Nostalgia Time: VHS Tapes

Tuesday Night Fever

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BaronVH said:
One thing that was interesting, especially in light of people saying blu-rays are too expensive, is that some VHS tapes were as much as $125 the first several months of release. This was due to the video rental business. Also, once the price came down, were still the same or more than new releases on blu-ray today. There are some movies I have owned in more than four formats.
To be fair, Blu-Rays have dropped quite a bit in price over the last year or so. They seem to be mostly on par with DVDs now on Amazon. The only ones that seem to remain super pricey are the huge blockbusters like The Avengers. The good one, not the one with Sean Connery in a bear suit.

What I don't like about Blu-Rays is that they often force you to buy DVD and digital copies of the movie as well. That artificially increases the price, and it always feels like I'm being ripped off since I have no use for the other formats.
 

Mr. Q

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It's moments like these that make me truly regret giving away my VHS player and cassette collection. Especially my MST3K tapes from Rhino. ;_;

There are some things about VHS/Betamax (had both players until my family fully conformed to VHS) I don't miss; mostly the tracking (had one player that needed to be done manually) and rewinding the tape (anyone ever own a VHS rewinder?). In fact, when I graduated to DVD, I never wanted "pan and scan" movies ever again (I got spoiled). Plus, finally getting a complete collection of a TV or film series is finally a reality. Having the entire Three Stooges shorts on DVD is way better than hunting down one VHS tape after another with only 3 episodes per tape.

But, good gravy, I have some excellent memories of popping in those black tapes into the machine.

My older brother had Betamax recorded copies of the original Star Wars trilogy (long before Lucas went special edition insane in the membrane), Commando, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Susan Surandon's Janet getting intimate with Rocky while singing Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch-a, Touch Me practically drop-kicked me into puberty overnight). I had copies of Looney Tunes cartoons I'd watch all the time (Foghorn Leghorn and Daffy Duck were my favs). I even owned Tim Burton's Batman, Batman Returns, and Batman Forever (which I watched many, many times growing up). I did have some anime movies and series on VHS like the original Guyver OVA's. Dad owned a lot of John Wayne movies and, while I'm not a big fan of the actor, I liked some of his movies; Big Jake being one of them and it was my introduction to the Duke. Mom was more into the Disney movies than I was but I did enjoy Robin Hood (had a copy of it but a friend of the family borrowed it and never saw it again) and Aladdin very much. Speaking of animated movies, my late cousin owned a copy of Heavy Metal and he allowed me to watch it with him. First time I ever saw an adult cartoon before and, much like Rocky Horror Picture Show, it definitely messed with me on a mental and hormonal level. ^////^

Perhaps the best part of the VHS era was going through the multiple video rental stores in my area and finding anything to rent for the weekend. I watched a lot of comedy videos like George Carlin stand-up shows. I slowly got into horror titles like Friday the 13th and Halloween plus the other odds and ends (Wes Craven's Swamp Thing, The Toxic Avenger, and The Howling to name a few). I was big into Full Moon Entertainment after discovering Puppet Master (that and Subspecies are still the best series imo). However, there were moments where I got suckered into watching A LOT of bad movies. Keep in mind, this was pre-Internet. No information about lesser known movies was readily available to the public. Unless you were a massive film buff, the only thing you had to go on was the box art. Black Scorpion 2 still stands out in my mind as the worst movie I ever saw and this is coming from a guy who saw Batman & Robin in theaters... twice (I was in denial and tried imagining a better version of that movie)!

All in all, it was a fun and memorable ride during the VHS era. To those who still hold onto their VHS collection or are avid collectors, I salute you.
 

Yopaz

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Jun 3, 2009
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We have a metric ton of VHS tapes somewhere. I can't say I miss those days.

I've had so many movies get poor image quality, the tape tangling and twisting, some parts that are impossible to see what's going on in and of course that one time when a tape got caught inside the VCR and we had to open it up to get it loose. I may be nostalgic about the days of SNES, but the days of VHS are not something I yearn for.
 

Odbarc

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VHS benefits:
Being able to fast-forward the FBI warnings every time.
Not enough space to put in thousands of hours of commercials.

Things kids will never know:
Rewinding tapes. If you wanted to watch something again, you'd have to press rewind and wait minutes. Anyone smart would reach the beginning and fast-forward a second or two to pre-skip the FBI warnings.
The wobbley paused screen.
The fun of pulling out the tapes literal (brown) tape of a shitty movie and having it all over your living room floor.
Movie rental stores. You had to leave your house and go to these places to pick up the movie yourself and return it later or pay a fee for every day it was later than intended. Like a library really.

On a similar note, it was also the perfect age of gaming. You could rent a game for a few bucks. If a game wasn't fun or too easily beatable, you could never rent or buy the game again. Developers couldn't post-release patch a game so they had to be working properly everywhere. It would take thousands of hours to find some niche game breaking bug and you felt like a pro discovering it and exploiting it.
Consoles also didn't have to render 3D graphics so there were almost never any load times to most games save for the unskippable 3 second intro. (Which needed to be limited in graphics to save hardware space).
Super Nintendo was the greatest console ever. I still own one and would replace it if it broke.
 
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We had an old player from the 80s that broke so we got one at walmart. It ate tapes so we got it replaced. Then that one did the same thing a week later. Repeat twice more so my mom bought a nice one at radio shack that we still have and still works today.
 

JupiterBase

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Feb 4, 2010
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Ive got a couple from around when i was born 89-92 recorded straight from TV. Willow, Dont Tell Mom the Baby Sitters Dead etc. The best part is the old commercials. i get big whiffs of nostalgia from them.
 

Leemaster777

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My 5 year old niece has an actually quite large collection of VHS tapes. Mostly Disney and other kids movies, but she's also got the original Star Wars trilogy on tape. Her mom went out of her way to get her a VHS player, and picks up movies from second-hand stores at dirt-cheap prices.

Her bed is one of those kinds that are raised up off the ground alot (think a bunk-bed with no lower bed), and she's set up the area underneath as a little fort, complete with her entire collection in it, and a TV with VHS player to watch her movies.

I'm almost kind of jealous that I didn't have that cool a setup when I was growing up.
 

shogunblade

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VHS is still in in my house. I have a VCR and a VHS copy of Street Fighter, and even though it's on Instant Queue, I really don't like watching it on anything else than a VHS. Why? Wouldn't you?
 

The Madman

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Got a whole bunch of them sitting nearby me in a box actually alongside a VHS player I never did get around to hooking up as part of my 'classic game room' stuff. Aside from some of the oldies that might be difficult to find on dvd or or better however I can't really see myself watching any of them however. I mostly keep the collection out of nostalgia, I mean Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Star Wars before they got all CGI'd up? Can't throw movies like that out, no way.
 

FPLOON

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I used to have two whole shelfs of nothing but VHS tapes... Ranging from the classic Disney to the... uh... *goes through his VHS collection* more Disney to the uh... *looks deeper* animated Christian and/or Christmas Specials to Charlie Brown to the recently required OT of Star Wars to the uh... *looks more deeper* the Pokemon Jirachi movie and the Samurai Jack pilot VHS... (AKA 80% Disney and/or Disney-related, out of about 150+ official VHS releases in said collection)

I now have a full shelf of recorded VHS tapes that range from Cartoon Network shows/specials from 2005-2009 to certain Kids Choice Awards shows (2006 and 2007) to old G4-related shows from 2005-2008 to uh... *looks at labeled VHS tapes* This is... a recorded porno movie shown on Showtime... *shifty eyes* Moving on... *looks at more recorded VHS tapes* And recorded anime shown on Adult Swim from original FullMetal Alchemist to the first five seasons of both Bleach and Inuyasha to... *checks further* the Animatrix, a couple of Studio Ghibli films ("Mononoke and Castle" as it is written on one of these), and... Dead Leaves, as shown on "SciFi" before they changed their logo to "Syfy"...

I can't say I completely miss VHS tapes... *twiches* but, I remember getting super pissed at a certain store when they told me they we're not selling anymore blank VHS tapes during a time where I was (more) obsessed with recording live TV on VHS... I will also say that I was, like, a "child pro" at fixing VHS tapes back in the day...

I guess you can say I have "mixed feelings" for the lack of VHS tapes these days... On the one hand, hearing the sound of a VCR playing a standard VHS tape was both satisfying (to me) and a bit disturbing, according to the people that have seen me put my ear close to the VCR to hear the VHS play... On the other, those things took up SO MUCH space on my shelves that all of my official VHS tapes are now in my closet... (which basically makes up 70% of what's in my closet...) Then again, I always have my VHS combo player to fall back on... (For the love of Betamax, NEVER stop making VCR combo players!!!)
 

Redlin5_v1legacy

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This nostalgia isn't so good for me. I loved VHS until The Empire Strikes Back randomly died and exploded into a bunch of loose film.

After that I never liked VHS tapes again. It was the original version too. :/
 

FPLOON

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Tuesday Night Fever said:
BaronVH said:
One thing that was interesting, especially in light of people saying blu-rays are too expensive, is that some VHS tapes were as much as $125 the first several months of release. This was due to the video rental business. Also, once the price came down, were still the same or more than new releases on blu-ray today. There are some movies I have owned in more than four formats.
To be fair, Blu-Rays have dropped quite a bit in price over the last year or so. They seem to be mostly on par with DVDs now on Amazon. The only ones that seem to remain super pricey are the huge blockbusters like The Avengers. The good one, not the one with Sean Connery in a bear suit.

What I don't like about Blu-Rays is that they often force you to buy DVD and digital copies of the movie as well. That artificially increases the price, and it always feels like I'm being ripped off since I have no use for the other formats.
Actually, what you find as a negative, I see as a positive, since my grandmother keeps saying that she'll get a Blu-Ray player to replace her old DVD player, but doesn't... So, when she does make the switch, which would mostly be "forced" at some point, she'll have some quality Blu-Rays to play as well... ("Win-Win", I guess... I mean, if the combo pack's the same price as the DVD, I choose the combo pack hands down! Who knows when I'll meet someone who ONLY has a DVD player... and no PS3 Blu-Ray player...)

The thing I mostly hate from Blu-Ray combo packs are the DVD's overall presentation, which is either through a lack-luster cover on the disk itself and/or the lack-luster menus that look like they were made from my mom's DVD burner on her 5-year old computer... (I would also complain about the digital copy, but considering I have til 2021 to redeem The Muppets on digital, I have ALL the time in the world to redeem that code...)
 

geK0

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There's still a wall of Disney (mostly disney anyway) VHS tapes in my parents basement; I've been meaning to get a VHS player so that I can show them to my nephews
 

Weaver

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One thing I'll say, being able to just fast forward all the "intro" content and trailers was great.
 

Kyber

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VHS tapes were nothing special, I remember when I had loads of them, and when DVD's became popular I thought: "Wow, these are smaller, you don't have to rewind them and they don't break as much, I guess I should get a DVD player." And I did, and it was so much better.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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Sniper Team 4 said:
I have a lot of VHS tapes at my house. A lot of them are actually recorded shows from when I was in middle school. Toonami and whatnot. I have the Sailor Moon movies recorded on some. Good times.

However, there are two (technically four) VHS tapes that I treasure above all others. I have the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS, which means unedited 'real' version of the film. I think--assuming this DVD collection that I have is true--I also have the 'real' version on DVD, but I've never put the DVD in to check. It just says original theater version.

And the second is a VHS copy of The Hobbit. This one is important to me. I'm sure some of you have seen the cartoon movie. Well, how many of you have only seen the DVD version? Or watched it on youtube? That version is missing a great deal of content. The sound effects, and a few lines of dialogue, are not on the DVD version. They were cut out, or couldn't be copied, or whatever. It's very jarring, because the sound effects made the movie for me growing up. So I still hold the VHS tape and take good care of it.
Last year my friend, who had only ever seen the DVD version, watched the VHS tape with me and she was laughing so hard. She said she'd never be able to watch the DVD again because now she knew what she was missing.
You should check out those Star Wars DVDs. That's the 2006 set you've got there, and it's the best quality of the original originals you can get without diving into the bootleg restoration scene (and most of the projects there use this version as a base, anyway). It's not high quality by DVD standards, but it'll beat your old VHS tapes, because it's a transfer of the last pre-Special Edition Laserdisc release, the one that was THX certified (new cleaned up transfer, mostly) but without the special edition changes. I wish I had that set, instead of the 2004 one that didn't have those. They're on bonus discs, so you won't have to mess with the special edition at all.

Also, good to know that about The Hobbit. I had heard the DVD had new sound effects in places, but I had no idea it was actually missing dialog. I'm glad I still have my tape, and I wonder if anyone has synced the VHS audio to the DVD video yet...

Edit: Yep, found a thread on originaltrilogy.com about fixing the audio and color timing (which was also changed) in The Hobbit. Not sure if they actually did it, though, because I'm having internet issues that randomly block me from seeing individual sites, and that's one of them at the moment, and Google's cache only goes to page 2. Turns out the audio changes are actually an earlier, unfinished version of the soundtrack that somebody grabbed instead of the finished version:

http://originaltrilogy.com/forum/topic.cfm/The-Hobbit-Rankin-Bass-Animated-Film/topic/11973/

Note to mods: there is no actual pirated material on this site or linked through it, it's just a site where people who make fan edits to movies come to discuss them.
 

Tuesday Night Fever

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FPLOON said:
I wouldn't mind it so much if they at least gave you the option to buy just the Blu-Ray. Most new releases are only available as combo packs, and on the rare occasion where a single-disc Blu-Ray is released the stores will only stock a few copies of it.

I worked at Best Buy back in 2010 and we only stocked like one regular Blu-Ray for every fifteen or so combo packs, and we rarely ever restocked the regular ones despite the demand for them.
 

FPLOON

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Tuesday Night Fever said:
FPLOON said:
I wouldn't mind it so much if they at least gave you the option to buy just the Blu-Ray. Most new releases are only available as combo packs, and on the rare occasion where a single-disc Blu-Ray is released the stores will only stock a few copies of it.

I worked at Best Buy back in 2010 and we only stocked like one regular Blu-Ray for every fifteen or so combo packs, and we rarely ever restocked the regular ones despite the demand for them.
I see what you mean, though... It's weird that the options jump from DVD to combo pack without barely the "middle ground" in the form of just Blu-Ray as well as, to me, when they're is that option of just Blu-Ray or combo pack, they're basically the same price instead of the combo pack costing more than the just the Blu-Ray, when you think about it...

I get how, when combo packs were slowly catching on, they were suppose to be sort of the transition between DVD and Blu-Ray, but now it seems like combo packs are more profitable, despite how people, like yourself, really don't like not having an option for just Blu-Ray, the format that's the norm in its own right, but there's still the option of just DVD, which to me I find that to be kinda useless when the combo pack should be covering for a lack of a "just DVD" option while simultaneously making sure that you don't have to re-buy the movie on Blu-Ray when the time comes to get a Blu-Ray player...

In other words, besides the complaint about the DVD's overall presentation in a standard combo pack, but also don't see the point in the "just DVD" option because of the suppose original intent of said combo packs in the first place... (*sighs* I guess I don't understand the business side of all this, then...)