Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Best of Bad VHS Covers

As an illustrator, it's becoming harder to find those beautiful painted covers that got me interested in the field when I was young. A great painted cover was half of what made you want to pick up a title. And that doesn't just go for paperbacks. Looking over some old bookmarks from many many years ago, I found some great collections of classic VHS covers. When I was younger, half the shelves in the local video store was littered with hand painted covers. These were often the low end of the market, the titles that needed more than an actors face or a well captured screen shot on its cover.
So here is a selection of some of the best of the worst VHS covers. Part of me wishes there was some sort of artistic resurgence of this stuff. Maybe somewhere out there, some great kitschy artist is still making this fantastic fount of fromage.
When the visuals in the movie don't work for inspiration you could always steal designs from every other movie.

The 80s they don't want anything back, they just wanted to let us have this...forever.
I love this cover. It's reminds of a lot of the bad paperback pulps I really love. The painting is wonderfully dated. I'm not a huge fan of the layout, but the protag's cheese-eating grin makes it all worth while. Growing up, this is the kinda art I wanted to be making.
Another great painting, that I can't help but include just one for friend's irrational fear of the movie Ghost Ship. Look, it's Ghost Ship but more 80s! Now that's frightening!
Now I will admit, I actually like this cheese mess of a film. But besides that, I absolutely love this cover. It doesn't fall victim to the poor simplistic layout of BloodDebts, while offering a great compilation of little vignettes. This is classic 60s paperback style with bikini clad women and gun toting men.
Ok, I love creature features. Especially when Roger Corman is involved. This is a cover I would have designed, had I been given the assignment. It's fast and straightforward, and it holds nothing back. Humorously enough, this cover has better visuals than the movie it contains. But for a kid wandering the video aisles, this got my attention pretty quickly.
When ninja's are contractually obligated to come to America, they bring lots and lots of airbrushing!
and forearms of airbrushing....ok sorry, no more comments about airbrushing.
I have mixed feelings about this cover. Yes it's terrible, but like a bad Nancy Drew cover terrible.
This cover is great. I wish I could say this movie had anything to do with it.  Meanwhile, the cover brings back days curled up in the library reading the newest Deathlands novels. Anyone else think we should bring back the post-apocalyptic road-warrior beefcake films? (Minus the unspoken need for zombies in every apocalypse.)
Peter Graves, even seniors need an action hero.
This has to be one of my favorite covers, because it makes no damn sense. The best I can come up with is the illustrator saw a picture of a woman upside down and thought, "hey! her pose looks like a gun!" and then subsequently giggled like an idiot.
Tanya's biggest fantasy: a man dressed as a Golden Tamarin
I am Jack Palance!! and this is a SWORD!!
Looks like they need the long arm of the law....sorry.

1 comment:

Meg said...

Jack Palace looks like Hans Solo.

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