Thursday, February 19, 2009


Vestron Video was a VHS distribution company that existed from the early 80's until 1991. Specializing mostly in B-movies such as Food of the Gods (right, starring the infamous Marjoe Gortner!), Vestron accumulated the rights to over 3,000 movies, and as an underground film fan I can tell you that ALL of them are classics, either so bad they're good or so good they're ridiculous. The Vestron logo is a can't-fail sign that a movie is going to RULE, whether it be corny sword-and-sandal fantasy, gory horror, or gritty cop drama.

Vestron was a highly successful company in the mid to late 80's, at one point actually accounting for a full 10% of video sales in the U.S. As a result, they started making their own movies, such as Dirty Dancing and Earth Girls Are Easy, but unfortunately consumer tastes shifted to more commercial fare and Vestron filed for Chapter 11 in 1991. They were bought out by Live Entertainment, but most of their library now belongs to Lionsgate Films.

Vestron dabbled in just about every genre, from women-in-prison exploitation flicks (right and above, left) to party/booby comedies (below, left). Their films are a summation of everything GOOD about bad, low budget movies of the 80's and early 90's, from crude humor to awesome, hand-crafted special effects to shitty dialogue. I still get a thrill every time the red Vestron logo blazes across my TV screen, a sure sign that whatever follows will be an instant classic.

Below you will find a VERY partial gallery of some of Vestron's best releases, some with commentary, clips, and/or trailers.

Above: Squirm, 1976, a horror flick about an invading army of leeches. Get a load of the clip below for a gauge of its awesomeness.

Below: Party Favors. Never seen it. Judging from the cover, I'm missing out on something fantastic.

Above: Early Clive Barker classic Rawhead Rex. Trailer below.

Dude, check out this clip from the opening credits of Rocktober Blood. Whoa.

Above: Fuck yeah, you remember Monster Squad, distributed by Vestron Video. Trailer follows.

Below: The trailer for Ken Russel's Lair of the White Worm, worthy follow-up to his masterpiece Altered States.

Below: Hard Rock Zombies, 1984. Haven't seen it yet, but it's on the Netflix queue. My nads are PUMPED!


Below: Trailer for the awesome Lucio Fulci gore classic House By The Cemetary.

Four words: Ghoulies go to college. SOLD.

Above: 1985's Futurekill, the first successful combination of Metal, sci-fi, and Party Movie. Watch the trailer (warning for the easily offended - it contains a boob).

Below: The infamous "laughing scene" from Evil Dead 2. Rad.

Below: Trailer for Waxwork, 1988. This movie scared the shit out of me when I was a kid.

Couldn't find the trailer for Deathstalker 3 (cover art by Boris Vallejo, nice), but here's the trailer from the first one. EPIC.

Below: Speaking of stuff that scared the shit out of me when I was little, the cover ALONE of Company of Wolves gave me nightmares. Something about that dude's stretchy face. Yuck.

Above: Fuck Escape From New York. I'll take After The Fall of New York anyday.

Below: Minimalist trailer for the 1983 slasher flick Pieces. "You don't need to go to Texas for a chainsaw massacre". Indeed.

Below: Trailer for C.H.U.D. 2. It stands for "Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dweller", dummy!

Bloodsucking Freaks: Killer torture/gore/exploitation featuring a bearded midget and a bunch of screaming naked chicks. Not posting the trailer for obvious reasons, but you can watch it on Youtube.

Below: Vestron Video's last official release, 1991's 976-EVIL 2: The Astral Factor. Bummer.

1 comment:

str8ev said...

i used to always see the cover to FUTUREKILL at the videostore and figured it was some sort of ALIEN wrong i was!

also, deborah foreman (from WAXWORK) was the object of some of my first, uh, adult feelings. so hot!