The end of the “be kind, rewind” era
It may come as a surprise (maybe not) but more than 10 years ago, the last movie to be made on VHS was released. The year was 2006 and the world was well on its way into the digital boom with DVDs enjoying a decade under their belt and the newcomer Blu-Rays already occupying store shelves, and what would become the smartphone future with Apple’s iPod in 2007.
Looking back now, it’s hard to believe people used to go to a physical VHS tape rental store (RIP Blockbuster), walk – actually, walk – through new releases and other genre aisles in an attempt to find something to watch. Then when they got home, they’d have to more than likely rewind the tape before watching because the last person to rent it didn’t (you know who you did it, too). It was a shopping model that lasted for decades and a time lost but not forgotten by those lucky enough to partake in the rental hunt.
But with the VHS era firmly rooted in the past, what were the last few films to grace the home entertainment player? Better yet, what were the last VHS movies per the most popular genres to capsulate the VHS player’s last hurrah?
But first, let’s start with the official last Hollywood production … the year was 2006.
A History of Violence
It was 2006, and Vigo Mortensen was just a few short years removed from his infamous, role-defining portrayal as Aragon in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Exchanging his sword for a gun, Mortensen plays an ex-hitman turned quiet town family man. It als stars typically wholesome Ed Harris in one of his more sinister bad guy roles leading an eerie and gruesome action-thriller that will always be remembered as the last major Hollywood movie to be released in VHS format.
And now, the rest of your top 10 …
Horror – Saw II
Jigsaw made his “serial killer” (in quotes because he never physically killed any of the victims himself) return in this gory sequel that saw a group of poisoned strangers, seemingly connected, try to escape a locked down house full of traps meant to teach them lessons about appreciating the sanctity life. Not as good as the original, but then again, not as bad as the other 6 sequels that would follow paving way for the gore and torture horror movie era.
Comedy – Just Friends
Back before Ryan Reynolds was cracking up audiences as the raunchy, antihero dressed in black and red skin-tight leather in Deadpool or trolling social media platforms with his hilarious posts, he was dawning a fat suit and mouth retainer, still cracking audiences up in Just Friends. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. You will laugh – guaranteed.
War – Jarhead
Taking on the more psychological side of war, Jarhead stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the Gulf War. Whoever thinks war is strictly physical clearly hasn’t seen this intense mental war drama. Warning: Don’t go in expecting a ton of action and combat, this film is more about the psychological scars of war.
Thriller/dark comedy – Ice Harvest
What could be funnier than a shady lawyer and strip club owner pairing up to rob the local Wichita, KS mob out of some dirty cash? It’s peak John Cusack and Billy Bob Thorton, and an amazingly hilarious performance by Oliver Platt that make this crime thriller a dark, comedic disaster. It didn’t gain much box office clout during its limited theater run, but if you’re a fan of dark comedies like In Bruges or Grosse Pointe Blank, you’ll enjoy Ice Harvest.
Family dramedy – Yours, Mine & Ours
Yours, Mine & Ours was like a modern take on the Brady Bunch on steroids. With 18 kids in tow, this remake of the 1968 film of the same name (hmm … so maybe the Brady Bunch copied off them, not the other way around?) tells the story of two single parents with a boat load of kids that fall for each other and have to deal with the consequences of 18 kids in one house. As you can imagine hilarity and drama ensues.
Drama/romance – Pride & Prejudice
This Kiera Knightly headlined film is the retelling of the infamous 1813 Jane Austen novel of the same name. It’s a period piece film that depicts five English sisters as they deal with time sensitive issues of marriage, mortality and misconceptions during the early 19th Century. Basically, it’s a glimpse at the unfair truth of what being a woman was like.
Action – Domino
Kiera Knightly was apparently busy headlining movies back in the mid-2000s, landing on this list with another, albeit totally different movie than Pride & Prejudice. In Domino, Knightly plays fashion model turned bounty hunter ... Yeah, even acclaimed director Tony Scott couldn’t save this one.
Sci-fi action – Doom
Long before Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson became the new Arnold Schwarzenegger of today’s action-packed summer blockbusters, he was just getting his foot into Hollywood. Back in February 2006, Doom, the video game made movie adaptation was released on VHS. They tried to achieve the patented first-person perspective that made the game so innovative in the early 90s. Let’s just say it was doomed to flop. Let’s just say it was doomed to flop but it certainly didn’t stop The Rock from going on to land bigger lead action star roles.
Adventure – The Legend of Zorro
Antonio Banderas put the black cape and mask back on for this adventurous sequel to 1998’s smash hit, The Mask of Zorro. It was entertaining and fun, but a movie classic? No. Unfortunately, just another sequel to come up short of its original’s expectations. Maybe it came out five years too late or maybe Zorro just doesn’t have the pull as he once did in Hollywood.
Now that our trip down VHS nail-in-the-coffin memory lane has been concluded, do you have any VHS tapes sitting around, slowly collecting dust and degrading? If so, make sure to preserve those precious memories before father time ensures that there’s nothing left to degrade. We can help.