Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Review: VHS: Video Cover Art 1980s to Early 1990s by Thomas “The Dude Designs” Hodge

VHS: Video Cover Art 1980s to Early 1990s  by Thomas “The Dude Designs” Hodge

About the Book:

Video cover art is a unique and largely lost artform representing a period of unabashed creativity during the video rental boom of the 1980s to early 1990s. The art explodes with a succulent, indulgent blend of design, illustration, typography, and hilarious copywriting. Written and curated by Tom “The Dude Designs” Hodge, poster artist extraordinaire and VHS obsessive, with a foreword by Mondo’s Juston Ishmael, this collection contains over 240 full-scale, complete video sleeves in the genres of action, comedy, horror, kids, sci-fi, and thriller films. It’s a world of mustached, muscled men, buxom beauties, big explosions, phallic guns, and nightmare-inducing monsters. From the sublime to the ridiculous, some are incredible works of art, some are insane, and some capture the tone of the films better than the films themselves. All are amazing and inspiring works of art that captivate the imagination. It’s like stepping back in time into your local video store!

Book Information:

Hardcover: 264 pages
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.; 1 edition (May 27, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0764348671
ISBN-13: 978-0764348679
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 11.8 x 1 inches

Amazon Purchase Link:


For those of us born in the 70's, the VHS tape was the go-to method for watching movies throughout the last part of the 70's and all of the 80's and 90's. In fact, even after the release of the DVD, there were many die-hard fans of the VHS tape that took longer to convert - I may or may not have been one of those people...considering I have a VCR (VHS player) and a tote full of VHS tapes that I just can't part with packed away with the collectibles that make up the story of my life.

VHS: Video Cover Art is available in a hardcover format in full color. For vintage art lovers (did I really just identify the VHS tape as vintage??!!), this hardcover novel is very much appropriate as a coffee table book. However, as I went along through the e-book I was provided for review, I couldn't help but notice the risque covers that were very much reminiscent of the 80's/90's movies.

The book contains separate genres including action, comedy, horror, kids, sci-fi, and thriller. I was born in the mid-1970's, the first year the VHS was available from JVC (according to Wikipedia, anyway). As such, many of the movies offered up in this collection were not ones that I recognized, watched, or had ever even heard of before. I've only seen a handful of the movies listed and probably only recognized the titles of about half of them. This is why MY rating would only be 3 stars. What was provided within the covers wasn't really anything that engaged me or entertained me. Yes, the walk down memory lane was nostalgic in that you just don't see VHS tapes that often anymore, but I would need to feel more than nostalgia to purchase a book of this type. Maybe if I related to more of the movies presented inside my opinion would be different.

In terms of quality, quantity, and entertainment value for the die-hard movie collectible fan, this book is an amazing piece of work. The ability to have pulled all of these covers together into one novel is superb and extraordinary. As such, I give this book 5 stars. For the right folks, this will be a must-have addition to their library, movie memorabilia, or other collection(s).

Review copy, in ebook form, provided by the publisher via NetGalley, at no cost in exchange for an honest review.

My Overall Rating:



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