September 10, 2013

VHS: Still the Definitive Format?

Blu Ray still hasn’t captured the imaginations of the movie-going public and Studios have been reluctant to invest in the (rather expensive) format. Considering most Blu Rays sell for about $30 it’s not difficult to see why this new-ish product hasn’t taken off.

Sure the picture and sound quality may be superior to VHS, however the fact still remains that over 50% of movies that are available on VHS have never made it to DVD or Blu Ray.

As a huge fan of the Exploitation genre from the 70’s and 80’s, so many of these movies are now deemed rare and incredibly difficult to find.

The same for action movies that went straight to video in the 80’s and 90’s. Sure they may not be considered classics but they do have a fanbase and I often wonder if a lot of these films will soon be gone forever.

A lot of people think that the Internet has made film-making more difficult and for the most part it probably has, however on YouTube there are a ton of hard to find movies, which you can’t get on DVD or Blu Ray.

Is it really breach of copyright if no one has bothered to release these movies on the newer formats? In some ways the Internet is preserving a lot of these movies which would otherwise disappear.

True Vengeance is one of my favourite 90’s action movies starring Daniel Bernhardt and it kinda got lost in the ether as it was released just at the dawn of DVD. The only way you can see the movie now is either on a second hand VHS tape, bootleg or on YouTube.

There are so many other movies that have shared the same fate and I keep wondering if there is something we can do about it. One of my friends suggested a Kickstarter campaign for certain movies to get released, seeing as the big Studios aren’t interested in smaller movies like the Tom Hanks classic The ‘Burbs. It is on DVD but there are no plans for a Blu Ray release any time soon.

When you think about it, 50% is a HUGE number of movies that could end up dying out completely if they don’t get an HD re-release or are at least legally available online, like Netflix, etc.

Until I find out that a lot of my favourite movies are available on legal DVD or Blu Ray, I guess I’ll be keeping my trusty VHS player close to hand.

About the Author

Eoin Friel
Eoin Friel
I grew up watching JCVD, Sly and Arnold destroy bad guys, blow things up and spew one-liners like it's a fashion statement. Action is everything I go to the movies for and the reason I came up with this site is to share my love for the genre with everyone.



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