Around the age of 10 my Dad introduced me to the British sitcom The Young Ones. I’ll admit, not great parenting skills on his behalf but this was the 90s. Upon a recent revisit, a lot of the show hasn’t aged particularly well but it still has a certain charm, even after all these years. One episode that has always stuck with me is ‘Nasty’, whereby the four lead characters; Mike, Neil, Vyvyan and Rick decide to rent a real video nasty from Harry the Bastard. Late fees apply.
The video is called ‘Sex With the Headless Corpse of the Virgin Astronaut’. However, it’s another tape in the episode that I became mildly obsessed by, and appears only in a few shots, mainly on top of the VCR that Mike and Vyvyan are having trouble installing. It’s quite difficult to make out in terms of design but the title is clear to see – Two Million Maniacs.
Most people would believe Two Million Maniacs to be a real movie, as various other genuine titles in the episode can be seen. Titles such as Nightmare Maker on the Atlantis label, Creepshow (Intervision) and Beast (Delta). I’ll admit to even asking certain market traders for this tape in my teens and getting some very odd looks. Sadly, it was only ever manufactured for the show.
Being the collector I am, and also wanting to preserve this piece of British TV history, I decided to try and recreate the sleeve. Now i’m no whizz with Photoshop so I enlisted the help of dear friend and graphic design extraordinaire, Omar Hauksson (@Oswarez on Twitter).
I began by watching the episode back and taking several screenshots but the hardest parts to nail down were the top and bottom labels. We believe the top to read ‘BAHV’, which is based around the idea of a ‘Harry the Bastard Video’ label. The bottom was a lot harder and Omar went with a small ‘Horror’ sticker, which seeing as though it’s virtually unreadable on any of the screenshots, seemed the best way to go. It also makes it look more authentic.
Anyway, below is what we came up with for the sleeve. Paired up with a nice black Replay box, this is going to make a wonderful shelf piece and confuse many who browse my collection.
Let it be noted (again) that Omar is one hell of a talented guy. He had very little to go on but came up with what I believe to be as close to the original as you could possibly get.