About a decade ago, I was meandering through a Goodwill Store in Virginia. I happened upon a big box style VHS tape for a movie I was vaguely familiar with, 1971’s THE DEVIL’S NIGHTMARE. I bought it for $2 because I have always been a lover of weird VHS tapes, and I thought the box art was cool.
I came home and posted up a picture on Facebook. Within minutes, I had a message from someone offering me $50 for it. Huh? It was worth that? I didn’t sell it, but instead I became an active VHS collector, mostly seeking out titles that have never been released in any format other than VHS. But I also definitely stay up on the VHS editions that are currently in hot demand or have gained the attention of collectors’ markets. Below are 10 VHS tapes that regularly sell for a high amount. Some horror fans may have fortune buried in a box in their closets!
DON’T OPEN THE WINDOW aka LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE
From 1974, LET SLEEPING CORPSES is a historical staple in the zombie sub-genre. It was briefly released on VHS in the UK under the alternate title DON’T OPEN THE WINDOW which was trying to tie into the other popular “DON’T” movies of the time. The short-lived VHS run is now worth quite a bit!
LEMORA: A CHILD’S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL aka LEMORA, LADY DRACULA
This 1975 film is an obscure horror gem. Though it is well known in some cult circles, the film is sadly overlooked by general audiences. For a brief time, it was released on VHS under the secondary title LEMORA, LADY DRACULA. And while the original LEMORA VHS will net about $60, the variant LADY DRACULA cover is super rare, driving the collector’s price over a thousand.
TALES FROM THE QUADDEAD ZONE
This 1987 title became legendary after a mint VHS reportedly sold for $700 on eBay. The title became instantaneously known as a highly profitable VHS tape, which only increased the demand and worth. TALES FROM THE QUADDEAD ZONE is an anthology film made by the same team that helmed THE BLACK DEVIL DOLL FROM HELL.
THE BEAST IN HEAT
Also known as SS HELL CAMP, the 1977 Italian exploitation flick is one of the more extreme of the naziploitation sub-genre. Yup, more extreme than ILSA. It is about a man-beast engineered by Nazi scientists who supply him with victims that he rapes and tortures. This one is pretty brutal. The cover that is worth the most features the BEAST IN HEAT titling with the artwork seen below.
SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH aka THE BEYOND
I’ve frequently seen this one for sale at horror conventions. It’s not that rare, as much as really popular. Plus, the box art kicks ass. Fulci’s epic film THE BEYOND was released by Thriller Video under the title SEVEN DOORS OF DEATH. It regularly sells for about $150-$250 depending on the condition.
This Jess Franco film is from 1972, and you can watch it on YouTube. But the 1984 Unicorn VHS release is rather rare and quite gorgeous. I was able to find an old eBay auction where this VHS sold for about $300. And it is easy to see why! Nuns, nudity, and demons. This cover art is seriously amazing. I was also able to find one of the original one sheet posters for sale here.
EVIL DEAD “Not Guilty” Cover Variant
This is the Palace Pictures VHS version of EVIL DEAD that was released briefly in the UK. Not only does it boast variant art, but it also has the label NOT GUILTY stamped across the front. The NOT GUILTY labeling came after EVIL DEAD was brought up on obscenity charges in Europe. After they were cleared, the distributors touted their victory with the NOT GUILTY labeling on this release. So you get a cool cover and a history lesson! For the full history of this release, check out this site.
Also known as NIGHT WARNING and BUTCHER BAKER NIGHTMARE MAKER, this one is a 1982 horror film about a young boy and his overly controlling Aunt. This was released with several different covers and variations on the title, but the one that goes for the most is just called NIGHTMARE MAKER and is shown below.
ANTHROPOPHAGUS THE BEAST
Worth- $400- $1000
This Joe D’Amato classic video nasty is another one that boasts a variety of titles and cover art. Most VHS editions are worth a reasonable amount, including the most common THE GRIM REAPER release which sells for around $40. But the most valuable one is ANTHROPOPHAGUS THE BEAST which was a big box VHS edition released by Videoshack in 1980.
WCW HALLOWEEN HAVOC Series
Worth- $50- $300 depending on the year and condition
Horror movies aren’t the only VHS tapes that have recently soared in value. Old wrestling tapes made the climb to collectible level as well! Check out on of the eBay auctions here.