13 VHS Promos from Beyond the Grave

13 VHS Promos from Beyond the Grave

by | May 25, 2018

Way back when video stores were a thing, distributors came up with many novel ways of encourages outlets to purchase their videos and merchandise. One of the most popular forms was by sending free promotional posters and standees, but occasionally the budget would stretch for a VHS promotional video, which would act as an advertisement for the studios wears. We look at some gruesome examples, as we delve in to 13 VHS Promos from beyond the Grave, that try to sell VHS and Shirts to the people of home video entertainment. If Freddy can’t sell you a VHS…who can?

Dead Alive ( Brain Dead ) – VHS promo (1993)

This screener promo goes a little further than your average bear. As well as a trailer for the film, there’s also some behind the scenes material from the release party. Yep,  WingNut Films held a lavish zombie party and then slung the footage on a VHS to show how much fun everyone missed out on.  Why do I never get invited to this damn things????

Puppet Master – VHS promo (1989)

A lesson in keeping things simple from Full Moon Productions. No gimmicks, no fancy graphic, but a fun and more in depth trailer, including footage that never made it’s way into the official trailer. Selling it’s two big stars, William Hickey and Paul Le Mat, the promo tempts you with the films story and cast. 

Return of the Living Dead Part II  – VHS ‘Watch & Wear’ (1989)

Do you like to say “Tanks”, “Tees” and “Sweats” a lot? Then this little video is right up your street. As part of the VHS promotion, the studio behind Return of the Living Dead Part II also created a whole bunch of “Tanks”, “Tees” and “Sweats”, with various designs. If I had a time machine, i’d be heading back to 1989 and ordering myself the entire set. Puff printed Tees… you had me at heavy weight cotton blend.  

Scanner Cop – VHS Rental Promo (1994)

Whilst we are sorry for the poor quality of this video, you’ll not regret admiring some of the thoughts gone into the Scanner Cops promotion. Republic Pictures have some helpful marketing tips for getting tapes flying off your shelves. First get a loud siren, then blast it periodically as every customer comes in.  Yep…. that ought to do it. 

Friday the 13th  – VHS Promo (1988)

Oh boy… I love a video that starts with a good scream! Here, paramount pictures had reduced their prices on the entire Friday the 13th collection.  They may have only been on the seventh installment in the Friday the 13th film series, which was the first film to feature Kane Hodder as Jason Voorhees, but these savings are just KILLER!

Halloween 5 – VHS Promo (1989)

It’s a simple set up for 1989’s Halloween 5, but I can’t help but appreciate the love that has gone into this quick 15″ spot. The carefully carved pumpkin, the atmospheric lighting and the tense camera dolly, it’s just perfectly creepy. 

Demons 2  – VHS Video Promo (1988)

Being one of my favorite films series, I had to get at least one Demons promo in this list. Here we are treated to the worlds most generic description, “There’s nowhere to hide, no place to run, no one is safe”. Sure thing Imperial Entertainment, thanks for the heads up!

Hellraiser – VHS Watch & Wear (1988)

This one tickles me pink. Is it  the fact that they have a little old granny advertising Hellraiser Tees, cups and bags, or that she fumbles the VHS into the player for a film she never reveals the title. It’s Hellraiser right…. right! Any how, enjoy trying to figure out if that THING is supposed to be a cat or dog?!?! Oh and bonus points if anyone can find a Lament Configuration that actually does double as a tissue holder! 

Night Breed – VHS Promo (1990)

You’ve got to give Media Home Entertainment some credit here for pulling in some real talent for this promo, none other than the films writer and director Clive Barker. If the british accent doesn’t do it for you, maybe the in depth look at why Barker made Nightbreed will. It’s one of those rare and beautiful moment where we get to see the real passion behind the camera. 

Tales from the Crypt Presents Demon Knight –  VHS Promo (1995)

Universal Home Video know just how to dress up a preview trailer with pretty ribbons and bows, in order to shift copies like hot cakes. The Demon Knight VHS promo is filled with cast interviews, behind the scenes footage and plenty of action as the exciting 3 and half minute promo pumps you full demonic and lavish eye candy. Rocking sound track…check! Pretty cast members chatting to camera…check! A demon humping a camera… yep..it’s all here!


Terminator 2  – VHS Promo (1991)

I guess Arnie was not available, but good old Robert Patrick steps in here to promote Terminator 2’s video release. Reading off of queue cards and in badly fitted cop costume, Patrick channels the T1000 in order to flog T-shirts, baseball caps and copies of Drop Dead Fred! Hasta la vista… baby!

Child’s Play – Screener (1980)

Bringing in the slightly bigger guns, and with little upfront on actors fees, MGM plop a good guy doll in chair, slap on some sunglasses and tape a cigarette to it’s hand. Whilst someone under the desk swivels the chair and moves the dolls lips, this rather cheap approach to marketing kinda works, especially when you consider that Brad Dourif returns to voice the cheeky doll. Apart from bad mouthing Freddy and Jason, and laying down some solid sales figures, Chucky intimidates the viewers into stocking up on Child’s Play and even takes the time to explain how he become a doll. Better yet, the promo screener, which would have appeared before preview copies of the film, also has the epic “Chucky” song  performed by Simon Stokes, that never made it into the films closing credits. 

A Nightmare On Elm Street 3 – VHS Spot (1988)

Media Home Entertainment says screw your doll, we have a Freddy. Hiring Robert Englund, in full Freddy Krueger get up, is one of the smartest marketing moves ever made. I mean, who better to sell you videos than the nightmare man himself. With charts full of interesting figures, clips of TV interviews and Freddy popping out of posters. This is one of the best promotional videos ever! Imagine one these being shown at your next internal meeting, who’s feeling entertained now mwhahahaha!

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“Hi Horror Fans – I love a good PROMO and these are the FREAKIEST ones around. They should considering hiring more Horror Icons to advertise stuff. I’d buy anything if chucky endorsed it! 

Keep Rotten”


“Morti” The Mortician



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