20/20 Special Report: ‘VCR Horrors’ (1987)

Because “half of American households now have video cassette recorders,” goes the argument in this shameless scare piece, kids have increasingly easy access to R-rated horror films, many of them “graphic orgies of blood and violence.” My favorite bit: “The kids call them slasher or splatter movies, and they get together to watch them at gross-out parties.” (Gross-out parties?)

The result, as we all know, is rampant desensitization to violence! Kids stabbing other kids! Pornographers and the Mob backing the horror industry! The inevitable degeneration of America’s youth!

There is a point to be made about violence in horror films being directed disproportionately at women, especially during the ’80s, although I think it had more to do with mindless copycatting than anything else. Still, if the formula weren’t so successful with the disproportionately male audience, it wouldn’t have been copied as much as it was.

Watch the clip before it gets pulled. (20/20 is still on the air, embarrassingly enough.) There’s some good footage of video stores, clips from some now classic films of the era, mentions of the notorious (and largely faked) Faces of Death, hilarious interviews with valley kids (“I love blood and guts… it turns me on…”), and a short interview with B movie heroine Linnea Quigley, who was impaled on reindeer antlers in Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Bloody Disgusting posted the video last year. I found it on YouTube via Horrorflipped.

3 Responses to “<em>20/20</em> Special Report: ‘VCR Horrors’ (1987)”


  1. 1 Anon August 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I guess that explains why so many of us turned out to be deranged murderers. And now, in a 90s report, video games desensitize us all to violence, which is good because it gave us 80s VCR kids free reign to splatter people.

  2. 2 hobgoblin238 August 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I love old VHS stories! Thanks for sharing.


  1. 1 Linnea Quigley’s Horror Workout (Cinema Home Video, 1990) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on October 21, 2015 at 2:41 pm

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