Author(s): Thomas Hodge
Video cover art is a unique and largely lost art-form representing a period of unabashed creativity during the video rental boom of the 1980s to early 1990s. The art explodes with a succulent, indulgent blend of design, illustration, typography, and hilarious copywriting. Written and curated by Tom The Dude Designs Hodge, poster artist extraordinaire and VHS obsessive, with a foreword by Mondos Juston Ishmael, this collection contains over 240 full-scale, complete video sleeves in the genres of action, comedy, horror, kids, sci-fi, and thriller films. It is a world of mustached, muscled men, buxom beauties, big explosions, phallic guns, and nightmare-inducing monsters. From the sublime to the ridiculous, some are incredible works of art, some are insane, and some capture the tone of the films better than the films themselves. All are amazing and inspiring works of art that captivate the imagination. It is like stepping back in time into your local video store!
"We all know the power of good sleeve art. Very often its the first thing that tells you whether or not a film is worth giving a look; sometimes, it turns out to be considerably better than the film itself. But in these days of flagrant, unimaginative photoshopping, its a part of the film fan experience that has long been threatening to die out. Happily, many up-and-coming indie filmmakers, and a select few DVD/Blu-Ray labels notably the likes of Arrow and Scream Factory have been doing their bit to keep the spirit of the video shop alive with their original hand-painted cover art, and in that field one particular name always stands out: Tom Hodge, AKA The Dude Designs, whose lurid, expertly rendered visions have helped sell many a recent indie horror hit: Hobo With A Shotgun, Dear God No, Fathers Day, Almost Human, Wolfcop the list goes on. (And, in-keeping with the days of old, I would say in quite a few instances his cover art is indubitably better than the film its selling.) What better man to serve as our guide on a look back through the era that inspired his work? Thats just what were promised in VHS: Video Cover Art, the upcoming hardcover art book from Schiffer Publishing. Due to hit shelves in May, the fine folks at Schiffer have given us a sneak peek at the book including, as you might have gathered, the images you see in this article..." Ben Bussey, brutalashell.com Feb 2015 -
Thomas The Dude Designs Hodge is an independent art director, designer, and artist for film key art. A lifelong lover/collector/addict of 80s VHS and cover art, his work aims to bring back that lost magic of film posters.