VIDEO VIOLENCE...when renting is not enough
VIDEO VIOLENCE 2...the exploitation
captives (aka mama’s home)
Back in 1986, I owned two video stores in New Jersey.  This was in the early Mom-and-Pop-style days of VHS video rentals --- long before DVD, Blockbuster, Red Box, streaming, digital...well, you get the idea. One day a young mother, with her youngest in her arms and her next youngest holding her hand, approached the counter with a copy of I DISMEMBER MAMA and asked, “Does this have any nudity?”.  Aghast, I answered that although I wasn’t sure about the nudity, it did indeed have decapitation, gouging, dismemberment, and lots of other violent content. “Oh, well that’s okay rthen, the kids can watch,” was trhe reply.

A world where viewing violence is okay for the kiddies, but nudity isn’t, deserved some satire, so along with Paul Kaye, we crafted a script, gathered our actor buddies, got some video equipment and set out to have some fun. VIDEO VIOLENCE was the result.

Naively, we sent copies out to all the horror film distributors, and lo and behold, a compnay out of L.A. called Camp agreed to try and market the video. They designed the pretty neat box covers, and VV was released in a big box format as well as a smaller box. To the best of my knowledge, there were only a handful of other shot-on-video horror films out there...we were pioneers! VIDEO VIOLENCE caught on, and 25 years later is still going strong.

VIDEO VIOLENCE 2 was made a year later --- for even less money (!) --- with the promise of distribution by CAMP, and again, they crafted a nifty poster and box art.

In between, I tried my hand at a more serious work --- CAPTIVES --- which was picked up by Majestic Pictures, who all but ruined it.  Renaming it Mama’s Home, destroying the opening credits, mismatching the soundtrack, and with TERRIBLE box art (who are those people???).

While the VHS copies are collector items (with MAMA’S HOME being the Holy Grail), the great people at Alternative Video resurrected the long-defunct Camp Video and remastered and released VV and VV2 on DVD with lots of extras, and in September, will rerelease them along with CAPTIVES --- uncut for the first time --- in a new box set!!! Woo hoo.

Love ‘em  or hate ‘em --- there doesn’t seem to be an in-between --- it’s great fun that these impoverished but innovative cult hits are still around.

Gary P. Cohen

Want more history on all three videos? 


Want to buy a copy?

Click here: CAMP VIDEO
3 shot on video cult classics from the 80’s