VHSCollector.com's Top 16 Most Valuable US Horror VHS (Part 1)
Since VHS collecting exploded over the past couple years, I continue getting new collectors asking which video is the rarest. Often times, they think that by placing all their eggs in one basket for the rarest tape out there, they will be catapulted to the top of the VHS collector hierarchy (if there even is one). Of course this is not what makes a collector great. But these questions got me thinking, which are the rarest?
Back in 2008, I did a “Slasher Index’s Most Wanted” type article. Much has changed since I wrote that. More obscurities have since surfaced and brought into the spotlight of the collecting community. Most of this list is derived from what I experienced on eBay and Amazon, community chit chat, and personal experience in trying to find some of these videos. Also note that a few entries on this list may be several tapes grouped together due to them belonging to the same distributor and being near equally as rare. Also be aware that there are other US Horror VHS tapes that would fall in these price ranges somewhere, but these seem to be the most popular. Look at the end of Part 2 for a list of honorable mentions.
16) Hereafter (Mogul Communications)
I honestly don’t know much about this film, but recently its been popping up on forums and eBay. Its certainly a curiosity and the film itself certainly unknown. Part of its appeal is the incredibly awesome artwork of what appears to be a melting zombie, and the fact that it’s a slipcase from Mogul Communications. They’re mostly known for beautiful artwork in oversized clamshells, but seeing a Mogul in a slipcase is certainly an oddity.
Approx. value $100-$200
15) Splatter Farm (Donna Michelle Productions)
Ever since I made that Donna Michelle highlight video a few years ago, new VHS collectors found Donna Michelle to be an easy distributor to complete, being that there are only seven releases. Of the seven, I chose this one to be the most valuable. Splatter Farm is actually the most searched for of all the Donna Michelle Releases, in fact, I was offered 12 big boxes for the one I have. Of course I didn’t take the offer because I knew I’d probably never find the video again. Abomination is a close runner up at about the $100-$150 range. Two other titles worth mentioning, Monsters and Maniacs and Rock N Roll Mobster Girls were mostly unheard of until I made that video, and now that they’ve been in the spotlight, they’ve been popping up on wish lists.
Approx. value of each: $150-$200
14) Spine (Sterling Silver)
Another video that was on my 2008 list. Here we have an incredibly boring SOV flick. As in most cases, it’s not the film, but rather the video itself that is wanted. It comes in an awesome big box with some amazing artwork. Almost each side of the box has a cut up body on it (or a body about to be ). I love in particular the logo of this film. It looks much like the modern death metal logo, with no other movie logos like it at the time of its release. As far as I know, this is the only video released under the Sterling Silver banner, which likely means it had a small run. Between the awesome cover and amazing big box, this is an awesome addition to any collection.
Approx. value $150-$200
13) Lunchmeat (Tapeworm)
Here we have another desired tape not for the film itself, but the awesome packaging. Wherever we have incredibly graphic cover art on a big box, it usually demands big bucks and Lunchmeat is a clear example of this. Who wouldn’t want a cover of a maniacal hillbilly about to chow down on a bloody limb? The rule of thumb is if it shocked renters at the video store, its prices are sure to shock on eBay.
Approx. value $150-$200
12) Terror / Devil (Video City Productions)
Video City Productions released very few big boxes, but of the ones they released, Terror and Devil are the most talked about. They’re the only horror big boxes released by the distributor and include the totally awesome “Chop ‘em Ups” logo. The cover art of Terror is especially memorable, with a large image of a man with his throat cut. Each film isn’t anything worth raving about. Terror is just a retitle of the Italian film Last House on the Beach, while Devil is a Japanese horror film (one of the very few Japanese horror films to be imported to the States during the VHS boom of the 80’s).
Approx. value $150-$200
11) Death Nurse (Video City Productions)
This was one of the very first VHS tapes I hunted down. Here we have what I consider the worst film of all time. Not only is it shot on video, but the editing, padding, acting, etc. are absolutely awful. There is no part of this film of any value other than the nostalgia it brings 25 years later. The cover is classic, with Ms. Alden decked out in her nurse outfit lifting a knife with a grin across her face. This is one of the very few slipcases released from Video City Productions (most were released as clamshells) and also bares the awesome “Chop ‘em Ups” logo. But what I find so interesting is that Millard was actually able to find someone to release this thing. Between the title, goofy art, and a reputation for being one of the worst films ever, this is sure to be a great addition to any collection.
Approx. value $125-$225
10) Black Devil Doll From Hell (Hollywood Home Theatre)
This has always been a rarity on many wish lists. It was released in a clamshell with extremely crude artwork. It was made by the same guy who made another high ranking VHS on this list. The incredibly memorable name and absolute ridiculousness of this film makes this one hard to forget.
Approx. value $150-$250
9) Torture Dungeon / Blood Thirsty Butchers (Midnight Video)
Much like Donna Michelle, Midnight Video is another very collectible distributor with a small catalog. With only 8 titles it seems like it would be a breeze to complete if you have the money. Their VHS covers are infamous and were released as not only clamshells, but beautifully large big boxes. But it seems like most who are trying to complete this collection are stuck with only six, with the two remaining ones being Torture Dungeon and Blood Thirsty Butchers (both with incredibly awesome names). For some unknown reason, these are by far rarer than any other Midnight Video release, with Torture Dungeon being slightly rarer than Blood Thirsty Butchers.
Approx. value of each: $150-$250
8) Snuff (Video Warehouse)
I began seeing this big box pop up a few years ago for the first time. It was too good to be true. Here we had an infamously sleazy film with a title like “Snuff,” horribly drawn cover art that appears to have been made with crayons or markers, and distributed by an unknown distributor while being all packaged up in a big box. The artwork is so terrible it’s amazing, with taglines questioning the authenticity of the murders in the film. Video Warehouse was usually a middle man distributor that would find films a video distributor, such as the Catalina Video release of Meatcleaver Massacre. But here, they actually released the film themselves. I’m not sure if they released any other films themselves, but if they did, there aren’t many of them.
Approx. value $150-$250
7) Demon Queen (Mogul Communications)
Of the Mogul VHS releases, this is one of the most sought after. It’s actually an SOV slasher film, which totally contributes to the demand for this VHS. The artwork is memorable and comes in a large oversized clamshell.
Approx. value $200-$300