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28 Unwatchable VHS Videos From The 80’s And 90’s

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When VCRs were first introduced to the market in the 1960’s, they were an expensive status symbol available to few families. But by the middle of the 80’s prices dropped and nearly everyone could afford a home video player. That meant a huge demand for videotapes to watch, and the market quickly tried to meet that need. Thousands of videos were quickly and cheaply produced. Some were great, but many, many more were not.

Thanks to the inexhaustible folks over at The Found Footage Festival, we’ve got a gallery of the worst of 80’s and 90’s home video. We’ve got direct-to-video schlock masterpieces. We’ve got celebrities looking make a quick buck. We’ve got the niche-est of niche videos. We’ve even got a few videos made by a lone weirdo with a camera and a lot to say.

Sure, they may not offer anything of entertainment or educational value, but their covers are a delight. Let’s give these forgotten artifacts a moment in the sun.

1. “Identifying Machine Made Marbles”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been scammed by someone claiming to sell me a handmade marble only for it to be machine-made. Lost multiple friendships over it.

2. “Regis Philbin: My Personal Workout”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

I know when I want workout tips, my first choice is fitness icon Regis Philbin.

Also, I love that Gelman had to be in the video.

3. “Cowboy In Sweden”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Thanks, but I prefer “Viking In Wyoming.”

4. “Mugsy’s Girls: First Mud!”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

At last we get to the true purpose of the VCR. The VCR truly was a life preserver for horny suburban Dads everywhere.

5. “10 Crunchy Carrots”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

It turns out “10 Crunchy Carrots” is a singalong video for kids, and not a fetish video of a lady eating carrots. Disappointing.

6. “Dare To Bare: Erotic Shaving And Sexual Pleasures”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

“Erotic” shaving? She’s shaving sideways. There’s nothing sexy about razor burn.

7. “The Grabowski Shuffle”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

This is a spinoff of the legendary “Super Bowl Shuffle” performed by the swaggerin’ 1985 Chicago Bears. This time, Bears head coach Mike Ditka is rapping about “Grabowskis,” which is a term he invented for anyone who works hard and doesn’t complain. In the video he explains his Grabowski-centered philosophy at length. So basically it’s Marcus Aurelius’s “Meditations,” if Marcus Aurelius was a shouty football coach.
Honestly it’s awkward as hell and well worth a watch on Youtube.

8. “Gary Coleman: For Safety’s Sake”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Did you think this was a Honey I Shrunk The Kids knockoff where two siblings are terrorized by a gigantic Gary Coleman? Too bad. It’s a safety video. Womp womp.

9. “Carving A Santa Face”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Gene Webb even explains what to do when your carved Santa Face tells you to do things.

10. “Astrology Songs”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

A great home video made by a man who, by the looks of it, makes his home in an abandoned school bus in the woods.

11. “Flirting With Magic”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

When does she get a video that explains how to avoid creeps who hide their harassment behind card tricks?

12. “How To Seduce Women Through Hypnosis”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

There’s a LOT wrong with this video, so I’ll just focus on the obvious: terrible title design. C’mon, brah, at least slap a bevel on there.

13. “It’s OK To Say No To Drugs”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

I don’t know what the hell drug the big kid is on, but they’ve already melted his face off. Run, children, run!

14. “Balloons For The Restaurant Worker”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

How did Dennis Raglan become America’s #1 strolling balloon artist? Let’s just say a lot of blood was spilled.

15. “America’s Judgments”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Pro tip: if you’re an End Times prophet, a long, unkempt beard just adds to the credibility you already don’t have.

16. “American Bounty Hunter”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

I get the feeling you should not bring up Dog the Bounty Hunter around Bob Burton here. Unless you want a 30 minute rant on why he sucks.

17. “Hammerman”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

If you didn’t already know, MC Hammer had a Saturday morning cartoon where he played a superhero. Alas, the one super power he needed most was (say it with me now) “responsible money management.”
I’m not worried about upsetting him with this joke. Chances are he doesn’t have internet. Hey-o!

18. “Dirty Tennis

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

When you’re done workin’ out with Regis, you can learn tennis from people who have zero connection to the sport of tennis!

19. “Escape School: Abduction”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

This video a) was produced by a national chain of funeral homes and b) teaches kids how to spot a potential abductor. Are we all sufficiently confused? My brain now hates me for making it aware this video exists.

20. “Fart: The Movie”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

“The movie they said could never be made!” is another way of saying “We pitched this to every respectable production company in Hollywood, they all said ‘no,’ so we had to get our funding from a Chinese pesticide conglomerate.”

I live in LA. I know how this works.

21. “Adventures In Customer Courtesy”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

You know you work for a great company when your employee training video has a special effects budget.

22. “Barroom Brawling”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Nothing quite says “This video has been banned in 8o countries” like a cover that shows a guy about to stomp another guy in the face.

23. “Bowling For Women Only”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

The “Only” in the title is great. “Hey, men! this video offers you nothing whatsoever! Just stay away from it!”

24. “Caught In The Web: Staying Safe In Cyberspace”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

So, to stay safe in Cyber Space you need: hoverboards and pajamas. Got it.

25. “Catfishin’ With Willie P. Richardson”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

No, it’s doesn’t teach you how to trick other people on the Internet with a secret identity. Willie P. Richardson is a comedian famous for his prank phone call cassette tapes sold in the finest truck stops, as well as for using blackface. And now he’s an expert in cooking catfish.

In other words, he should be receiving his Mark Twain Prize for American Humor any day now.

26. “Beezbo’s Adventures: An Entertaining Guide To Children’s Manners”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Hey kids! Want to learn manners from Z-List ET? Didn’t think so!

27. “Country-Hip Hop Dancing With Diane Horner”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

Because why stop at ruining just one genre of music?

28. “Fast Boats & Beautiful Women”

Photo Credit: Found Footage Fest

A copy of this videotape comes free with every new subscription to Coke Dealer Monthly.

h/t: Found Footage Festival