What I watched on Betamax

This a picture that I took of a Betamax Tape. ...

As I plug in my iPod to do a daily synch of podcasts, music and videos, I often reflect on earlier forms of entertainment in my life.  As an aging member of Generation X, it’s almost a fun game to remember pieces of obsolete technology.

If you wanted to watch a video in the 80’s you made to make a choice.  Were you a VHS household or a Betamax household?  When entering a video rental store, you could clearly draw a line in the middle of the store to differentiate the two formats being offered.  I remember always walking to the right, as we were a Betamax household.

As Betamax slowly began losing the format war, the line in the store began moving over to my side, therefore shrinking the available library.  As I attempt to recall movies that I viewed after popping in those small plastic tapes, three movies come to mind.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie (1987) – Probably because it wasn’t exactly a blockbuster hit, the trading card inspired spoof on the Cabbage Patch Kids ended up on my side of the rental store.  Being suspended myself for carry those cards at Leihoku Elementary, I quickly snatched up the film and viewed it over the weekend at a beach house.

Caveman (1981) – Since the Betamax player was owned by an uncle I was living with at the time, I was often at the mercy of his collection.  Being a fan of the Beatles, it’s no coincidence that he would own a movie financed and starring members of the band.  I thought it was a great flick though.  What kid wouldn’t want to see Cavemen dancing around in poop?

Porn – Yeah, porn.  Lots of it.  My neighbor’s parents owned a hefty library and it was entirely on Betamax.  In retrospect, I can understand why porn would be one of the last genres to stick (no pun intended) to that format.  The video quality was supposed to be superior to VHS and with porn, it’s all about video quality.  Right?


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