Category_Collecting, Category_Groovy Stuff, Category_Horror, Category_VHS, Category_Weirdness -

Experience the Analog Awesomeness of the Imperial Entertainment 3D Light-Up Release of METAMORPHOSIS! Arguably one of the Grooviest VHS Gimmicks of All-Time! UPDATED: Now with More Gimmicky Video Glory!

Recently, while bumping around on the world weird web, I came across a little video that just set my analog heart aflame. It captures a rarity in the VHS collector world, something that I’ve never seen in person and have always yearned to experience. That something, my fellow cravers of video delight, is a fully functional Imperial Home Entertainment release of METMORPHOSIS with touch-button light up eyes!

The three 3D covers from Imperial. DIG IT.

Imperial also did two other 3D boxes (pictured above), but only DEAD PIT and METAMORPHOSIS had the light-up function. Man, if only BLACK ROSES would spark up and rip a gnarly solo when pressed... a man can dream! I've seen these in the grasp of other collectors, but until now, I’ve never seen one that actually still worked. For my copies, the 3D effect is still in full… erm… effect, but the light up eyes? Nothing doing. I have to imagine that these puppies didn’t work for too long since I assume it was damn near impossible to resist pushing the button and enjoying this now captured too-groovy souped up analog packaging experience:

Clickity-click on the image to witness the lights and sounds of this analog treasure!

Now, I always knew that the eyes would light up, but I was completely unaware that the box would sing that amazingly nostalgic eerie sound effect that inhabited the majority of budget haunted house and Halloween-themed tricks and treats. Of course, it makes perfect sense seeing as the folks over at Imperial probably just snatched up a bunch of those generic (but still totally groovy) sound cards, slipped ‘em behind the plastic 3D cover plate and BAM! You got yourself one of the most radical VHS boxes ever to house a chunk of analog glory.

A closer look at the 3D effect on the cover of BLACK ROSES. Touch it. Feel it. Groove it.

Since the light and sound circuits were reasonably simple, it’s conceivable that someone could take one of the Imperial releases and just replace the lights and transfer the sound card from another cheapo Halloween goodie (or just replace the battery if possible). These amazing slabs of marvelous marketing adhered to the front of the box as a sort of add on to the normal VHS box, so in order to re-animate it, you'd have to peel it off and replace whatever's inside. A lit-tle risky for this here Videovore; I mean, it’s a veritable chunk of home video history that lived through its undisclosed and presumably tumultuous journey for the past 25+ years. And, that, my fellow tapeheads, is pretty groovy. I wouldn't mess with it! But, hey, if you got the gumption, tinker away, my intrepid analog brethren! Special thanks to Videovore Brian Mattoni for taking the initiative to film this bad boy in action, and provide people the world over with the chance to see this amazing slice of analog awesomeness in action. We’re all a little wiser to the ways of these Imperial 3D boxes now, and for that, LUNCHMEAT salutes you, Brian! **UPDATE!** So after this post hit (and some blossoming interest on Horror VHS Collectors Unite!), there have been a couple other radical videos surfacing, and a bunch of talk about all the groovy gimmicks from the video era. Dig it, man! To carry the spirit and spread the love, here are some more gimmicky video gems for you to gobble up! First up, it’s one the more remembered VHS gimmicks: the Shapiro-Glickenhaus release of FRANKENHOOKER, housed in a talking box! Now these are pretty tough to find in working shape, but radical tapehead Brian Mattoni also has one of these in his clutches, and here's a video of it in action!

"WANNA DATE?" Clickity-click the "PRESS HERE", man!

The sound is little low on this video, and it sounds a bit warped (I mean, damn, it’s been 20+ years!), but here’s another video where you can still hear her voice clear as day! Damn, that's cool! There's also a video of DEAD PIT running around right now on Horror VHS Collectors Unite!, and I'll post it up on here once / if I can get permission! Dig it. **UPDATE** And I got the green light! Mucho gratitude to Dixie Lobo (check out her groovy site RIGHT HERE) for capturing this copy of DEAD PIT flashing like a maniac! The music isn't coming from the VHS (unfortunately), but Dixie says she recalls it making a cheap Halloween noise at some point... Hmmmm... sounds like it very well could be the same sound as METAMORPHOSIS. It just makes sense!

Click this dead head right in the eyes to see this bodacious box in blinking action! And groove to the background tunes, man.

I covered the FRANKENHOOKER box and the Imperial releases a while back as a sort of precursor for coverage on LOTTO LAND and its awesome lottery ticket gimmick. Check out that post in all its gimmicky glory RIGHT HERE. And speaking of talking boxes, how about one that RRRRRROOOOOOAAAARRSSS? Yes, my fellow tapeheads, it’s the KING KONG roaring box! No video for this one, but here’s an image of my personal copy. Sadly, the roar has left the building. If you have one that works and you can grab a video of it, give us a shout and we’ll post it up on here, man!!

The colorized version?! Awww, dude.... wait... this box roars?! SOLD.

And if you're looking for more seriously awesome VHS box gimmicks, groove on over to Freddy in Space and check out this article on some of the coolest VHS packaging to ever hit video store's shelves. Isn't this stuff super-bitchin'? HELL YES, YOU KNOW IT!


Josh Schafer

1 comment

  • Mark

    I have the Imperial 3D trio. What are these bad boys worth?


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