Friday, April 12

Life goes on, VHS Collectors vs. Wizard Video, or how it just doesn't matter...

Today, I was originally going to do a video detailing my thoughts on this whole Wizard Video big box re-release debacle that happened this week. I gave up after recording a rambling ten minute video where I essentially kept saying the same thing over-and-over. So I'll resign myself to sitting in front of this blinking cursor.

I'm still in lockstep with's assertions that the new Wizard Video big boxes are 100% fake. While I honestly like much of what Charles Band has done in his career, making such a big falsehood a key selling point to a niche market is bullshit. You knew the VHS market was hot right now and you've exploited it in the worst possible way. In doing so you've abused your position and inadvertently tarnished Wizard Video's legacy in the home video industry in the eyes of many that actually still give a fuck.

It's also a bigger deal than just a pile of worthless reproductions. It's flat out wrong especially since it's all been designed to fool people at their wallets to the tune of at least fifty bucks a pop. Everything Paul has pointed out makes a great case for fraud and it would have been wiser for Band to just speak the truth about these straight off the bat. Myself along with the majority wouldn't have cared, brand them "anniversary editions" or some shit and see the cash come in without the scumbag afterglow. And then I hear "buy them, don't buy them, blah excuses" Shhhhhh, what's that being carried by the gentle winds...aww yes, again soft whispers of bullshit...

Got these in this week; real, cool, and awesome... 
Despite underhanded remarks or attempts to downplay this situation made by some, including Fangoria editor Chris Alexander, we aren't naive or stupid just because we enjoy a dead format found in heaps at flea markets. DVD? Blu-ray? Streaming? No shit Sherlock, here's your blue ribbon.

Collecting relics of the past doesn't denote ignorance especially when said relics were an integral part of the huge popularity the genre enjoys today. If it weren't for people like us, bulldozers would have gladly take it all away before anyone realized what was lost. I get the feeling quite a few of these asshats insulting analog videophiles are either too young or simply indulging in thick-headed herd mentality because; you know, it's easier to be cattle.

Many of the horror tapeheads I know have been doing it for decades and aren't just knowledgeable at VHS, but with the genre itself. Immensely so with passion. I'd wager they're vastly more informed than many that have suckled at that teat of DVD all their lives as horror fans. This whole happening has proven to me that more often than not horror fans are elitist pricks to each another. Who dare not stand up for what's right just to maintain being goody goody with their beloved personalities. Either personally or in their own damned heads. And now I hear you saying that I'm a hypocrite for just disparaging disc enthusiasts. Quid pro quo.

Still, this all won't matter in time. Either they'll sell out, which I seriously doubt, or they'll eventually be discounted long after this drama has blown over (or maybe just disappear). One of the already most common "rare" vintage VHS distributors of the video boom will just get more common and the bottom will most likely fall out of the collector's market under the weight of all the counterfeits. While tape collectors will continue to pine for rarities on their want lists at yards sales or eBay and those that think they're idiots will go back to sucking Bruce Campbell's cock and lusting after box office horseshit. Do I sound a bit bitter? Well, maybe it's because of people like Charles Band.


R.Sterling Carody said...

Very well said on every point!

Anonymous said...

Well said indeed!

As you said, if these tapes had been advertised as reproductions, I really wouldn't care: it would be a really cool thing to offer fans who don't want to buy expensive originals (or who just want copies of the boxes in really nice shape), and it wouldn't piss off anybody. His lie is absolutely what makes this a big deal, since he clearly was treating his fans like idiots and trying to con them out of their money, instead of being grateful to them for giving him the career he has enjoyed.

And you're right, all the VHS-collecting horror fans I know (my friends and I having grown up during the peak of the video store era) are the most knowledgeable people I know about the genre. For that matter, all the VHS collectors I know work in the production industry, and studied film in college, so they treat VHS as art collectors would, with academic and professional background, and love putting them in their historical contexts.

But honestly, I think that after some time has passed, this whole thing will matter even less than you say: these reproductions are easy enough to tell apart from the originals (especially the "copyright 2013" on the tape labels) that they probably won't affect the collector's market for the original releases at all. I don't think they'll tarnish the reputation of Wizard Video in its original 1980s incarnation; only Charles Band's reputation now. For collectors, I suspect those original Wizard releases will remain just as sought-after and fondly remembered; they'll just really do their homework before buying any, to make sure they're getting the real deal. Honestly, it's only slightly trickier than telling first-run Media Entertainment tapes apart from their subsequent Video Treasures reissues that had identical box art.

Now that the truth is out, I hope that Charles Band just comes clean- and then reduces his prices. There's nothing wrong with these reproductions existing, as long as they're sold as reproductions. If they turn into the cheaper alternative for those who don't want (or don't care) to spend more money on the originals, that's just fine; they just need to be sold honestly.

Johnathon Davis said...

Full Moon has already marked them down by 50% only months later. Surprise surprise... you dare tread upon the staircase?

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