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EXCL: Charles Band addresses “Wizard” Big Box VHS accusations

Today, a video went viral via vhscollector.com that accused iconic genre film maverick Charles Band of fraud. Recently Band had claimed he discovered a wealth of collectible big box VHS boxes from his landmark, now defunct Wizard Video label. For $50, the Full Moon Pictures maven has been selling these pristine boxes with a duplicated VHS of the specific film in a sturdy clamshell case, signed and numbered.

The video below however, claims otherwise, accusing Band of reprinting his classic boxes with the intent to mislead and fraud the existing, and healthy, Wizard Video fanbase. As a collector myself and an ardent admirer of Band’s legacy and chutzpah, I called the man himself up, allowing him to respond to the charges

Here then, in its entirety, is his voicemail response to me (above). Real or not? Band’s claims are absolutely palatable. I chose to believe him. And either way, these big box Wizard’s are indeed a thing of bulky, garish beauty…

 

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About the author
Chris Alexander
Author, film critic, teacher, musician and filmmaker (not to mention failed boxer) Chris Alexander is the editor-in-chief of FANGORIA Magazine. He got his first professional break as the “Schizoid Cinephile” in the pages of Canadian horror film magazine RUE MORGUE before making the move to FANGO in 2007. His words have appeared in The Toronto Star, Metro News, Wired, Montage, The Dark Side, Tenebre and many other notable publications and he appears regularly on international television and radio.
  • Paul

    The original video is still up. No reason to say (since removed). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC6Dc1QMK1w

  • http://twitter.com/thezedword thezedword

    Well, I get that Band can’t directly respond the accusations made in the video since he hasn’t seen them, but VHScollector.com still makes a pretty good case that these might not be real. I’d like to see Band directly answer the troubling questions posed by the VHScollector video.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jim.bivins Jim Bivins

    No doubt in my mind that Band is selling reproductions. I worked in graphic design for over 15 years, and the examples vhscollector shows are dead-on. The “fuzzy” effect happens when you scan already printed images (VHS covers), and the scanner interpolates the image, picking up the fine dots that make up a 4-color, offset press printed image. This interpretation, if you will, is where the “fuzzy” comes in. It is not possible, no matter how crappy a printer you may have used in the 80′s, to achieve this look. It is unique to scanning already printed material. I’ve spent enough time with printers, looking through loops, looking at proofs and getting this type of image from clients that I’ve had to scan in, and deal with this effect. This , as well as Mr. Bands history, leads me to strongly believe he is not being honest.

  • FUCKYOUCHARLESBAND!!

    Charles Band is nothing more than a carnie trying to keep his business going by duping everyone with these fake ass boxes! I called fowl the moment he announced the “DISCOVERY” of these “UNSEEN BOXES”! I hope nobody has fallen for this scam and holds out for the real thing! He is such a prick for doing this to collectors!

  • Chris Alexander

    There is no solid proof.in either direction of course. So choose to believe either camp, buy the tapes or don’t.

    I have looked at my own tapes. Compared my DEMONIAC tapes…
    In fact, I compared my original DEMONIAC with original OASIS as
    well…both have minor differences and are from the same era. So Band’s
    claim that he printed the boxes over time in several countries and
    printing houses is perfectly palatable.

    I also know Band’s work and legacy and tales of skullduggery. Any indie producer with this amount of longevity is of course, something of a rogue. Anything could be possible.

    But
    may I gently remind, without Band’s efforts…there would be no Wizard
    video to begin with , no big box collections. But you all know this.

    So, I opt to give Charles the benefit of the doubt. That’s a
    personal choice. If there is solid proof that these are indeed fakes,
    then I’ll tip my hat. Otherwise, I’m enjoying the novelty of Wizard’s
    return and the buzz – positive and negative – surrounding it.

    And as far as Band’s collections…the man keeps
    EVERYTHING. Again, it is within the realm of possibility. If you cite
    Band’s thriftiness as reason to discount his paying for storage of his
    legacy (which again, I know he keeps it all), then how can you claim he
    spent thousands upon thousands of dollars professionally scanning and
    painstakingly restoring and duplicating these tapes?

    Let’s see how this amusing drama unfolds….

    • kidglov3s

      Gotta suck having to back up complete bullshit for the sake of business relations.

    • Cretin

      there IS solid proof these are not printed in the 1980s. How can anyone not see this? Look at part 2 of videocollector’s youtube video. Perhaps he needs to legally change his name to Charles Banned. As in, banned from selling people reprints that he claims to be original

    • unholyghost

      They are reprints. If you notice on one of the VHS i think Headless eyes it has the sticker residue that was on the original and all others were printed with that marking

  • Pingback: LunchMeatVHS Blog » The Wizard Video Re-Issues Fake? Video Evidence Says “Yes!” and Charles Band Speaks out with his Rebuttal!

  • NixEclips

    Who should I believe? A guy who loves movie packaging or a guy who loves to package movies? I have to go with the VHScollector, this time. He knows his stuff and explains why this is BS. Mr. Band has some questionable excuses, however.

  • FangoFan555

    Band is full of it. On episode 56 of Exorcast http://exorcast.com/2013/03/09/episode-51/ the guys from Vultra Video state that Charles Band months before finding this boxes was asking them questions about VHS collectors and which titles were the rarest. May not be true but it adds to the debate.

  • Pingback: Wizard 1980s VHS boxes discovery a scam? (updated news) « HORRORPEDIA

  • James

    Holy crap – Fangoria used to be the mag to call out Band’s shenanigans – now they’re complicit…? Sell outs…

    • http://twitter.com/samdzimmerman Sam Zimmerman

      I know it’s easy to think of Fango as an entity, but we all have our own opinions on this. This is Chris’. And even though Chris is super into the entertaining drama of this all, I wouldn’t say we’re complicit. If you read my original item on these big boxes, you’ll find a healthy dose of skepticism.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dfullam David Fullam

    Charles Band and the truth are not friends. Harlan Ellison has some good stories about his double dealings.

  • El Diabolo

    I am 100% sure, that Bands will not respond to any of the Videos of VHS Collector directly for only one reason: he knows that VHS Collector is telling the truth – and the facts speak for themselvers. but Bans is professional enough to go over it in a politicial correct-style… as he knows that any other measure would lead to trouble in his mysterious “Warehouse story”. Suggestion for Charles Bands: Show us a picture of the warehouse, where You made Your “glorious Discovery” from the Golden Age of the 80′s… and then we will see :-) Nowadays I think You must have taken of photos displaying this great discovery! So go for it and by the way: The boxes are obviously fake for the bad printing and way too “proper” in outside colors for having been stored 30 years in Your “warehouse” ;-) Cheers!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.parker.146 Jason Parker

    Since I live in Los Angeles and work in the film industry I always hear stories about what goes on behind the scenes. I have heard more than a few stories about him scamming people and others not getting paid. Shame on you Mr. Band, it’s not bad enough that all your movies suck but now your screwing over collectors.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nic.destro Nic Destro

    not a fan, he really should not be proud of these awful movies

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.parker.146 Jason Parker

    I remember an article in Fangoria issue 149 about Castle Freak, I believe a bunch of people didn’t get paid for their work. Who produced that movie again?

  • scarlet

    Band’s got balls, I knew these were fake from the get go. Another great video by Paul @vhscollector.com. Keep up the good work ,fighting the good fight . I still think the piece you did on Rob Zombie was genius. Hope all is well. SCARLET FRY

  • I like VHS

    I believe these are reproductions, 1 of the best points from the debunk videos is it’s too much of a coincidence that the only titles for sale are the ones most popular and sought after by the horror VHS collector crowd, as if they were hand picked. If there really was some huge old stockpile of pristine Wizard boxes then where are the lesser known, non-horror titles? Not a single one of those? Also Band was likely given the idea to do something like this by an email request from a VHS collector the summer of last year, that email was made public by the original emailer. Really I think it’s cool that these would be re-released, the issue is saying they’re originals AND charging 50 bucks for them. If he just said they were re-pro’s and charged around $20 there would be no bad press I imagine.

  • Juan Jack Diaz

    A friend of mine, who worked for Band back in the day, had to hold one of Band’s movies hostage to get paid. This isn’t new folks. Band is certainly not the first or the last. I know a certain producer in Louisiana who no one will work with him because of his shady dealings.

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