VHS cover art is an art form unto itself. The gaudy cover art of yesteryear was the main selling point for the majority of low budget horror movies at the time, and since the mid eighties when the VHS horror boom reached its apex, things have never really been the same. Gone are the majority of painted covers, instead replaced by photoshop jobs which rarely inspire all that much.
One particular cover which remains in high regard in cult horror and VHS collecting circles is the double-sided version of the cover to THE VIDEO DEAD. This gem of a low-budget zombie movie is based around a haunted TV, which is able to turn itself on, then turn itself over!
There’s a black and white zombie movie showing on its screen, and once the TV has toppled onto its back, those zombies are able to cross over into our world for flesh-eating and general 80s horror mayhem. It’s a delightfully entertaining piece of trash cinema which lives on in the hearts of a lot of cult film collectors around the world. But what about the cover?
Arguably the most iconic version of the cover comes in the form of a double-sided sleeve, depicting a zombie bursting out of the haunted TV in all its glory on one side (see the top of the article) and a demonic zombie face emerging from the TV on the other (see above). This is one of the covers which grabbed my imagination as a kid. The film could never live up to this glorious cover, but hey, what film ever did back then? That was part of the fun.
While the cover to THE VIDEO DEAD isn’t the most iconic, the goriest or most controversial horror cover of the time, it’s definitely a strong contender for the greatest.
It’s eye-catching, tells you what you need to know and has incredible painted artwork which has the power of a classic metal album sleeve and really makes you want to sample the insanity within. The film itself is fun, but the cover is a masterpiece.
What would YOU put as the greatest VHS horror cover ever?