Blu-Ray is great. Digital HD is wonderful. VHS is heavenly. Wait, what?
Yep. you read that right. I am an advocate for VHS. I can’t sit here and say that VHS is superior with advanced quality video and sound, but there is just something about the now defunct medium that appeals to me, at least with certain movies.
There are some movies that just seem at home on VHS. I know they could look a million times better on Blu-Ray, or even DVD, but they feel right on video cassette. I’ve brought out a handful of my favorite VHS movies to try and convince you that video cassettes don’t have to be thrown in the grave just yet. Sure, they are available on newer formats, but why improve what isn’t broken?
The Wizard (1989)
“I love the Power Glove, it’s so bad!”. If you came out of the golden age of 8-bit video games and haven’t seen The Wizard then you owe it to yourself to track it down and watch it. The story of three kids on a cross country trek to play Nintendo games isn’t a classic Oscar winner by any means, but it isn’t a bad movie and it featured the debut of Super Mario Bros 3 in the final competition of the movie. There are no big special effects to be ruined by the limited capabilities of your VCR (you do still have a VCR, right?) and it just works out perfectly on the good ol’ black brick of a video cassette.
The Dark Crystal (1982)
The Dark Crystal is one of Jim Henson’s fantasy masterpieces that goes hand in hand with Labyrinth in wonder and storytelling. I love them both, but for whatever reason I prefer The Dark Crystal. I know this one would look beautiful on Blu-Ray, but perhaps because I grew up watching the VHS tape over and over as my imagination grew, I still enjoy this one on VHS. I can still pop this in the VCR and sit back knowing that I’m going to enjoy this slightly dark adventure in a fantastical land that could only come out this perfect thanks to Jim Henson.
Robocop. Dark, gritty, mean, and violent. This is one of my all time favorite movies, in fact I love the whole trilogy even the often hated Robocop 3 and the Prime Directive movies (a second Robocop to partner up with Murphy!). Robocop just has that mean, no nonsense feel that is deserving of a video cassette. I picked up my copy from an old video rental place that I rented from a million times as a kid, and that makes me get even more nostalgic when watching Robocop on VHS.
Star Wars (1977)
Finally, one of my favorite movies to watch on VHS is the beginning of the great trilogy from a galaxy far, far away. You don’t have to tell me that Star Wars is beautiful on Blu-Ray and even DVD, but there’s something to be said about watching the movies the way they were meant to be without the extra stuff Lucas added in later years. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not like most people. I don’t mind the new scenes and special effects of the Special Editions, but that may be because I can pop in my classic VHS copies and watch them without most of the extras anytime.
VHS and VCRs may be long gone and dead technology at this point, but you’ll never pry mine away. I’ll be watching blurry copies of Jaws, Karate Kid, and Robocop until I’m old and gray.