I love digging up these old VHS boxes as so many of them feature iconic artwork that’s never left my mind from way back in the days of the video store experience of the 80’s. So today I’m featuring a pretty unknown jem of a movie from 1985 by Independence Day director Roland Emmerich.
This one is a great movie, a total 80’s Amblin, Speilberg rip off but a ton of fun. It borrows heavily from movies like E.T., Poltergeist and Close Encounters. It was also known as ‘Joey’ and features a villainous ventriloquist doll so yeah there’s that too! Anyway I’ve always totally dug the cover art from when I was a kid and it totally represents the movie as well. You know most more obscure 80’s flicks feature some totally wicked cover art but then the movie just doesn’t deliver one tenth of that awesomeness. Making Contact has a great cover and is actually a pretty cool little flick too!
This cool ass box art was done by Barry E. Jackson, if you want the full scoop on him and some of the other totally epic cover check out this link from one of my favorite blogs Camera Viscera!!
Who doesn’t love a good fan made film? Well these days it seems comic book fans waste no time pumping Youtube full of fan flicks and with modern technology everyone seems to think they’re a damn genius director. Well back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s making a fan film wasn’t exactly something that everyone was doing. Nope there was an actual serious shortage of regular fanboys and girls attempting to bring the pages of the comics to film.
However today I saw a pair of pretty entertaining Spider-man fan films one from 1969 and another from 1989. It’s awesome to see way back then people were inspired enough to give the near impossible feat of bringing a superhero to life on screen- check these out for a serious blast from the past, hey you gotta give these peeps credit and an A for effort, they gave it a good shot with what they had!!
Oh and you gotta love the Kingpin in this one!
Ok so check this out, here’s two of my favorite movie covers /posters for two of the coolest 80’s movies ever! Dreamscape and A Nightmare on Elm Street, now I know that probably everyone is very familiar with the artwork of both of these BUT I found out recently something when I was trying to figure out if these two movies shared the same cover artist. They do not but they share something else quite sinister I found out. It turns out that the artwork of a Nightmare on Elm Street features a familiar face from the Dreamscape movie universe- OR perhaps it’s the other way around?! If you look closely first at the Dreamscape art done by Drew Struzan take note of the snake creature above the title, who makes several appearances in the movie:
Ok now let’s take a look at the equally incredible artwork by Matthew Peak who did the artwork first five Elm Street flicks. Look closely above the blade of the pinky finger on the right, do you see it? It’s the snake creature from Dreamscape…..
Here’s it blown up a bit…
Both of these movies came out in 1984 and as I did more research on it it was indeed added by Matthew Peak as an homage and this could be proof that maybe just maybe Dreamscape and A Nightmare on Elmstreet are shared universes- Now if this took place today I’m certain you’d likely see Dennis Quaid in an Elm Street sequel where enters the dreams of Freddy’s victims and takes on Mr. Krueger himself! Damn what a missed opportunity-how awesome would that have been?!!!
Issue number five just dropped of Portland Oregon’s FREE comic newspaper! Vision Quest is a collaborative effort put together by local comix writers and artists and it’s a great change from all of the mainstream stuff out there flooding the market. It’s got a real feel to it as well, black & white, hand drawn ink on paper quality that will likely bring you back to the good ol’ days of self published comic books and zines of the nineties.
It’s a ton of fun too as each issue showcases 30 plus full page bursts of old school comic strip mayhem. You never really know what to expect within it’s pages either, stating on the cover it’s recommended for mature readers so it’s not quite the comic book either for your kid. You get a fine collage of the all of the local talent here in Portland and beyond & yeah it’s free and can be found all around town. Cool artists like Alex Chiu, Tim Root, Erin Nations, Liz Yerby to name a few are featured in issue five and some of the artists are veterans in the underground & local comic scene.
Tim Goodyear (Teenage Dinosaur / Video Tonfa), one of the publishers and contributors elaborated on the inspiration behind it saying “Vision quest is a boiler plate we got from The Intruder up in Seattle. I have been bummed on the commercial structure of comics for a long time and have tried many times to get comics to folks with out all the barriers that are in place. Ian Sundahl asked me how The intruder paper was structured and I told him what Max Clotfelter had told me. He asked if I’d want to do that here, I said I wasn’t sure. 6 or 8 months later he asked me again and I said yes. It’s been great. I love it.”
With regards to submissions to be included in Vision Quest, Goodyear advises that “people should write to us at Visionquestcomix@gmail.com – people should look at the paper and they should make the comic that they want. Not everything fits, whether it be math or tone or outside our interests. Hand lettering is a big key.”
Check this shit out around town here and I’m certain copies can be acquired via the Vision Quest email!
I recently checked out an awesome early 80’s flick called ‘Evilspeak’ starring everybody’s favorite awkward actor Clint Howard who’s the younger brother of superstar director Ron Howard. Evilspeak delivers all the goods besides having Clint Howard in the lead it’s got some gruesome fx, a truly unique story and some pretty cool sets. It’s also got a swarm of possessed pigs that are more than willing to carry out the evil deeds of the devil! So track this one down if you get the chance, it’s totally worth it. Now one last thing obviously this one had got going for was the incredible VHS box cover art! One of my faves…
Well I also realized that this artist C. Winston Taylor is responsible for many of my favorite movie posters and box art of the 1970’s and 80’s in fact it turns out that he did the cover art for one of the other blogs I did recently for the movie Mutant Hunt! Also check out the blog post on with more details on his artwork on another cool ass blog I dig: Camera Viscera!!
Hey here we are again for the second installment of The Best of the Box where I’m listing some of the best VHS box cover art of all time! Well this time I’m showcasing Mutant Hunt, which is a pretty fucking hilariously awful movie from 1987. However they really did the right thing when hired the artist for this one. As a kid I’d alway dug this one, but it wasn’t until more recently that I actually saw the movie. Cyborgs were the shit in the 1980’s and with the success of The Terminator it seemed that everyone and their uncle was trying to cash in on the man machine phenomena! Track this one down and watch with a rowdy group you really can’t judge a book by it’s cover in this case!
Have you noticed the overload of retro style throwback movies that have been coming out over the last ten years or so? You surely seen all those retro style movie posters that seem to to borrow so heavily from those cult flicks of yesteryear. Well here I’m going to start a weekly post where I’m going to give you some of my personal favorite VHS box covers of all time. Most of these are ones as a kid in the 80’s I’d see when visiting the video store, some of those incredible covers will oddly always bring back great memories of being a kid. So for the first installment I picked one of the coolest from a bizarre werewolf movie from 1984 called “A Company of Wolves”. Seeing this one at Bricco’s Video Vault (I think that’s what it was called) back in Neenah Wisconsin back in the 80’s kinda freaked the shit out of me! It makes me wanna revisit this movie as it’s been a long time since I’ve seen it. But here it is in all of it’s crazy glory….
Back in 1986 a cool little series came out from Aricel / Adventure Comics for those D&D nerds called The Adventurers! It was a great comic book jam packed with swords, sorcery, monsters galore and yeah…ninjas. My brother collected this series and though I was a Marvel & DC kid at the time I’d often sneak his much more daring and graphic indie comics any chance he’d leave the house. It was interesting as a kid learning that there indeed was more out there than the “big two”. This rad cover is from the first issue of The Adventurers by Peter Hsu and make no mistake each issue had incredible painted covers. I’m going to have to dig these out again cuz I’m feeling the need for some serious adventures lately!
I can’t begin to tell you just how much I love this particular comic book cover and how much as a child I loved this particular issue of ‘What If?’!! It really make sense as we get one of the greatest comic book artists ever responsible for this masterpiece, Bill Sienkiewicz doing an unforgettable rendition of the jade giant on issue #45. ‘What If?’ was an incredibly fun comic book back in the classic Marvel days and this issue from 1984 was one as a kid I carried with me everywhere. This one retells the classic origin story but in this reality Banner fails to save Rick Jones from the gamma blast and while Rick doesn’t die the Army ends up killing him-Sending the Hulk into a crazy rage. The Hulk freaks out and takes down the Fantastic Four and Iron Man killing several them in the process. It’s a great, surprisingly violent issue and in the end The Hulk’s rage costs him his own life. Anyway this cover will always remain one of my faves, Sienkiewicz never fails when doing comic book covers, with the pencil and ink in his hands you always knew you were going to get something truly special!
Fan films are all the rage these days especially with the popularity of Youtube making it possible for anyone to get their content out there. Well back in 1992 a movie was made that’s just over 45 minutes long that many call the greatest fan film of all time: The Green Goblin’s Last Stand. The movie was made by mega fan Dan Poole who recreated the legendary Spider-Man story “The Night Gwen Stacy Died”.
He financed the film for around 400 bucks and did all the stunt work himself at times swinging above buildings on a rope with no safety net. Now That’s dedication! Also this fan film has a pretty creepy rendition of the Green Goblin, the absurd looking costume only adds the insanity of the character. However I’ve never been a fan of any of the big screen renditions of the Goblin. Anyway I discovered this cool making of video on Youtube that gives the full scoop on this now cult comic book flick. Pretty awesome stuff and considering it was 1992 it makes it all that much more badass! Check it out!
Here’s the full movie just in case you’ve never seen it! It’s a ton of fun and totally D.I.Y.!!