At its best the VHS cassette cover was a mini work of art telling you everything that’s good about the movie inside the box. At worst, well it’s just video clickbait offering up spurious imagery of sex and violence created by (it would seem) drug-addled monkeys left in a room way too long with typewriters and a whole set of day-glo paints to play with.
I could be wrong but it would seem that the VHS cover art genre has consistently offered up the very worst promotional art imaginable. I know there are plenty of self-published e-books out there with ghastly homemade photoshop covers that a five-year-old could do better with their eyes shut—but VHS tape covers were created by the paid talents of an artist—who painted the picture, a graphic designer—who produced the typographer and a sales guy—who obviously had no talent whatsoever, certainly no taste, but apparently the largest say on what went on the label. Rummage through any VHS bin in your local thrift store and you’ll find plenty of these crimes against culture
It should also be noted for the edification of future generations that these lurid retina-burning creations were not just the preserve of the USA—every country in the world had their own taste bypass when it came to the packaging for movies on VHS. This little gallery offers a stocktake of VHS covers from Germany during the 1980s.
No, not a tale of dark and depraved demonic sex but ‘The Howling.’
More tasteless VHS covers, after the jump…