Gorgon Video Goes To Hell On Blu-ray

Gorgon Video Goes To Hell On Blu-ray 

Gorgon Video is one of the essential 80s producers of what’s dubbed “horror cheapies,” films that probably didn’t have much of an onset budget beyond craft services and cocaine. Described as a company “focusing on the sub-genre of extreme horror and dark documentaries,” they’re best known for their classic VHS clamshell cases and the Faces of Death series, an utterly delightful video taboo among teenagers of every decade since its release.

Beginning as a horror video distribution company in the very early 80s, Gorgon quickly began to make their mark with proud American introductions to the works of such horror maestros as Mario Bava. Their release of Bay of Blood featured VHS artwork that is arguably better than the actual movie, undoubtably giving it a prestige in the minds of video store lurkers and curiosity seekers alike. Given the success of these types of acquired releases, they soon morphed into a full on production company, whereupon they introduced the world to another talent, Bob Clark (writer and director of the beloved A Christmas Story) with his horror/comedy, Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things.

Gorgon Bay of Blood
Realizing there is still quite a market for their old movies, Gorgon is now taking a bite of the current horror nostalgia craze, currently made popular by the amazing Scream Factory!, and releasing some of their older production titles on Blu-ray, DVD and yes, VHS. Each will feature the notorious original box art and will come with a few extra goodies, to boot.

In an interview with the New York Times, Gorgon’s brand manager Nicole Mikuzis said, “The covers meant everything when you walked into the video store. It sometimes didn’t tell you anything about the movie, but it looked great.”

Being more of a Vestron or Full Moon kid, I was regrettably never a devoted Gorgon follower, though their box art always gave me a little bit a of a rush. Cheesy, elaborate paintings uniquely depicting the death of an unsuspecting teenager have that effect on me. Having said that, I’m more than a little curious about those titles I passed over in my youth now that they’re getting a rerelease on Blu-ray with original art. I mean Death Spa is about a possessed gym. Jesus, who wouldn’t want to watch that?

Case in point: Death Spa‘s ultimate death scene. New York Times felt they had to feature the edited version of the video. F that. See it in all it’s 80s glory.

Death Spa cover
It’s awesome that somehow between then and now, VHS titles (and actual VHS) became cool again, or at least the movies made famous by the dingy medium. There was a genuine creepiness, something dirty about the crackle and fuzz of a video cassette. And while some cry foul with the restorations on Blu-ray, I don’t find myself missing those qualities. The movies’ production still has that sticky layer of sleaze for me, and somehow that’s nostalgic and ugly, and all together pleasing enough for me.

Other Gorgon titles:

Strange H/T to the New York Times for their story on this!