Monday, May 18

Cut Box Conundrum

The bane of VHS collectors perpetrated by some evil pimple-faced bastard at some hole-in-the-wall rental establishment wantonly mutilating defenseless cover art for the sake of uniform shelf filing behind the counter back in '86.

Yet I've learned to live with it and even collect them with no qualms, for the following reasons.

What the hell else are you going to do about it, you little bitch?

It's not like you can turn back time like that horseface Cher and kill a motherfucker for chopping up a mint big box of Lunch Meat. What's done is done. Really, who in their right mind would pass up the chance to own a rare, albeit "ruined", copy of such an obscurity. Now I will say there's no way in hell I'm going to drop serious coin on a cut box on the virtual Interwebs, but swap meets and yard sales are filled with unsuspecting and glorious cattle completely unaware of such a brand of awesome and the in-the-flesh pettlers of encased black tape are usually just as brainless. Basically what I'm trying to say is even though it might be cut up, it's usually always the dollar menu out in the world.

We can conquer tape death...and get Barbara Crampton nekkid!

The one thing I've found about out a properly closed hard plastic VHS case is that they seem to do a damn fine job of preserving the tape inside. Cardboard sleeves seem susceptible to all sorts of goddamn environmental hazards--chiefly mold. I just had to throw away a copy of Imperial's The Dead Pit (with the 3-D cover and light-up eyes) bought in a lot due to nauseating dark green fungus infesting the insides of the sleeve and getting all up in the cassette's shit. Try to play that without passing out and your beloved VCR will be choked out like Benoit's family. Conservative estimates of the lifespan of magnetic tape is about twenty five years, yet I have cased tapes nearly at the thirty mark that play beautifully. Basically what I'm trying to say is plastic boxes are to tapes like Botox is to an over-the-hill Vegas whore's face.

Errmmm...the uniformity is kinda nice...

What you call the slaughter of art and value; I call a pre-made opportunity to at least save some space. Of course, there's no way I'd cut up a box myself, but yeah, those small novel-sized cases do organize well and take up less shelf space than those big clamshells or big boxes. When collecting dead media--space is key. Basically what I'm trying to say is ask your grandparents about their ever-so-neatly aligned Liberace and Explodin' Varmit tapes.

They desperately need your love...until they rip your fucking testicles off.

Cut box or not and no matter the condition--horror fans should be collecting ol' gems and not-so-gems on tape when presented with the chance. Just think what happens if you pass them by, either some eBay jerk-off will scoop them up and try to get rich or they'll be left to die lonely and in pain amongst baby shit rags and POGs in your local municipal landfill. Keep the history alive and give them a new lease amongst their shiny digital disc offspring.


Anonymous said...

Some excellent points. I agree for the most part though I admit that there is something special about buying an old videotape from your childhood video store that is going out of business; one that you have fond memories of renting many years before. Finding a pristine copy just wouldn't be the same as the awkwardly cut cardboard sleeve shoved into a plastic clamshell case with a Bee Kind Rewind sticker on it.

Jayson Kennedy said...

Haha, I actually just removed one of those "Bee Kind" stickers from a tape last night.

Yeah, there is something about a certain amount of box damage that's charming.

Anonymous said...

Nice post.
For me, it all comes down to owning the movie itself. Cut-box or not. Being able to watch a horror or action film from the '80s or '70s via a scratchy, grainy, static-laden format is pure heaven. The box art is important to me for sure, but secondary. Easily. you dare tread upon the staircase?

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