As a kid growing up in the 90s, Friday nights with my family typically revolved around dinner at the local chain restaurant followed by my favorite part of the evening – a trip to Blockbuster. Between those tall shelves packed with new VHS releases and old go-tos, a young “movie buff” in the making couldn’t find a happier place to be.
Fast forward to the early 2000s, and our weekly trip to the video store looked a lot different.
Gone were the thick VHS boxes that lined the shelves. They were now replaced by slimmer yet wider boxes containing shiny CD-like discs, not tapes. By 2006, the era of the VHS had finally sealed its fate as a blip in film history when the dying format released its final major Hollywood movie, A History of Violence, on March 14.
And that got me thinking … what were the last VHS releases to grace the shelves of your local Blockbuster, Suncoast Video or Hollywood video stores?
So here they are, by genre no less, the last major (key word here) Hollywood VHS releases. May you all rest in peace …
Just Friends (comedy) – March 7, 2006
Ryan Reynolds was just gaining major popularity as the new heartthrob comedian from Canada, appearing in several romantic comedies and a few action flicks. If you’ve never seen Just Friends, give it a watch. Seeing Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit and wearing a retainer is well worth the viewing.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (action/adventure/fantasy) – March 7, 2006
The magical boy who cheated death made his way onto four VHS incarnations before the format died off at the same time as Cedric Diggory … what too soon? The rest of the HP series would never again have to be rewound after watching.
Jarhead (war/drama) – March 7, 2006
Want a glimpse at the psychological effects of war? Jarhead gave viewers a mental breakdown as they followed Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx – two soldiers – serving during the Gulf War’s Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Yours, Mine & Ours (family comedy/drama) – February 28, 2006
Think the Brady Bunch but updated for the times. This family-friendly flick shows the good, bad and ugly truth of two single parents falling for each other and how their 18 combined kids have to cope with the changes.
Zathura: A Space Adventure (kids) – February 14, 2006
Zathura follows two brothers who discover a mysterious board game in their basement. The next thing you know, the two brothers and their older sister are transported to outer space where the adventure begins as they do whatever they can to finish the game and return home. Think Jumanji ... but in space.
Saw II (horror) – February 14, 2006
The sequel to one of the greatest and long-lasting horror franchises of the modern horror era would see its final VHS release with Saw II. It would also mark the last time on VHS that we’d see that creepy little tricycle riding clown doll roll into frame as an ominous recording would play on screen asking us if we’d like to play a game. The answer is still no, btw.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 15 years since the last VHS was released. After all, it still kind of feels like one day I just woke up and the DVD was the “it thing.” But despite its irreversible demise, the VHS provided us with over 20 years of Hollywood entertainment. And if you’ve got some home VHS tapes that you’d like to revisit, we can help you out by digitizing those old tapes and the memories they contain.