I still own about eighty percent of my VHS tapes.
And this is not counting the recorded VHS tapes which feature recorded programs that are now hard to find and mediocre movies that were recorded on impulse and in hindsight didn’t deserve to take up space on my tapes.
Seriously, I have shit like “Lethal Weapon 4,” and “Romeo Must Die.”
As for my official VHS tapes, I just can’t bear to let them go.
Mainly it’s because they were a rarity when I was a kid.
We were very poor, and often times I could only buy actual VHS movies whenever my birthday or Christmas popped around, and then I went hog wild.
Right before VHS went out the back door, I bought stuff like “Enter the Dragon,” and “The Omen,” movies I just can’t let go, and great box sets like “Indiana Jones,” and “Planet of the Apes.” I’m too cheap to really buy the DVD versions and these have some memories attached to it.
I guess there’s that old pack rat side of me who will not let go of these tapes for the simple fact that the poor schmuck in me still says “Don’t get rid of them! They’re still good!” And hey, my VCR still works well.
The first VHS tape I’ve ever owned was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and once I ventured out beyond kiddie movies, I started buying more mature stuff.
I bought “The Sting” special edition with a playing card CD of the soundtrack, and “The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three,” and “Jaws.” These were the prize jewels of my VHS collection, and now they’re just artifacts for people to look down on.
The best VHS gift I’ve ever received was the “Indiana Jones” box set. It was just amazing. It had a tape of “Young Indiana Jones,” and damn I saw all three movies in one sitting.
The weirdest VHS gift I’ve ever received was “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” Why was it weird? I didn’t ask for it, I had no interest in seeing it, and never made any indication that I wanted to see it. Upon opening it, I gave the best performance of my life pretending to be excited for a movie I really could care less about.
Sure, perhaps the movie is great, no doubt, but I didn’t want it. And my aunt put up a story about how she thought I’d love it, when really it seemed she just went to a Blockbuster, picked two copies at random (my uncle received the other), and put up her own performance.
And there are some goodies like “Merlin,” which is a sluggish but fun fantasy, and “Runaway,” which I bought simply because Gene Simmons was in it.
These are fun little memories, and one of the primary reasons why I still cling to them and probably will keep them for another five years or so. I guess it’s why my uncle held on to his Betas for so long, too. Perhaps.
Movies have had such a humongous role in my life, it’s amazing. I spent hours at the video store my aunt worked in, as a child, I discovered horror movies thanks to my mom’s VHS tapes, and in my days as an artist, I spent three hours drawing Moses from “The Ten Commandments” box set.
Why throw them away?
I never understood the inherent scoffing and eye rolls at VHS tapes these days from people who specifically buy DVD. Even when most obscure movies released on DVD these days, AND the bootlegs from Ebay of movies not yet release on DVD are just VHS transfers.
They still work, they still look excellent, so why throw them out? I don’t know, maybe I’m just being stubborn.
I hate to waste, and my VHS tapes will definitely stick with me as long as possible, ya follow?
Posted on January 9, 2008 in Blogs by Felix Vasquez Jr.
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