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VHS: The Most Wanted List

Once upon a time, Disney was racist. That is, if you consider black folk singing black folk songs to be an offensive stereotype, riding along with what Norma Jensen calls “Negro dialect.” Nonetheless, the film banked in the box office and the hit song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” won an Academy Award. It even scored that scary water ride at Disney World that made me wet my pants, Splash Mountain. These accomplishments weren’t enough to save the film from facing extinction. There are prints of the entire theatrical version floating around on Ebay but those go between $200-$600. Visit any tired ‘Hard to Find VHS’ lists on the net and this film lands in the top five but not today. Excuse me while I rant like a hipster. I think the majority of the curious characters producing these lists don’t even collect VHS or probably just started collecting a couple of years ago after their first horror movie review for whatever web-horror flavor of the week was hot because VHS is edgy and cool and you’re not a real horror fan unless you own all the new bootlegged Wizards that Charles Band ‘mysteriously discovered’ in his warehouse.  The usual SOV list; 555, Tales of the Quadead Zone, *eye roll* and Lunch Meat will not be on this list either. It’s tired and I’m bored. Lemora will also not be on this list because I feel I have written about it’s awesomeness too many times and you can find it at Target now. Moving on, here’s a list of a few that you will never see on those lists accompanied by a few that you may see on those lists…


The Whitehouse Video Show No. 1 1982 – Sheptonhurst: Just shy of an hour Great Britain film that features a woman masturbating to her pet python feasting on a mouse. It’s supposedly graphic and this has been #1 on my list of films to get my grubby little hands on for years with no success. Why would I want to watch or own something like that? Because it’s fucked up. I’ve almost given up hope. It’s impossible to find. The star wanker is Zena Whitehouse who appeared in several UK porno mags in the 80s. According to Whitehouse Magazine (I did some major digging and I’m not proud of myself) Zena was heralded as the British Linda Lovelace which doesn’t surprise me considering Lovelace was also known for bestiality. The magazine DOES mention the Whitehouse Video Show. She was supposedly only 22 (Girls lie about their age all the time) and a writer for the magazine as well.

“I know some people are jealous of me because of my money and my looks. Well, I don’t give a toss. I am Zena and I aim to spend my life having as much sex as possible.” She sounds like a charmer. I wonder what she is doing now.


Victims 1982 – Video Unlimited: Incredibly obscure rape trauma focusing in on this dude named Paulie who had a prostitute for a mother, a physically abusive pimp, and sexually abusive prostitute who molested him. Paulie grows into a serial killer, killing mostly hitchhikers after he rapes them. This film didn’t make it to theaters and VHS copies were extremely limited and released in Holland. Filmed in 1977, legal issues kept the film away from the public eye, for the most part. Victims goes by many names; Day of the Rapist and Portrait of a Strangler being a couple. This film would have fallen through a black hole had the book Nightmare USA not shined a light on the hidden treasure. Still, it’s hard to find. It has been compared to the likes of Maniac and Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer which are both effectively gritty films. I’ve heard nothing but good things regarding the quality of the film and it has a 5.4 rating on IMDB out of 23 voters (Not that this counts.) A transfer has been offered to me so I will shortly view the film in its entirety, likely shuddering through the entire thing since rape traumas aren’t really my bag. It’s also not the same as acquiring the tape.


The Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio 1971 – Intervision Video: My straight laced friends probably think I am a psychopath when they see me digging up these old films and judging by the covers, I cannot blame them. The truth is, horror movies really are fun for me but when it comes to films like Jekyll and Hyde Portfolio, it’s mainly for study. I am a curious girl who likes to study human behavior, why things like this are being filmed, and what attracts us to the screen. This 78 minute flick has sold for over $1, 500 and it has never been released in Britain. It’s one of the rarest tapes out there with a very limited release. The plot is beyond STOOPID. The psychotic antagonist with split personalities is basically just pissed that he was born under the wrong zodiac sign. Laugh out loud. It’s incredibly gory with real life dissections of frogs which honestly doesn’t bother me a bit because…. FROGS… There are some offbeat sex scenes and terrible acting from Rated-X regulars.


Frankenstein’s Castle of Freaks 1973 – JVI: Italian goodie starring the beast from The Beast in Heat aka One of the Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen yet I have it on DVD and VHS. This is an obscure addition in the pre-cert era. There are several sleeves available but the JVI release is hard to find and according to most collectors, they do not believe it made its way to shelves. I can live without this release but it remains on several collectors lists.


He Lives: The Search For the Evil One 1969 – Camp Video: Good luck finding this movie. GOOD. FUCKING. LUCK. German Jews are a thing. Why is this so hard to understand? My own family is of the same heritage and many victims in WWII were in fact, German Jews. Any who, this German Jewish guy who fled to Argentina after escaping a camp spends the rest of his days hunting down and killing Nazis. In this fictional setting, Adolf Hitler is still alive and planning the fourth Reich. It’s an interesting film that conspiracy theorists would enjoy, even though the quality is pure shit.


The Demons 1972 Unicorn: Jess Franco was the King when it came to sadomascichism. He was asked to make a film mirroring Ken Russell’s The Devils but Franco being Franco, he provided yet another sexploitation flick with a few horror elements and bloody torture. Though I have always been a Franco fan, I find myself bored with his regurgitated ingredients and this film is now available on Blu-Ray. The script is a real head scratcher. The scene where the ghost of the slain witch is talking to Margaret gave me a case of the giggles. Collectors jizz at the thought of Unicorn videos. You will see this tape on everyone’s list, Blu-Ray or no.


Blood 1973 – Iver Film Services: Another Andy Milligan trash piece which features carnivorous plants, werewolves, and rabid bats. Roll your eyes all you want, I could never jump on the Milligan band wagon. Milligan clearly had issues towards women and seemed to be a bit confused about homosexuality. He seemed to be confused about film as well. Not only being coined as one of the worst directors of all time but described as a man who found glossy productions to be boring yet finds exploitation to be too sleazy. I’m honestly not sure where the two meet in the middle.

Onto Blood’s plot, the son of werewolf and daughter of Dracula are wrapped up in a love affair and in search for a cure to their ‘condition.’ This gothic horror is set in 1930’s Britain, er Staten Island. The rural home’s staff is fed to the carnivorous plants which also serves as medicine to Regina, Dracula’s daughter? This married couple hates each other. In fact, all of the characters are miserable.  The staff are missing their legs, brain dead, and one even has a leg made out of putty. This borefest serves as one big dysfunctional family with some gore. A real mouse was also killed for the film. Should I be offended? I feed mice to my snake. The film does have atmosphere but the film quality is atrocious to look, the special effects are hilarious,  the characters are one-dimensional, and the plot is a mess.

“My wife doesn’t like the daylight hours. Rather, I should say daylight doesn’t agree with her. She has trouble with the pigmentation of her skin. Direct sunlight would be poison for her. As a matter of fact, more than five minutes of sunlight could possibly kill her.”


Red Light in the Whitehouse 1980 – Video Unlimited: Paul Leder, director of the infamous I Dismember Mama and My Friends Need Killing, used his resentment for the Watergate incident to mold a corrupt government, sex, and abuse into a decent thriller that would pair nicely with all the lies and deceit from politicians of 2016. The point is to question whether an honest politician should be destroyed by immoral actions of their past. Nixon, Clinton, Trump. A reporter is hired to dig up dirt on our star running for office and what do you know, she is involved in some pretty outrageous sex scandals. There’s plenty of nudity with a rape in a boxing ring and the acting is actually decent considering how low rent this project is.


The Beast of the Dead 1972 – Horror Time: What the fuck kind of title is that? Better known as Blood Devils, it’s part of the Blood Island trilogy and the Beast of the Dead tape is uncut whereas the available British DVD release suffered over 40 seconds of cuts due to animal cruelty. Pigs and goats were stabbed to death. I’m a fan of Eddie Romero’s work and I’ve been trying to get my hands on this release for years.


Dudes 1987 – The above is CNR Video from the Netherlands but I believe my rental was New Century Vista Film: Jon Cryer, Daniel Roebuck, and Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Flea star in this 80’s Western where two city punks driving a Volkswagen seek revenge against a group of rednecks for killing their friend. Along the way they pick up a female who runs a wrecking service. Think Deliverance without the rape and squealing. The plot is simple and straight to the point with a great heavy metal soundtrack. How the fuck is this not on DVD? Add a ghost cowboy and an Elvis impersonator to the list and you get a sloppy but weirdly entertaining mixed bag of nuts that should be on everyone’s watchlist.

I have always been a fan of Penelope Spheeris work. Female directors are hard to come by and she has quite the reputation and talent with a boat load of films I adore. Such as; Suburbia, The Boys Next Door, Wayne’s World, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Little Rascals, and Black Sheep. I still have a few more of her works to catch up on. She’s a lover of punk and metal music. In fact, she has directed a few documentaries covering the musical genres. To my surprise, she was asked to direct This Is Spinal Tap but turned it down because she felt she couldn’t make fun of metal music.

“Look, Milo, we’re talking about real life here, okay? Real life is not California. Real life is a shit sandwich and every day you gotta take another bite.”


The Last Movie 1971 – United American Video: What deemed to be an embarrassing, incoherent mess turned out to be a genuine interpretation of Hopper’s life style and views on Hollywood which lead to him being blacklisted due to the incomplete film flopping. What’s crazy is that Hopper had Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, Santa Sangre) edit the film and he did but Hopper ended up sending in his own shitty edit. Imagine what a piece this would be had Hopper used Jodorowsky’s edit! Hopper had plans to release the film on DVD but he died of cancer. One of the few celebrity deaths where I felt completely torn to pieces.


Housegeist 1987 – Air Video: Also known as Boarding School, this is on every collector’s list but how many feature this title? Don’t kid yourself though. This is one of the worst movies ever made. The search hardly seems worth it.


The Mad Foxes 1971 – Merlin: Features rape, castration, gang violence. How was this not on Nasty list? This release is heavily cut which is probably why. It’s a touch of disco with karate students versus Hell’s Angels. Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous but I still want it.


Freddy’s Nightmares 1988-1990 – Lorimar Telepictures: As bad as this series may be, my obsession with the Nightmare on Elm Street series keeps me from pissing all over it or turning away for that matter. I own the series, thanks dad, and I’m lucky because it’s hard to come by. You can catch it on thriller and chiller channels every now and then and the tapes aren’t exactly hard to find but they’re pricy. There have been two attempts to bring the series to DVD and Blu-ray but it was canceled due to poor sales. Bummer.

The series is no different than the films. Though, it may be cheesier. I know that’s hard to do considering Dream Child but who cares? As cheesy as Dream Child may have been, the performances were still incredible and it was so graphic, the film actually had to be toned down. Freddy forced a woman to eat her own insides at the dinner table for christ sakes. Metal as fuck. A plus for the series, there’s a wicked list of cameos – Lori Petty, Brad Pitt, Sarah Buxton, Robin Antin, Bill Moseley, Jeffrey Combs, Diane Franklin, Dick Miller, and Lar Park Lincoln. Need I say more?


The Pregnant Man: I cannot find any information about this film. I do not know the year. I do not know the label. Maybe it’s under a different title. I saw the clip in The Best of Sex and Violence. For all I know, it’s a fake trailer they included but if anyone has any information for me regarding the title please let me know at once.

About The Author
Rebekah Herzberg
Rebekah Herzberg
VHS collector, horror fanatic, and lover of the 80's neon night life. I once ate a Texas BBQ burger compiled with Mac and cheese and fried green beans. I celebrate Hanukkah.

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