Amazing ’80s VHS cover art

Today we’re kicking off a new sporadic series here at Mutant Reviewers in which we’ll highlight some of the coolest VHS cover art and designs from the 1980s. With the boom of video rentals in this era, there was an equal explosion of creativity in the covers which strived to draw the attention of perusers and make them want to check it out.

I’m always attracted to movie art that’s actually hand-drawn art and not a photoshopped collage. Sure, the Garbage Pail Kids Movie was a complete stinker (in more ways than one), but this is a cool cover even so. The kids coming out of the literal garbage pail maintains some of the mystery of their full appearance, the boy is rocking those Back to the Future suspenders, and the whole thing looks like a Topps trading card. Plus, the speed limit is, and always will be, 15.

This one just cracks me up! The cheesy logo (“Danny was perfectly normal except he glowed in the dark!” The baby who looks like he’s got a six-year-old’s head. And the over-the-top ghoulish expression on the monster holding a tyke who is probably farting right onto his naked hand. “EWWW GROSSSSSS,” he’s thinking.

While there is no skull in Evil Dead 2 with eyeballs, I have to admit that the cover has always been effective for this odd combo. I never knew if I was supposed to be afraid OF the skull or afraid FOR it. He does look a little worried, doesn’t he? Bonus points for the dorky “2 terrifying, 2 frightening, 2 much!” tagline.

OK, seriously, how metal is this cover? I don’t know anything about this movie, but I do know that if I had to pick between hanging up this poster in my old college dorm or Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan laughing uncomfortably in When Harry Met Sally, this TV zombie’s going to win the day.

Adventures in Babysitting features one of my all-time favorite Drew Struzan poster designs, which was perfect for a VHS cover. It’s like the whole crew is climbing up the side of the tape, with two worried guys on the bottom and two gleeful gals at the top.

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