VIDEO VIOLENCE (1987) Reviews of one of the best SOV horror movies

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‘ …When renting is not enough!!’
Video violence is a 1987 American horror film directed by Gary P. Cohen from a screenplay co-written with Paul Kaye. It stars Gary Schwartz, Chick Kaplan and Robin Leeds.

Writer/director Gary P. Cohen conceived the idea for the film while working as a video store clerk. A fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood, he was disheartened by the fact that horror films, particularly slashers, were the most popular films among his clientele.

The idea for Video Violence originated one afternoon when a young mother with her children asked if the film I Dismember Mama contained any sex. Cohen informed her that he was unsure about the film’s sexual content but that he knew it contained graphic violence. The woman decided to rent the film, telling Cohen that as long as the film were devoid of sex, she considered it appropriate viewing for her children.

The same exchange occurs in Video Violence, concerning the film Blood Cult (1986). Cohen had initially secured the use of a local access television station to edit the film over the course of two six-hour shifts. When the station owner found out that Cohen was editing a horror film, he reneged on the agreement and only permitted Cohen the use of the station for two hours during the second shift.

After the film’s editing was complete, Cohen shopped it around to multiple distributors, only two of which responded. Cohen sold the rights to Camp Video because they were the only ones to offer to design video box art.

Unsuspecting couple Steve and Rachel become completely immersed in a town of blood-drunk crazies. Led by sickos Howard and Eli, these backwater psychopaths produce and watch their own snuff movies, in which the victims are outsiders or citizens trying to leave the close-knit community of killers.

One day, an unmarked tape shows up in the return bin of Steve’s just-opened video store, and it’s the town postmaster being savagely mutilated. “Can it be real, or just a gag?” wonders Steve. He’ll soon discover the horrifying answer…

Video Violence uses the shot on video look to make the movie more realistic and provide a commentary on the times. It truly defines itself as the definitive shot on video masterpiece because it actually makes what is normally considered inferior in the shot on video format superior.” Brett H., Oh, the Horror

“Sometimes it takes itself very seriously, but other times it seems to be trying to be one of those black comedy/horror movies along the lines of Psychos in Love or Blood Diner. Frequently, though, it doesn’t even know whether to be one of those two directions, resulting in a story that’s both slow-moving and filled with scenes that do little to nothing in advancing the plot.” The Unknown Movies

“Equal parts chilling (again, aided and abetted by its ultra-cheap production values, rather than coming across in spite of them), and downright hysterical  (Howard and Eli, bless ’em, are truly entertaining psychopaths), with some effective low-grade gore and a pleasing DIY-vibe throughout, this is the kind of movie that all backyard filmmakers wish they could make, but few actually possess the skill to.” Trash Film Guru

“Bad acting, slow pace, dull plot. The camp should have raised this to H.G. Lewis territory, but, unfortunately, it lacks the charm, and the abundant gore ranges from terribly fake to weak.” The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre

Choice dialogue:
Rick Carlson: “I’m dying to see what these yokels consider entertainment!”

In 2007, Camp Motion Pictures released the film on DVD including the sequel Video Violence 2. On September 13, 2011, it was released again as part of The Basement Special Edition.