The Frontier video label came to the UK market in 1986. The label was independently run but also a full-blown off-shoot of Guild Home Video, making it quite the oddity. Frontier were based at Crown House in Walton-On-Thames, Surrey (also home of Guild), and are believed to have only released seven titles in total, all within the first year of operation.
It has taken me a number of years to finally complete this label as a few of the titles are incredibly rare. The rarest being LA Streetfighters (aka Ninja Turf), which was directed by one half of the infamous Miami Connection team. This tape alone can command upwards of £30 online, on the very rare occasion that it actually turns up. In fact, most of the seven are pretty tough to track down.
It is no great secret that Medusa are far and away my favourite video label, but upon researching the wonderful history of Medusa I uncovered many new layers to the famous company. As well as releasing hundreds of titles over a period spanning 20 years or more, there was also the odd off-shoot label too. These sub labels included New Dimension and Pegasus Home Video, the latter of which I have now completed.
Yesterday afternoon, while at work, I received a link to a blog from a friend. The link can be found here, but it basically documents a local video store that is entering its final weeks of operation.
With no fresh leads in a while, and a constant desire to preserve the history of the British video store, I decided to get in touch to see if a visit was possible.
Unfortunately the only number I had rang out all afternoon and I feared an early closure had taken place. In a moment of frustration, and some quick thinking on my wife’s part, I did a quick Google search to see the exact location and noticed that two other small businesses were nearby - one being a hairdressers, the other an opticians. I dialled the hairdressers first but got no reply, so then contacted the opticians where a lovely woman answered. I asked if she knew whether or not the video store down the road was closed and she said yes, it had recently gone out of business. I was devastated but not deterred. I then informed the woman that a friend (my only lie) had been in only this Sunday gone and it was still open. So she placed the phone down, walked up the street and checked for me (I could hear her footsteps on the other end of the phone). She then came back and said that she was mistaken, and that the shutters are up and it is indeed open for business. I rang the store twice more but again got no reply. I then very cheekily rang the woman back and asked if she would pass my number on to the store owner and get him to call me, to which she agreed. My phone rang 30 minutes or so later. Vision Express! (It wasn’t, it was a local independent branch)
I spoke briefly with the owner about old stock and he commented that it would be easier to come down and take a look for myself. Considering the amount of years since DVD took over, I wasn’t expecting to find much but the chance to take a look around, and possibly pick up some old store signs, shelving etc was too good to turn down. Continue reading
I occasionally get asked to do a few interviews about my collecting habits, mostly for blogs and podcasts, but quite recently I was asked by FRONT Magazine to feature in their upcoming issue. Admittedly, I haven’t read FRONT for quite some time but I have a pretty good idea of the magazine’s content. And I wholeheartedly approve.
I’ll also admit to following quite a few members of ‘team FRONT’ on Instagram. *growls*
Around the age of 10 my Dad introduced me to the British sitcom The Young Ones. I’ll admit, not great parenting skills on his behalf but this was the 90s. Upon a recent revisit, a lot of the show hasn’t aged particularly well but it still has a certain charm, even after all these years. One episode that has always stuck with me is ‘Nasty’, whereby the four lead characters; Mike, Neil, Vyvyan and Rick decide to rent a real video nasty from Harry the Bastard. Late fees apply.
The video is called ’Sex With the Headless Corpse of the Virgin Astronaut’. However, it’s another tape in the episode that I became mildly obsessed by, and appears only in a few shots, mainly on top of the VCR that Mike and Vyvyan are having trouble installing. It’s quite difficult to make out in terms of design but the title is clear to see – Two Million Maniacs.