Rupert Pupkin Speaks: VHS Gems Guest Post: Dale Lloyd ""

Thursday, September 6, 2012

VHS Gems Guest Post: Dale Lloyd

Dale Lloyd is a fiend for VHS collecting! He can be found on Twitter @VivaVHS.
also check out his site:

I occasionally get asked why I hate DVD so much, and it always leaves me quite perplexed. I don't hate DVD at all, or even Blu-ray for that matter, I simply prefer to watch 'certain' movies on videotape. I mean, doesn't everyone want to see their favourite movies in the best quality they can? and with additional features? of course we do! What I do hate however is when films are mistreated and released without the care and attention they so rightly deserve. Thrown out there in some god awful packaging without so much as an original trailer or TV spot. Even worse, with a terrible looking print that is no different to the tape it has now replaced.
So when my PAL asked me to submit a list of movies that have yet to make the leap to disc, I couldn't wait to highlight a few of my favourites.

What i've tried to do here is stick to films that I not only love, but also ones that I cannot believe haven't already been released on DVD or Blu, especially considering you can track down most on Netflix.
There are so many titles that currently reside on my to-watch pile that are VHS only, and I hope to see them appear on other people's lists so that I can bump them up. ROLLING VENGEANCE or SKATETOWN USA anyone?

I have also spoken of my passion for REMOTE CONTROL and ENEMY TERRITORY far too many times, so for this list i'm leaving them out.

HIT LIST (1989)

"He was the Mob's next target. But he would never be there victim."
Bill Lustig is one of my favourite directors, and a big VHS lover to boot. I even know a guy who lives locally that claims to have sold his entire collection to Bill many years ago.
I consider this movie to be one of his finest pieces of work, certainly his most underappreciated anyway. You have Jan-Michael Vincent, Rip Torn, Lance Henriksen and Charles Napier, all on excellent form.
It's the classic tale of a guy taking the law into his own hands, à la TAKEN. The action comes thick and fast and the final pay off is one worth waiting for. Henriksen is a monster!

QUAKE (1992)
This is actually one that I only saw for the first time quite recently. I picked the US tape up in one of my recent VHS hauls, and the seller was very insistent that I took it with me.
The plot is very straightforward, as it centres around an earthquake in San Francisco. Jenny (Erika Anderson) lives with her boyfriend David, but when David leaves for work one morning, disaster strikes. An earthquake shakes the city and David is trapped on the other side of town. Jenny takes refuge under a kitchen table but when she awakes she finds that she's not at home any longer, but instead in the company of her psychotic neighbour Kyle (played by the superb Steve Railsback). He's obsessed with Jenny and refuses to let her leave, imprisoning her in his apartment.
I can't believe it took me so long to hear of this little gem. If you can get past the awful performance by Erika Anderson, and focus more on Railsback, you are in for a real treat. He is truly menacing.
Also, look out for the Dick Miller cameos towards the final scenes of the movie. I urge everyone to track this one down.

"Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the kitchen..."
As a child of the 90s, I can say without any hesitation that this was one of the first tapes I ever rented, or got my Mom to rent for me at least. I used to see it on the shelves all the time, and it was always placed next to THE AMBULANCE in the horror section. Yes, I can even remember that.
A mind controlling refrigerator in New York, I hear you ask? That's absolutely correct. And it's also a gateway to hell. I have seen this one far too many times but admit that it has been a long time since I last saw it, so maybe i'm due a bit of a catch up. Get past the acting, plot and extremely low budget, and you are in for a real treat. Also, look out for Juan the plumber...
It took me many years to track down the VHS tape for this monster, and I think I ended up paying around £15 for it off of ebay.

"A monstrously funny romance."
My idea of the perfect feel good movie. I remember wanting to rent this purely because of the cover art, which I think is slightly different to the US release, as it displays a demon like figure at the window.
It's basically a slight riff on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale, but centred around a busker that turns into a demon when sexually aroused. If you're not desperately searching for the soundtrack as soon as the credits roll, you could be too far gone to save. It's sweet, funny, and a little hairy in parts too (in a TV Charmed kind of way).

"In Vietnam, he was the best... He still is!"
The film that needs no introduction. I refused to take this off the list, even though it's so blatantly obvious to everyone. This film may not work for most, but it rocks my world with every repeat viewing.
After seeing AEROBICIDE (aka KILLER WORKOUT) for the first time a few years back, I was desperate to see more of David Prior's work, and this was next on the list. Right away, he shot up in my estimations as a forgotten Spielberg. Of course i've seen more of his work now to know that it isn't necessarily the case, but he's still yet another favourite director of mine.
I don't want to dwell too much on the plot as it's fairly common, but what I will say is that if you haven't seen it, you need to get on it immediately. That's an order!
How could you not want to watch a movie where a guy hacks off another's arm, and begins to repeatedly beat him with it? 
It also features one of my favourite lines from a movie; "Take off your shirt before I take you out from under it."
It's like PUNISHMENT PARK meets THE RUNNING MAN meets RAMBO meets PREDATORYes, it really is that entertaining.

RAD (1986)
"It's going to take a lot more than skill for Cru Jones to conquer the toughest BMX challenge in the world. It's going to take a miracle."
There aren't many other solid entries in this genre but I claim this to be *the* greatest BMX movie of all time. I'm sure most of you have seen it but if you haven't I urge you to tack the tape down at any cost.
I guess in some way it helps that I am completely head over heels in love with Lori Loughlin. Ever since I first laid eyes on her in STRIKING BACK (aka THE NEW KIDS), I was hooked.
This is also another strong contender for the greatest soundtrack of all time. Like the film, it's quite a rare item to locate but well worth your time.
You could also do no wrong by screening this one with either BMX BANDITS or THE DIRT BIKE KID. Hell, even GLEAMING THE CUBE or THRASHIN' would work too.

"She was lonely. He was all she had. No-one would take him from her - and live..."
This is a fine slasher movie, and features a wonderful (if not slightly unnerving) central performance from Susan Tyrrell. There's a deep incestuous undertone that's hard to shake off, but there is so much more here on show to get over that, and get over it quickly.
Despite this being released on the Atlantis video label in the early 80s, it was later placed on the Video Nasties list and effectively removed from the rental shelves. It was resubmitted to the BBFC back in '87 as THE EVIL PROTEGE, but again it was refused a certificate. It's basically banned in Britain. I know because I tried to screen this recently at my local cinema as part of a VHS festival but the cinema was very hesitant about showing it, and I had to screen THE BURNING instead.
If ever a movie deserved to be released on DVD, this is it. It's just a crying shame that Susan Tyrrell won't be around to contribute to any extras that may be included.

I was fast typing my love and admiration for both VOYAGE OF THE ROCK ALIENS and THE LAMP (aka THE OUTING) before I realised they had DVD releases already. Where was the memo?

Honourable mentions:
3:15 ('86). Enemy Territory ('87). Remote Control ('87). Static ('85). Girlfriend From Hell ('89). The Dion Brothers ('74). The Power ('84). The Keep ('83). Dudes ('87). TerrorVision ('86). Meet the Applegates ('90). Babes in Toyland ('86).


btsjunkie said...

AGFA has a print of MY DEMON LOVE here in Austin but it's never been programmed to play. :(

Rupert Pupkin said...

That's terrible! I wonder why it hasn't played?

btsjunkie said...

The only series it would really fit into is Terror Tuesday and Zack doesn't like it. We've begged him. And will keep begging him until he relents.