the murders begin to happen and then later mentioning to Annie that he is a widower (we never really know if the serial killer back in Reno murdered his wife). The film is also rather dry and relatively gore-free for a horror film. The creature attack scenes are few and far between (the sparse gore consists of after-effects of the creature attacks, like slash marks on the face and chest of it's victims), as Santiago would rather focus on the action elements of the film, like Langley and Shelton's dynamite exploits and several gunfights and explosions. Santiago could be an efficient director when faced with the right material (see reviews of FINAL MISSION - 1984; NAKED VENGEANCE - 1985; SILK - 1986), but he seems uncomfortable when it comes to directing horror. He plays it way too safe, which is probably why he didn't make more of them after this. Almost all of Santiago's action and post-nuke flicks (STRYKER - 1983; RAIDERS OF THE SUN - 1991) display more blood and gore than this film, so avoid this and watch one of those instead. Also starring Lesley Huntly (who supplies this film's only topless scene), Joe Mari Avellana (also the Second Unit Director and Production Designer), Paul Holme, Liza Baumann, David Light, Ronnie Patterson, Dave Anderson and Joseph Zucchero. Many of them have appeared in numerous Santiago films in the 80's & 90's. Released on VHS by Warner Home Video and, like most of Santiago's 80's output, not yet available on DVD. Rated R. { text from critcononline.com }

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