Sunday, December 29, 2013


New York heavy hitters ALL OUT WAR will finally be playing SUMMER OF HATE in Cleveland in 2014. SOH will go down @ the venues NOW THAT'S CLASS on FRIDAY, JUNE 27th and GROG SHOP on SATURDAY JUNE 28th with  AOW playing the Saturday show. Those who have attended the show in the past know what to expect: brutality. Year after year this fest claims to be the hardest/most dangerous show in America... AOW playing will only amplify this.

Rest of lineup, tickets, and more to be announced late winter 2014.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Being in my 30s I can remember, very fondly, when the Video Store was a magical place which only had VHS tapes. I spent countless hours watching movies rented from every video store in a 10 mile radius and what I watched more than anything else was HORROR MOVIES. Horror movies spoke to me since childhood when I fell in love with Godzilla and then whatever other movies I got to see on Cable or Network TV (mainly on Saturday afternoons, but USA's SATURDAY NIGHTMARES was where I got to see the most and best stuff every week) and then when I was finally lucky enough to get a VCR (a neighbor gave us their old VCR, it had a remote on a cable) I was able to finally watch the movies I loved uncut and without commercial interruption and was no longer limited to only what programmers gave me to watch. This began my life long love of Horror on VHS.

    I can remember the first movie I rented: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD PART 2. It was my favorite and seeing all the stuff TV cut out was really great to a 3rd grader! There were certain movies I rented over and over... EVIL DEAD, EVIL DEAD 2, DAWN OF THE DEAD... those were rented more times than I can even begin to count. Later I began buying movies... which at that time was expensive! A lot of tapes were $30 or so new... bargain tapes were cheaper but had lower quality prints. Also, most movies were out of print... Evil Dead was out of print until I was in high school... and obtaining a copy of out of print movies was nearly impossible so if you were lucky you either found a bootlegged copy (usually a 2nd or 3rd generation print that looked awful... I can remember splitting buying a Cannibal Holocaust bootleg for $40 with my friend Rob and having to drive an hour and a half just to do so) or had to steal said tape from a video store (which we did often) because the convenience of Ebay didn't exist yet to be able to find virtually any tape within seconds.

    Every video store was different and had different movies. Some movies were the stuff of legend and if your local stores didn't have it seeing it was next to impossible. The covers jumped off the shelves with fantastic, often graphic artwork and pictures. As a kid, the more outrageous or graphic the cover, the more i wanted to watch, but my dad was a barrier to this until i was old enough to get my OWN video card and then it was on! I waited so long to finally be able to get my own video card and on that day I was finally able to rent the grossest, sickest looking movies that had previously been forbidden to me and what a sweet day that was! I never understood the Big Boxes until later... I didn't get why those old movies had bigger boxes and could have never fathomed that they would be so desirable today, but we had a saying about the Big Box.... and i was "if the movie has a big Box... you're in trouble!" because usually those movies were graphic or really stunk... either was desirable. The WIZARD VIDEO and PARAGON boxes to me were the most memorable.
Remote w cable from 1st VCR

    I cannot end the section on Video Store nostalgia without mentioning the greatest video store of all time: ANTHONY COCCA'S VIDEO LAND. In the Youngstown area no place could beat it. Their horror selection was top notch. They had every Wizard release and virtually every movie that now can be found on the "most desirable/most expensive" VHS lists. They had SPINE, SPLATTER FARM, LUNCHMEAT, DEMON QUEEN... they had 'em all and much, much more to boot! At the time when they went out of business I recall going there to buy tapes for $5 each... Spine and many other big $$$ tapes were movies I passed on (because it sucks as a film) and I kick myself everyday because now it is so highly desirable! But I woulda probably just sold it anyhow because I don't really see the value in movies I don't even care or enjoy to watch.

    VHS gave way to DVD. A lot of movies that were out of print were sold at rock bottom prices when video stores made the DVD transition. this was a golden time to get many of those rare movies you had rented countless times. We would fill the trunks of our cars going to such sales. This was the great, short lived era of VHS CONQUEST where anything and everything you ever wanted was FINALLY available to own. I recall going to a Hollywood Video once I caught wind that they were selling off all VHS and GALAXY OF TERROR was the gem I wanted... I knew they had it as I had rented it there numerous times. I got there and it was gone! I was so pissed! I wonder to this day who the hell bought that... it wasn't any of my friends so I have no idea who else in my town wanted that movie as badly as me. A few years after that great era most video stores went out of business all together with the rise of Netflix, Redbox, etc and here we are today with a new generation rediscovering VHS.

    Everyone has their favorite eras and genres of movies. Some people like early Universal stuff, some 70's, some Euro, slasher, monsters, vampires, sleaze, action, martial arts, etc. I personally like a large array of genres and have my own opinions as to what is the best and what was crap as does everyone out there. Personally I liked the mid to late 80s through early 90s as this was the period which was current and relevant to me. I liked Early 90's and still do and I consider the era of the 80s to have spilled into the 90s and consider it the final golden era until the horror industry kind of collapsed for quite a while until being revived with movies like SAW, HOSTEL, etc many years later. Companies like FULL MOON, NEW HORIZONS, VIDMARK, etc put out great releases like CARNOSAUR, BASKET CASE 2, and DEAD ALIVE (the movie which i use as the measuring stick as to the end of the great era of horror on VHS as I consider it to be the final truly great/important movie of the VHS era) as well as some awesome major studio releases like GRAVEYARD SHIFT, POPCORN, BODY PARTS that still hit theaters but were overlooked at the time. I remember anxiously waiting for these movies to come to my video store.

My #1 most rented tape
    I only recently became aware of the boom of VHS collecting. Many classic movies have even been re-released or bootlegged and some tapes sell for hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on Ebay... I don't really know much about this and have little interest in this aspect of collecting but to younger people and those who just enjoy it for just whatever reason I at the very least think its cool that in the year 2013 VHS is still alive. I have always had an interest in thrift stores, flea markets, garage sales, etc and this is where the majority of my movies have always been obtained. Do I buy movies on DVD? Yes, of course and I enjoy the movies just the same and the picture quality is of course superior. But VHS to me is still desirable for a few reasons: first and foremost, the nostalgia and the fact that I never gave up on VHS and always still watched my old tapes and obtained new ones via my love of and the second big reason is the prices. I am not rich by ANY means and see this as just a hobby so buying tapes for 25 cents to $1 each rules since I am unable to have an expensive hobby. My rule is pay no more than $5 for a tape. I know many people pay $50 a pop for bootlegged re-releases and even more for originals on Ebay and to me that's fine if you got the bread to spend on it but i find the actual hunt and effort that goes into finding gems at flea markets or 2nd hand outlets more satisfying personally. Finding a pile of tapes and digging through them all is one of my favorite things to do.... sometimes I find nothing and sometimes I find gems. The hunt is always fun regardless if I find treasure, trash, or nothing at all... the conquest continues!

   I have seen many gems come and go. When I fall upon hard times I have sold my entire collection multiple times over the years and have rebuilt it multiple times. Some tapes I will never obtain again but the memory of watching said movie to me is more valuable than the physical copy sitting on my shelf because I rented so many movies and was never able to own them back then so that knowledge or memory was all you had of that movie once you returned it to the video store. That still sticks with me today. I made many friends over the years who shared a love for horror and VHS. It was something that an alienated kid found and it allowed me to escape into another world. For all of these reasons I still love horror and VHS.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

It's been a long time!

It's been a LONG time since I have posted/updated anything. I plan on doing some stuff w/ this blog again in the near future. Hard Ass Records no longer exists (as if it really ever did) and I won't be posting releases or anything anymore. I plan on doing some opinion type stuff, interviews, and (lots) more horror stuff. The title of the blog will probably change to HARD-ASS REALITY in re near future. I just haven't had the time like I used to.

More stuff coming soon!