As has been noted in a few venues, 2008 was the year that VHS finally died. The last commercial distributor is closing out his inventory: whatever isn’t sold by the end of the year is going into a landfill somewhere, to be missed by no one. The format that remade the movie industry and launched commercial pornography out of the dark cinemas and into everyone’s home was always a bit of a botch technically, and when the DVD came along, people fell over themselves to replace their old tape collections.
Other people have done the elegies for this inelegant piece of technology far better than I have, so I’ll restrict myself to noting one utterly hilarious thing: according to the above-linked article in the L.A. Times, the last film released on VHS was David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence in 2006.
Yes, the last videotape ever released was from the same man who directed Videodrome.
Ladies and gentlemen: the new flesh is dead. Long live the new flesh.