Horror videos might seem like a niche collectible, but they can command real money — especially the variant boxes. On October 31st Heritage will be holding its Horror Showcase Event, filled with plenty of thrills and chills! Here are a few of my favorite videos from the event.
One of my favorite childhood memories is walking through the horror section of my local Blockbuster. The video cases were delightful to look at, though some were downright terrifying on their own. A Nightmare on Elm Street’s cover truly terrified me as a child, and I didn’t watch the movie until I was in my twenties. Now I’m a horror junkie, and I collect both horror VHS and LaserDisc.
In 1984, Wes Craven gave teens a new reason to avoid sleep with the introduction of Freddy Kruger. Kruger would stalk his prey in their sleep, murdering them in the process. This movie kickstarted the franchise, which still remains one of the most popular horror franchises to this day. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Kruger himself was a pop culture icon, appearing on countless merchandise (such as toasters), MTV appearances, and more.
This copy of Nightmare was signed by the first final girl of the series, Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy. The signature was authenticated by JSA, and the overall video itself has an IGS box grade of 8 NM and a seal grade of 7.5. In October of 2022, an unsealed and ungraded copy sold for $500 on eBay, while a sealed one sold for $125 in September of 2022. With such a large discrepancy in price, this VHS could go anywhere.
This campy cult classic is watched repeatedly in my house as it’s just plain fun. Killer Klowns from outer space set up camp and start killing off humans in scary but funny ways. The movie has been released on every major platform and there’s even a video game coming out soon. This VHS copy is of the rare variant cover, which features a clown spinning the Earth on his fingertip. These copies always command top dollar — my boyfriend bought one at a local comic shop this summer for $100, and that was a bargain for this specific VHS.
Ungraded copies of this VHS sell for over $200 at auction, while graded copies go for thousands. This IGS has a box grade of 8 NM and a seal grade of 8.5, and is already over $2,000. This video could break the $5K mark due to how collectible it is. If you’re looking for a truly unique horror VHS, this is it.
Inspired by Frankenstein, this tale of love gone wrong is one of the more entertaining campy horror films. Medical school dropout Jeffrey is collecting parts to rebuild his fiance, Elizabeth. This tongue-in-cheek movie features exploding people, a brain with an eyeball in it, and death by being run over by a lawnmower. I personally enjoy this movie, and you can watch it on the streaming service Shudder.
Copies of Frankenhooker are harder to come by and usually sell for over $100 each. In August of 2022, a sealed copy sold for $1000 on eBay, while a Japanese import copy with clamshell sold for $129 in October of 2022. This copy has an IGS box grade of 8 NM and a seal grade of 8 NM. While I can’t tell you where this will end, I wouldn’t be surprised if this VHS reached $1000 by the end of the auction.
One of my personal favorite horror movies, Chopping Mall is about a group of teens that are locked inside the mall they work in while partying. On their trail are three killer robots — originally created to keep the mall safe at night. But due to a malfunction, they’re killing anyone in sight. This movie is campy fun, and I watch this all the time. VHS copies of Chopping Mall, while not hard to come by, average out at $150 a copy.
With an overall VGA grade of 80+, a box grade of 85, and a seal grade of 80, this copy came from the collection of Corey Wolfe, the VHS cover artist! Corey also signed the VHS, making this a one-of-a-kind collector’s piece.