When it comes to collecting movies, I’m a self confessed addict. And no I’m not about to give them up by going down to this week’s M.A. meeting at the local YMCA. That’s Movies Anonymous in case you didn’t pick up on that lame attempt at humor.
So here’s my story ….
Last week I came across the opportunity to purchase about 1500 movies on video tape. Act fast I tell myself. The seller wants to move them as a lot and not have the usual suspects comb over the titles pulling only the rarities from the shelves. A quick message to the seller and Number 2 son, Kirk, and I are on our way.
As we don’t have a truck, we took two cars and pretty much filled them to capacity. Makes for an amusing drive home with video tapes crashing about and sliding forward over the front seats of my vintage 2008 Toyota Prius.
So once the weekend came it was time to go through all these “treasures” to see just what I’ve amassed for my ever growing collection knowing that a vast majority of these will find there way to either my annual summer movie sale in my driveway or the goodwill shop.
Let’s have a look and hopefully rekindle some fond memories for those of you who frequented the video stores while growing up.
Sure there were plenty of movies branded with the WB and MGM labels but how about these companies that you got used to seeing when pressing play on the VCR.
So just what did I find? Cut cases, clamshell cases and some still sealed! Plenty of titles that sent me back in time to the weekend rentals. One of the great werewolf movies to a satire on the subject with a TV star on the box cover to a major disappointment as far as sequels go.
Richard Harris returns to prominence, the rise of an action star named Van Damme to a Ginger Rogers-William Holden film I’m not sure I even knew existed.
Classics of the 1930’s, childhood faves to a major box office bomb from Roman Polanski that if I’m not mistaken never surfaced on DVD or blu ray making this a rare tape????
Must see action films of the day with three of the era’s biggest gun toting stars.
The epic length films in the double tape editions……
The Big G. No my favorite import from Japan is not my Prius but rather Godzilla, King of the Monsters.
Ah, yes…. the previously viewed bin that always had my attention which in this case could net you the latest non-Bond effort from Moore …. Roger Moore. A steal at $9.98.
Forgotten sequels to films that you may have already forgotten about. I’d like to add I will be checking out Cyborg 3 thanks to the participation of Malcolm McDowell and Richard Lynch.
A trio of enticing box covers would have lured me in years ago but I somehow missed these at the time. I won’t make that mistake this time around.
America’s Sweetheart, Mary Pickford, a sci-fi film I’m not familiar with and it’s high time I finally saw the Kentucky Fried Movie.
Each and every week there seemed to be a new Dennis Hopper film on the shelf that I’d never heard of before.
This was a nice find among the piles of tapes. A somewhat lost Billy Wilder film starring Lemmon and Matthau that I believe has not been released to home video since this VHS release. Saw it back in the day so I’ll give it a rewatch thirty some odd years later.
More titles I sifted through include a bizarre looking horror film, more Arnold and even Lee Van Cleef’s final film, a movie I’ve yet to see.
A horror flick that scared the hell out of me as a child on late night TV, some cool James Coburn artwork and a film that me and my teenage buddies hoped to rent when Mom and Dad weren’t around.
Willie, Ustinov and The Groove Tube. Hell of a triple feature if you can find them.
A trio of titles I’ve never heard of include a Sybil Danning title I’m pretty sure is one I’d have been hoping to see in my teenage years. Back before the internet changed everything …. I’ll leave it at that…..
Thankfully there were a few tapes in the collection of my go to tough guy of the era, Charles Bronson. A nice selection here. Probably his best film of the 70’s Hard Times, perhaps the rarest of his leading roles, the straight drama Act of Vengeance opposite Ellen Burstyn (hate that title as it’s meant to capitalize on his image) and of course his iconic vigilante in Death Wish II.
These are of course just the tip of the iceberg but be rest assured if I see an ad for 1500 tapes for sale tomorrow within driving range ….. well let’s just say, “let the haggling begin.”
Any of the above titles bring back some memories? Maybe you’ve seen some of these that I would call rare. Do tell and let me know what you think. Maybe you even want to secure one or two for your own collection. Feel free to reach out.
Cheer’s and when it comes to movies ….. happy hunting. Gotta go . Time to press PLAY on an old favorite.
Enjoyed browsing thru this post and not knowing some of these ever existed. You reminded me of the warehouse sales of vcd when i scooped up those movies then.
Always fun to come across a big haul but it can be overwhelming. Then again I do welcome the challenge.
Oh my goodness. You’re going to need a bigger boat! I see some great finds. Enjoy. And I am not selling mine. Nostalgia rules!
Boat maybe. Garage definitely. Hang on tight George or I’ll snatch them. Hope to see you sometime soon if the world ever gets back to normal.
Fun post! So glad you and your son made the effort to do this 🙂 really fun looking at all the different titles.
It was like Christmas going through these once I got home. Every so often my eyes would light up and I’d be like, “good one!”
It must have been so much fun!
what a great post! Makes me so happy to see those vhs tapes and also glad that I still own quite a few. I just love the art on the boxes. The Richard Harris film The Field is a movie I’ve wanted to see for some time but the dvd goes for $40+ on eBay so I’ve never gotten around to getting it. Maybe vhs is the way to go — although I only have one operating vcr and I always worry that one bad tape could ruin my machine. I always watch any vhs movie waiting for the tape to jam and get eaten by the vcr!! Any recommendations on where you can buy a decently priced vcr? I definitely need a backup!
I have a few VHS machines but that’s in part to having the dual machines with the DVD player that can record the tapes to disc. For a backup they are usually available at goodwill type stores for a few dollars. The Field a really good film with Harris and John Hurt both at the top of their game.
For crying out loud, dude! You’ve never seen “The Borrower”? It’s gross fun from the director of “Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer”!
On Tue, May 4, 2021 at 7:09 PM Mike’s Take On the Movies ………. Rediscovering Cinema’s Past wrote:
> mikestakeonthemovies posted: ” When it comes to collecting movies, I’m a > self confessed addict. And no I’m not about to give them up by going down > to this week’s M.A. meeting at the local YMCA. That’s Movies Anonymous in > case you didn’t pick up on that lame attempt at humor. So her” >
Not sure how I ever missed it but soon to be rectified. Forgive me…. LOL.
Wow, Mike!!!! That’s the biggest VHS bonanza I’ve ever seen!!! Sadly, I had to get rid of most of my VHS’s when my folks and I moved from Philly PA to Ocean City/Somers Point NJ about 3/12 to 4 years ago (feels so long ago too). We still have a DVD/VCR combo player, but we never hooked it back up. I never did get to enjoy the big box VHS releases as they were being phased out when I was a kid, and my Dad tended to prefer recording movies and TV shows off the TV. I did recently buy a hardbox DVD release from Germany, and the hardbox’s are very similar to VHS boxes, just sturdier.
It’s actually the second big collection I’ve bought recently. Purchased about 700 or so last November from an estate sale. Let’s just say I’ve got a garage full. My intent is to sell a few at annual garage sale and some online . Proceeds go back into my collecting in the end. I’ve been eyeing up some of those fancy German blu ray releases but are pricy considering shipping to Canada.
What a haul. and 1500 of them! I’d forgotten there were so many forgotten titles that only ever saw the light of day on VHS. Looking forward to reading reports of your finds.
There are so many that never made the DVD or blu ray world. Sub genres and titles that wind up in ownership hell where the rights have gotten tangled up in takeovers between companies. I’m always on the look out but this was too good to pass up at a very enticing price.
I knew there was often a legal minefield for titles especially those made outside the studio system but I had forgotten about the takeover situation. But, yes, you seem to have struck gold with many of the titles in the collection.
So many in here. Plenty I’ve never heard of or at least don’t recall. Keeps me happy in my research and never ending search to rediscover old titles.
Great post! Sadly, my last VCR died a few years ago. I donated my tapes. I almost cried but I decided to move on. Sometimes I get the urge of buying an old VCR. 😦
I don’t generally keep the tapes. Usually make a DVD copy and move on. They’re just too bulky to keep around the house. Hence my annual garage sale for movie collectors locally and recently I’ve even taken to selling on some Facebook pages geared at movie collectors across Canada.
Never occurred to me to make a DVD copy. They are certainly bulky. If you’re getting rid of the actual tapes you might like to know there’s a market for old VHS covers – or you probably know that being much bigger on memorabilia than I am.
Yes I’ll sell plenty of them off to collectors and donate others to goodwill shops that are of little interest or common titles in abundance.
BY JOVE MIKE! That is truly insane and fantastic read at the same time.
I just reviewed one of them 5 minutes a go lol. Raw Deal.
So many on your article I haven’t even heard of. Like the three Dennis Hoppers lol.
You can never have enough copies of Bronson for your collection. Looks like Hard Times is still sealed too.
I have to go investigate just what the F is The Groove Tube???
The Kentucky Fried Movie used to do the rounds on the school playground. Funny at the time we all thought it was gonna be real naughty. Funny looking back now and seeing there was actually famous actors involved, I really had no clue who any of them were back then. Fistful of Yen and the black couple in The Wonderful World of Sex sketches still stand out after all this time. No idea if they were that funny though lol…
Good luck and happy sorting buddy. That really is a BOSS amount of movie history. You are the movie DON.
Thanks and yeah it was like Christmas all over again. I was emptying out the cars tossing tapes here and there depending on their importance and or value. Neighbors walking by were laughing at the size of the collection while the couple next door got a kick out of it and know I’m a big collector and are of course always welcome to borrow as many as they want. I’ll be sitting in on Kentucky Froed movie soon and Groove Tube looks to be along the lines of Amazon Women On the Moon or maybe even UHF though the ultra low budget type.
You do realize with those two purchases (good for 2,200 videos), you could open your own nostalgic video rental store…if I lived in your area, I’d definitely frequent it! I just moved my meager collection of VHS and Beta tapes to a shelf on the Monolith; at the very least, they bring back wonderful memories of visits to video stores in the ’80s.
Honestly the thought has crossed my mind at times but as of late I’ve become a buyer/seller and surprised at the demand in some cases. But what I do find is it’s mostly horror and action that sell. No one seems to asking for Gable and company much anymore.
Yeah, you’re right…everybody wants the new stuff. I once worked at a video store, and the older classics were rarely rented…everyone wanted recent releases. So a co-worker and I (he was also a classics fan) would pick our favorite older films and move them to the ‘Recent Arrivals’ shelf…and sure enough, they would all get rented! Feel free to use that deception if you open a Mike’s Take video place.
Saw this today Mike and of course instantly thought of you 🙂
A big WOW. That man is my hero. While my wife indulges my collecting not sure if she’d welcome a collection like that to our garage. LOL.
LOL it really is quite obscene isn’t it! A Biblical sized mountain that even the most hobby welcoming partner is likely to lay down the law with a stern, “No way Jose!” hehe