Pre-cert horrors

Down at a local market I found a stash of pre-cert video tapes, five for a pound. For the uninitiated, those are video cassettes released before the Video Recordings Act 1984 was introduced, ensuring that all subsequent videos carried BBFC certificates and ending the now-fabled era of the Video Nasty:


The Hills Have Eyes, Friday the 13th Part 2, Mark of the Devil, Shivers and Super Dragon. None of these were true-blue nasties, but the first three were all on the Section 3 list.


Got a surprise when I opened them: they look more like embiggened music cassettes than the videos I used in the nineties. At first I thought they were some kind of old-school species of VHS, but a little research reveals that they belong to Philips’ long-forgotten Video 2000 system.


The Friday the 13th Part 2 tape comes with a shiny sticker bearing the logo of Urry Video, one of the casualties of changing habits in public media-consumption. The place is now a YMCA, as far as I can tell.

Farewell, Urry video! You may have departed to rental outlet heaven, but at least you are memorialised by a chrome sticker on an obsolete consumer product.

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