10 prized possessions from a VHS nerd (and 5 more collectibles he craves)

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Dec 17, 2020, 2:50 PM EST (Updated)

No collector's month (Yeah, we know November's over, but we couldn't let you miss this. - Ed.) would be complete without representing one of the most quintessential kinds of collectors -- the horror movie VHS nerd! Does that sound specific? You'd be surprised. People who crave the siren's song of big box VHS and the ephemera that naturally goes along with it are not in short supply, and they tend to gravitate toward all things horror for one simple reason: horror movie VHS box art is the coolest!

For those of us who are of a certain age, there are few memories more visceral than those times when our parents let us loose in our local mom and pop rental shops, long before Blockbuster and West Coast Video were a thing. Running your fingers along the sometimes lenticular, sometimes literal 3D, always gruesome box art of the horror movie section, inhaling that smell of faded ink on cardboard and magnetic tape, and of course, watching the movies themselves: what could be better? Evil Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween or whatever your quintessential re-rentals may have been, aren't just cool movies. Their marketing, their toys, and the VHS that housed them are all works of art well worth collecting.  

VHS culture is about so much more than just VHS itself. That's why I called upon one of New York's most dedicated collectors of all things horror and VHS, Matthew Desiderio (Matt D for, short), to show off his personal favorites from his massive collection. Matt's been the man behind New York institution Forbidden Planet's video section for years now. After Kim's Video shuttered in 2014, Matt made sure FP could be a boutique, a personally curated one-stop shop for people craving B-movies 2k restorations, VHS tapes (some distributed by Matt's own label, Horror Boobs), 'zines about horror culture, rare and bizarre porno, and a host of everything else a VHS and horror fan might crave. Matt's curated museum exhibits for the Museum of Arts and Design, he's hosted VHS and horror-themed events across NYC with a virtual who's who of horror writers, directors, and creature-makers, and he's got his own horror and VHS 'zine, Blood Video. In short: Matt D is the expert.

And his collection is pretty rad, too. But don't take my word for it. Here's a list of 10 of Matt's favorites and why he loves each one of them. And, for fun, we asked him for five other collectibles he's still on the prowl for. Take a look at Matt's list and tell us what your favorite VHS horror collectible stuff is, and what's on your wishlist!