VIPCO (Video Instant Picture Company)
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VIPCO (Video Instant Picture Company) was a UK based home video distribution company that specialized in releasing obscure and cult horror films - in particular, low budget Italian and American films produced during the seventies and eighties. It promoted itself as the leading distributor of video nasties and previously banned films in the UK.
In its first incarnation as an independent company founded by Mike Lee in the late seventies, VIPCO was notable for serving the nascent British home video market with early releases for films such as Driller Killer, The Groove Tube, King Frat, The Legacy, Psychic Killer and The Slayer. The company was originally named VIPC, but customers often misread its trademark - the letters VIPC surrounded by a graphic resembling the spools of a video cassette - as 'Vipco', so the company's name was changed soon after their first titles were released.
The company re-emerged in the early 1990s with edited versions of Zombie Flesh Eaters, Horror Hospital uncut and Night of the Demon. Since then, it has released a large number of films on video and DVD including Zombie Flesh Eaters 2, City of the Living Dead, Cannibal Holocaust, The Burning, A Blade in the Dark, Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Ferox II, The Nostril Picker Uncut Edition, Slime City, The Beyond Uncut, The House by the Cemetery, The Toolbox Murders & The Mountain of the Cannibal God. Many of the titles had previously been cut or rejected by the BBFC, or had never before received a UK release. These films fell under the banner of the "Vipco's Vault of Horror" DVD Collection.
In response to the extreme censorship many of their titles suffered at the hands of the BBFC, Vipco released several titles in Denmark where censorship was not as strict. These imports featured stickers proudly identifying it as the 'STRONG UNCUT VERSION'. In addition to releasing movies which had been censored in the UK they also released titles such as Cannibal Ferox, Cannibal Holocaust, The Driller Killer, I Spit on Your Grave, The New York Ripper, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Toolbox Murders and The Toxic Avenger which (aside from The Toxic Avenger) were banned outright in the UK.
With the success of their titles Zombie Flesh Eaters, Cannibal Ferox and Cannibal Holocaust, VIPCO released several unrelated films as sequels. Massacre in Dinosaur Valley was renamed Cannibal Ferox II, After Death was renamed Zombie Flesh Eaters 3 and Antonio Climati's The Green Inferno was released as Cannibal Holocaust 2.
The company closed in 2007 after 28 years in business.
Criticisms Of VIPCO
Many viewers[who?] were disappointed with the low quality of the discs in relation to the relatively high price they sold for.
Many of their DVD's featured the same dated full frame transfers from their earlier VHS releases and no extras, in blatant contradiction of the "Digitally Remastered" banners appearing on the company's DVD packaging.
- VIPCO home page A replica of the horror video website
- An archive of VIPCO releases and a history of the company