I search the internet on a daily basis for all sorts of VHS tapes, be them pre-cert or otherwise. The only trouble with purchasing tapes online is the postage costs that are involved. A single tape will cost you somewhere in the region of £2.99 in stamps alone these days. So i’ve decided to only use the net for the tapes on my ‘Most Wanted’ list only and try to collect all others from job lots that come my way.
The latest job lot offer was from a guy who had over 1,000 titles from an old video store that had closed down a while back. I could tell from some of the pictures he had sent me, that the tapes were mostly late 80’s to mid 90’s stuff, an era of film that I have a keen fondness for.
We pulled up at a garage in the middle of nowheresville and met up with the guy. He said that due to a lack of space the tapes had been kept in the back of an old van for quite a number of years, and he couldn’t wait to get shot of them all. He then led the way to said van, opened up the doors and told me take as much time as I needed. Luckily the tapes were all stored neatly in crates and most were clearly visible, so it didn’t take too much time to go through them all.
After a couple of hours scanning it was time to assess the damage. Although the majority of these tapes were indeed late 80’s to mid 90’s stuff, I had still somehow managed to acquire exactly 160 tapes for my collection. Around 40 of them being upgrades. That means I already own them, either in a small case or through a later re-released studio version, but these are the ex-rental video store tapes, which were built to have better playback and withstand more viewings.
A further 20-30 of the chosen ones were tapes that I should already own but for some reason have chosen not to over the years. We’re talking your average run-of-the-mill flicks here like Robocop, Hellraiser, Die Hard 2, Honey I Blew Up the Kid etc. I couldn’t leave them behind.
I paid the man a few pennies and began loading up the car. Unfortunately we were unable to take any of the crates or boxes with us, which meant the tapes had to be neatly stacked into piles in the boot. It was only later when we arrived home that we re-housed them all into 6 separate crates. It was a small price to pay for practically free tapes.
It was a weird feeling looking through the old stock of a 90’s video store because that was my era. Some of my earliest rental store memories are from when I was around the age of 10 (1995), and these were the exact same tapes that used to line the walls. I’d quickly run into the Horror section and grab Jason Goes to Hell and a few others, pass them to my Mom and tell her to get them for me. She knew I was a weird kid who never got scared so she’d rent them for me and i’d spend the rest of the afternoon until night screening them all. When my local store (Video Vision) closed down they had a huge £1 sale, but I wasn’t old enough to afford anything so the public came in and took the lot. I guess i’m now making up for that by collecting them in my mid 20’s.