Tuesday, 23 December 2008
End of an era
The once loved but now maligned VHS tape is no more. For today's youngsters for whom watching a movie means either downloading it from Hula or one of those file sharing sites, or else sticking a shiny platter into a DVD player or PS3, this won't mean a thing. But for those of us who grew up in the 80s, for who so many of our formative cinematic experiences arrived on VHS, this is a very sad day indeed. When I moved earlier this year, I gave away hundreds of old movies on VHS to a charity shop although I did keep a rather large box of films you either can't get on DVD (Static, for starters) or stuff I'd recorded off the telly years before. Compared to Blu-ray, compared to DVD, VHS sucked — poor quality image, lousy sound — but I still remember seeing Texas Chainsaw three times in 24 hours after renting it from my local video shop, or watching Reservoir Dogs every single a day for about three months in the Empire office when that film was banned on video. Sure they were bulky and cumbersome and you had to rewind the damn things, but I loved them nonetheless. VHS, RIP.