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TERROR ON TAPE (1983)
Directed by Robert Worms III
Here’s even more proof that everyone involved in the early 80s horror-video boom was stark, raving mad. I feel so violated!
Terror On Tape is a true artifact. It’s a compilation tape courtesy big box kings Continental Video, showcasing the most depraved scenes from a majority of their licensed horror films. Basically, it’s to the cracked horror fan what nudity is to the sex fiend: an overload of what the company thinks you want. And by god, home video audiences in 1983 must have been beggin’ for gore, gore, GORE...and a little sex! Why else would this utterly desensitizing chunk of stupidity even exist? Ah ha. So Continental could pocket a few greenbacks. Nothing wrong with a little self-promotion, right? In this case, it backfired; I was so grossed out halfway through that I ended up fast forwarding through the rest of the tape. The concept boggles the mind, as a never-ending stream of out-of-context extreme violence and T & A blasts off the screen. What the...?! Who would...?! If it wasn’t for Cameron Mitchell’s shot-on-video bumper segments...wait. Cameron Mitchell? Now we’re talking.
Out in the streets of Encino, CA lies the “Shoppe Of Horrors Video Store.” It’s a cheesy set with lots of dry ice fog, plastic spookshow props, and a warehouse full of Continental videos. Overlooking the premises is good ol’ Uncle Cam, decked out in fifty layers of pancake makeup and seemingly drunk as as skunk. And why not? It’s Halloween night! Mr. Mitchell summons the power of the gods with his acting nobility and plays clips on his little swivel Zenith for three weirdos. There’s a nerd who gets gray hair as a result, a construction worker who wants to be scared, but “turned on first...from women with no clothes on!”, and a vampire lady (Michelle Bauer) that equates being frightened with an orgasm (“I’m ready. Do it to me!”). Cameron walks around the place and refers to a couple of plastic skulls as Mommy, Daddy, and Uncle Frank. Dumbfounded yet? As if the film clips weren’t weird enough, the video sections conclusively prove that these people were off their collective rockers.
I think you get the point. All that’s left is a clip shout-out. Drum roll, please...Expect the goopiest from the following trash-ics: Return Of The Alien’s Deadly Spawn, Vampire Hookers, Bloodtide, Cathy’s Curse, Madhouse Mansion, Frozen Scream, To The Devil A Daughter (filthy!), Eerie Midnight Horror Show, Kidnapping Of The President (say what?), Nightmare (even filthier!), The Slayer, City Of The Walking Dead, nude/sex montage, Color Me Blood Red , 2000 Maniacs, Scalps , Blood Feast, Ruby, Night Creature, and Suicide Cult. Somehow, I don’t think a DVD release is in the cards.
AUDIO AND VIDEO
The bumper segments are shot on video, complete with stereo sound effects from a kiddie Halloween record. The movie clips vary in quality, but seem to have a lower audio level than the video segments. It all looks very stylish.
Believe you me, enough is enough. Though Continental does offer up a bit of advice for would-be bootleggers: “You will be caught, so why ruin your life? Buy a copy from your local video store.” Whoa.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; only in the 80s. The sole reason to see Terror On Tape is for the hysterical video shop(pe) scenes. It’s rife with ma and pa nostalgia, but you’ll need an iron-lined stomach to get through it. Banned in Canada!
Freaks come out at night
The least of it
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