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To Pay the Rent, or Buy a Tape. . . That is the Question.

Okay, Videovores. Just when you think you’ve hit the apogee of rabidity for VHS collector culture, an eBay auction warps your reality and brings the subculture to an entirely new level. Those of you who regularly tune into our blog will remember an interview with VHS collector and preservationist Earl Kessler. Inside the interview we talked about his purchase of Chester N. Turner’s trashterpiece Tales from the Quadead Zone for a whopping $660. Well, if you think that’s full-blown adoration and dedication, we present to you a case where a nameless and evidently affluent Videovore just handed over $749.99 for cult director Donald Farmer’s first effort, Demon Queen. You read right: Seven-hundred forty-nine dollars and ninety nine cents… for a single VHS tape. Even the director himself can’t believe it! Granted, this flick is rare. It’s one of those elusive and much coveted Mogul clamshells, which are seemingly some of the most hard-to-find tapes out there. Consider Rape and Curse of the Screaming Dead and The IceBox Murders as examples of some Mogul tapes that always go for a pretty penny, undoubtedly because of the outstanding and eye-popping artwork that was a staple of the Mogul brand. Mogul was only in business from 1982 – 1986, and considering that detail, it’s not too surprising that these tapes are so rare since their output was contained in those four short years.

So, with the occurrence of this auction, it seems like it’s safe to define a new era of collecting. It’s changed vastly over the past 5 to 7 years in both intensity and method, and online auctions have seemingly been thrust into the forefront of the collecting community. This auction solidifies it in my mind. But I always like to take these happenings to illustrate Lunchmeat’s mindset when searching for your new favorite vid: using eBay to find tapes is a great tool and has the ability to put some really rare vids in your hands… but it shouldn’t be your only method of finding tapes. We over here at Lunchmeat encourage all of the Videovores out there, nascent or established, to dig through your local Goodwills, Salvation Army stores, yard sales, flea markets and dirt malls. I’d be willing to bet with enough digging and haggling (this could mean years of dedicated collecting!), you’ll find a copy of Demon Queen in a box with some Gumby cartoons and aerobic workout tapes. And it’ll probably only cost you a dollar. And I can personally guarantee you the thrill of actually finding that tape in person is something that you can’t put a price on. Josh Schafer

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