Saturday, March 23, 2013

Video Mania (1990 catalog)

Video Mania 1990 mail order VHS catalog
Anyone who's been collecting VHS since the mid '80s knows about mail order catalogs. It was the only way to acquire certain titles, especially uncut versions of foreign films, usually dubbed from a master VHS or LaserDisc, if you're lucky. Sometimes the copy you would get would be a few generations removed from the master - with blurring, tape roll, or any other manner of tape distortion. This was all part of collecting/tape trading in those days. For many movies, this "generational distortion" caused a certain grittiness and lack of color saturation, which added a layer of authenticity to these obscure horror films, which they seem to lack when you view a pristine DVD or Blu-ray transfer of the same movie.

VIDEO MANIA, however, was a mail order tape seller out of Chicago, IL that dealt with legitimate VHS copies of movies. Their prices seemed hefty at the time, but compared to what you or a video store owner would pay for retail prices, most of VIDEO MANIA'S tapes would be considered a bargain. I was in high school at this time so the prices didn't seem like a bargain to me. Unfortunately I wasn't able to order too many tapes from VIDEO MANIA. If I had a time machine though, I would certainly go back and order a lot of these titles. I mean come on, Last House on Dead End Street on Sun Video for $24.90 and 555 for $34. That's a steal compared to what you'll pay for these tapes today! I miss those days...

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