As we reported earlier, the VCR is officially dead and buried as the last Japanese manufacturer has ceased production.

So, with that in mind, we offer up this small little obituary to the video format. Sure, it was clunky, it was significantly lower quality than a DVD or Blu-Ray - but dammit, it was how we watched films back then.

We're pouring one out for you, Video Cassette Player. Goodnight, sweet prince.


14. Specifically marking your VHS tape so that it wouldn't be taped over

This was critical. You need to really underline the fact that it was NOT TO BE TAPED OVER. You had two episodes of Dawson's Creek that you'd taken the time to pre-record using VideoPlus (more on that later) and now it was imperative that you got a chance to watch it.


13. Finding said VHS tape taped over by your Dad who wanted to have a copy of Braveheart



12. The whirring noise from Fast-Rewind

It felt like the player was going to explode. Not only that, the difference in noise was frightening. Urrrr..... URRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.


11. Slow-mo never worked and anyone who says different is a liar

It never worked. It was always too blurry to see anything properly. We know because we tried to slow-mo that scene in Terminator 2: Judgement Day when T-1000 goes into the molten steel and you can see a bit of nipple. It never worked. We know. Trust us.




10. Those leather-bound cases people used to get for VHS

You could also store them like books in your bookcase. There was one at the end that nobody was allowed open and we're not sure why.


9. Those terrible anti-piracy trailers that you used to fast-forward through



8. Taping music videos from the Fanta Roadshow / Top 30 Hits / Top of the Pops

Shut up, Andy Ruane. I want to see Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Or Spice Girls. Or Seal. Or U2.


7. If the video was scratched, you had to hope you could fast-forward through it

Granted, you missed like half the film. But it didn't matter. It got through and the tape didn't get caught up in the player.



6. Being charged for not rewinding the video / late fees

The trick was to dump the video and bolt out of the place as quickly as possible. Avoid eye-contact with the person behind the counter.


5. Your parents going ballistic over late fees / not rewinding videos

No joke, we've got a rental copy of Aliens at home that's gathering dust. The late fees on it could probably sort out Anglo Irish Bank by now.


4. Trying to convince the person behind the counter you're 15

What's your date of birth? What's your starsign? Why do you want to watch Die Hard for the third time this week?


3. When you reach the end of the video tape and it starts going all crackily and weird

A Nightmare on Elm Street was frightening enough without static freaking you the f*** out.


2. All the cool, old studio logos

Our personal favourite? Orion. It meant we were watching Robocop. Ah, the memories.


1. Even though it's now lesser quality, seeing films for the first time seemed incredible

You can always remember the first time you saw Jaws or Raiders Of The Lost Ark and it's invariably linked to seeing it on a grainy tape with the telly ads still on them.



Header Image via Flickr