Viva VHS #15: 1981 Video Catalog

So, I found this nice little gem languishing on a dusty flea market shelf.  I thought it deserved to see the light of day.  In a strange twist of fate, this catalog will reach more eyes via Retrospace than it did in it's original run (although, I'm not reproducing it in its entirety - just picking bits here and there).

It's The Compleat Videocassette Movies Guide presented by The Video Station, copyright 1981. And everyone knows that when you use Ye Olde English spelling of 'complete' it's got to be good.

Literally every word in this description is a lie, except that it is indeed in color.

Stars Claudine Auger (the Bond girl from Thunderball), Gloria Guida (frequently naked Italian sex symbol) and John Huston, who was obviously needing to pay some bills.

An insane story, ridiculous dialog and horrible acting.... yet a damn good movie.  Like the Twinkie, it's totally synthetic and bad for you, but it's still deelish..... and it never spoils.

 New Faces (1954) - Paul Lynde stand-up in the 1950s; that's something I'd like to see.

I need to re-watch this.  I saw it in the early eighties, but I guess I was too young to appreciate its inner charm. And what's with St. Bernards and Charles Grodin?

I saw this probably 25 years ago, and all I remember are Farrah's boobs.  I think there was a story in there somewhere, but I believe it revolved around Farrah's boobs.

So Nixon tapped his political competition.  That's kindergarten compared to the amount of spying against innocent civilians that goes on today.  "Watergate does not bother me.  Does your conscience bother you?"

I have a friend who made the horrible mistake of watching Looking for Mr. Goodbar with his parents.  I honestly cannot think of a more uncomfortable film for family viewing on a brand new VCR.

Again, I'm searching some very distant memories here, but I seem to recall in Prophecy an epic battle between Robert Foxworth and a rabid raccoon in a log cabin that is worth any price of admission.

Speaking of that Mike Brady lookalike, Robert Foxworth....  I freaking love this sequel. To recycle a tired cliche: they don't make them like this anymore. This is horror with a capital "H".  I don't know exactly what that means, but so be it.

Tourist Trap definitely qualifies as an under-appreciated gem.  Both of the above films are from the heyday of the slasher film; what an amazing period in horror cinema.  I am proud to say my butt was in the theater seats during this golden age.

I thought I'd seen or heard of every horror title from this time period; however, I must admit I've never heard of The Child.  Anyone seen this film?

Aliens from Spaceship Earth (1977) seems like it would be right at home on our many pseudo science channels (TLC, Discovery, etc.)

I've reviewed Schizo before, One of the first movies I ever saw on VHS.

The Redeemer: Son of Satan! (1978)

Here's some uncropped pages in case you're interested.



  1. WOW! That may be the best review of XANADU I've ever read!!!
    Well done, sir!

  2. The Child is from the 70s. Funny exploitation movie with bad effects and bad acting but a good/creepy premise. I saw it on DVD, edited by the good people of Something Weird Video. I reviewed on my blog, but it's in spanish.


  3. I did a full-scan of a Select Films Super 8 catalog (100 pages) and posted it a while back. There's not a lot of people that really appreciate that sort of thing but it did go over well at a Super 8 collectors forum that is still active (and yes, one can still buy - new - super 8 versions of movies). Thanks for posting these, I like the old movie catalogs.

    1. Hey, RJ, how can I see your Select Films Catalog scan? I'm totally jonesing to see it now!

  4. Awesome scans and mini reviews! I have a love for Xanadu, too, just fun stuff. And you NEED to see Seems Like Old Times again. I freaking love that movie. It is just a fun, fun film. I really hope you enjoy it. And My Bloody Valentine is superb, as well. :)

  5. Dude! How can you not have seen "The Prophecy"? I thought that one was like a rite of passage for our generation... Anyway, definitely check it out. It's heavy duty concentrated 70's, with evil toxic corporations, environmental revenge, a long haired Very Concerned hero, and a big mutant bear.

  6. Nice find at the thrift store and VERY COOL post!

  7. Thanks so much for this key find! I was in the exact demo that was sucking up all available VHS catalogs as they came out, especially the "rarities", horror, collectors', rawk, etc, from 1980 to 1990. There were some amazing film rarities catalogs and bootleg concert catalogs. You really had to dig to find the crazy, most out-there stuff, but it was so satisfying in that hunter-gatherer way. My desks were always covered in fine-print, often Xeroxed, stapled or tabloid catalogs with hundreds of one-paragraph descriptions, with about every fifth title circled in red flair pen by me, sometimes with exclamation points or stars. Those catalogs were the big supporters of the great Psychotronic magazine during its run. I encourage you to dig into the great ephemera trails of cult video collectors!

  8. "Aliens from Spaceship Earth" isn't quite what it sounds like. It's a very 1970s film that is basically a profile of numerous gurus and spiritual leaders from the 60s and 70s, some legit and some total frauds, like Guru Mahara Ji. Remember that clown?
    The main redeeming feature is that it is narrated onscreen by singer/songwriter Donovan, who looks very cool and sings a few excellent songs. Some of his songs are also used on the soundtrack.

  9. Old English font = High class and high quality....ALWAYS!

    1. That old English font always reminds me of the opening to "Dark Shadows".

  10. I like how they have Brooke Shields from "Pretty Baby" right by Bo Derek from "10".

    Hmm, I think I need to see "Looking for Mr. Goodbar". This YouTube video has a great look and feel, and the music is really cool.

  11. When I was a kid, I always used to pick out the Mr. Goodbar chocolates to eat.
    (They had peanuts, so they were better than the plain ole regular Hershey minis & were tastier than Krackel.)
    Of course,I had no idea what the film was about, but I thought I was choosing something very adult & sophisticated!

    PS: Came across a Jiffy Pop on sale at the store & we were so disappointed when we burned it all last night! :(

  12. Saturn 3 was actually pretty good.
    I think the reason why it "failed" is because nobody was ready for it yet...And...uh...O.K! IT WAS CRAP!
    I don't care! I liked it!
    I have no taste! THERE! I SAID IT!
    I also like Outland!

    1. Saturn 3 will be re-released in a DVD/ BluRay combo pack on Dec. 3, 2013.

  13. I've seen every one of these except New Faces. Now I am a man with a mission!