7 Movies That Are Good Reasons to Still Own VCRs

It's likely that the only person you know who is still using a VCR is your grandfather, and even that's becoming very unlikely. Between Blu-ray and HD streaming downloads, we're getting to the point that the only way you're going to get a better viewing experience is to take enough hallucinogens to imagine you're actually inside the movie.

Still, there are some really brilliant films that are still not available on DVD or at the touch of a button, and it is those films that we still keep the VCR we got for our 11th birthday attached to the TV. How else would we be able to watch...

7. Wind in the Willows

Originally, we were going to talk about Flight of Dragons, but somebody finally removed their heads from their anuses and put that out on DVD. So we'll move down our shrinking list of Rankin/Bass features to their version of Wind in the Willows. Is it better than the Disney version? Oh God, it is so much better.

First of all, nothing is so awesome that it can't be improved by an appearance by the forest god Pan, so there's that. The music is brilliant, ranging from the haunting neo-folk theme sung by Judy Collins to the hilarious "I Hate Company" performed by an irate Badger. It's a beautiful, wonderful film that we can't recommend enough.

Is it worth the $40 they want on Amazon? Maybe, on one hand you'll want to share it with your kids. On the other hand, spending $40 on a movie for your kids is just asking to have the cassette filled with peanut butter.

6. At Any Cost

Admittedly, our affection for this movie has a lot to do with the fact that we got to be an extra in it when it was filmed here in Houston. Don't bother looking for us, we've already tried. Regardless, it took us years to even track down the name of the flick, and once we did we realized that as a film it's pretty damn good.

Basically you get the story of a one-hit wonder rock band that disintegrates. Call us bitter, but we love watching bands do that. James Franco stars as the one who does drugs, and Maureen Flannigan from Out of This World is the bass player. The soundtrack alone is well worth the watch, as the original songs composed for the flick, especially "Beat From Underground," are late '90s angst-pop goodness.

Is it worth the $3.20 on Amazon? Hells yeah! Did we mention that Gene Simmons has a cameo? Also, pick up the accompanying soundtrack for a single penny.

5. Industrial Symphony #1

We're technically cheating here as this is actually available in DVD format...they just want $150 for it as part of a David Lynch collection, the Lime Green Set. Don't get us wrong, the rest of the stuff in the collection is well worth watching, but not offering Industrial Symphony #1 as a separate DVD, at least in this country, is a sin.

Industrial Symphony played for two night at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and featured Lynch mainstays like Michael Anderson and Julee Cruise. The VHS also contains an opening scene shot with Nicolas Cage and Laura Dern. If you've ever wanted to learn exactly how disturbing a David Lynch musical would be, here it is, and let us tell you there are skinned deer people and other things that will haunt your dreams forever. It is truly Lynch at his best.

Is it worth the $2.99 on Amazon? Definitely. This film will change your entire view of musical performance.

4. The Worst of You Can't Do That on Television

We have watched every episode of You Can't Do That on Television we could, and if there was a better kid-based sketch show, then we have yet to find it. Between the slime and the surprisingly sophisticated humor, the show was one of a kind. After all, how many kids' shows do you think have been made where episodes were deemed so controversial that they weren't allowed to air?

The sad thing is that not only haven't they released the series on DVD, they can't. Many of the episodes no longer exist, and what you can find on YouTube is transfers from home recordings. This VHS remains the only official release.

Is it worth the $159.00 on Amazon? No. You can find most of the show on YouTube, and if you're the kind of person who shells out that much money for a copy, then you probably already own one.

3. Pass the Ammo

It's not easy to work the quote "It's too big! Here, take a Jesus!" into conversation, but we do so whenever the opportunity presents itself thanks to this flick. Tim Curry plays an unscrupulous evangelical preacher, and if that didn't sell you on the film, then we're going to have to assume you're a pod person.

Bill Paxton and Annie Potts are also along for the ride in this absolutely hilarious spoof on popular Christianity that sadly is becoming more and more relevant, as well as the overwhelming power of television. The phrase, "Funnier than a fuck in church," has never been more applicable.

Is it worth the $1.96 on Amazon? Yep. Time to get out the credit card and drop some dough on the Lord. We mean Curry, of course. Old Rocky Horror habits die hard.

2. Cast a Deadly Spell

We mentioned this not too long ago when Alamo Drafthouse screened the rare HBO movie Cast a Deadly Spell, but it bears repeating.

Set in a world where magic is commonplace, H.P. Lovecraft is a private detective determined to make his way as a regular man in a world of sorcery. This mashup of the Call of Cthulhu and The Big Sleep is amazingly well done, expertly acted and a pure joy to watch.

Remember when you couldn't wait to catch a new episode of Tales from the Crypt? Well, Cast a Deadly Spell used all the same tricks Tales did but threw a hell of a good mystery on top for icing. Granted, we blame it for every crap supernatural mystery that floods the bookshelves lately, but that's like blaming Faith No More for Limp Bizkit. It's just mean.

Is it worth the $9.03 on Amazon? Yep. Buy it, love it and never look back

1. Dogs in Space

There is no better punk rock film than Dogs in Space, starring Michael Hutchence. We have the poster hanging in our living room, we crafted a soundtrack to listen to from the early days of Napster and we're still desperately trying to save up the cash to buy an import DVD to transfer to Region 1 so we can preserve the integrity of the VHS in our possession.

Dogs in Space is the disjointed tale of a band that lives with a collection of other weirdoes and drug addicts in Melbourne, Austrialia. It utterly defines everything that is good and evil in being in a band, and Hutchence is a total treasure of an actor in the flick. We can't even watch the ending anymore. It's a punk rock movie. You know what happens, and we cry like a little bitch with a skinned knee when it happens. Seriously, if you've seen The Commitments or Across the Universe or SLC Punk, or maybe read Michael Shilling's Rock Bottom, you have only scratched the surface of the area Dogs in Space completely inhabits.

Is it worth the $50 on Amazon? Yes, This film will alter you forever.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.