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Young Entrepreneur Opens Video Shop Dedicated To Monster Movies

January 1, 1985

MANTUA, N.J. (AP) _ A 19-year-old entrepreneur with a penchant for the hair-raising says he hopes to get in on the home entertainment boom by renting monster and horror films rarely available elsewhere to video enthusiasts.

Clifford Henderson offers full-length flicks featuring blood, gore and chills aplenty at his Video Monster shop opened two weeks ago in this southern New Jersey town.

″The trend is toward hi-tech special effects,″ Henderson said. ″That’s bringing back the classic horror movie with films like ‘An American Werewolf in London’ and ‘The Howling.’ They’re taking old themes and making films that are now 100 percent more entertaining,″ he said.

But there are few outlets for the video versions of the horror pictures, he said.

″At a supermarket, how many titles can they have?″ said Henderson, who reads magazines with titles like Fangoria and Cinafantastique and can reel off the names, producers and directors of the most obscure chillers.

Henderson’s shop, which opened Dec. 17, also carries popular movies and features on cassette. And he said he hopes to build his business as the video market expands.

″Video stores are going to be like delicatessens,″ Henderson said. ″Every neighborhood is going to have one.″

After attending college for a year, Henderson worked briefly in the real estate business before launching Video Monster. Although he is the sole proprietor of the business, he said his family and girlfriend helped him get started.

The young businessman said he spent about a month last fall analyzing the video market before deciding in November to make horror films his specialty.

Lining the store’s shelves is such drive-in fare as ″Halloween,″ ″Friday the 13th,″ ″Night of the Living Dead″ and ″Humanoids from the Deep.″

Other titles are less familiar but classics, still, according to Henderson. Included are ″2,000 Maniacs″ and ″Color Me Blood Red,″ two gorey low- budget movies made in the 1960s by Herschell Gordon Lewis.

″In the 1930s and part of the ’40s, there were the werewolf and vampire classics, but they became burned out after the same ideas were used over and over, as in ‘Dracula’s Daughter’ and ’Son of Dracula,‴ Henderson said.

Horror movies focused on ″radiation″ during the 1950s, he said, while the 1960s and 1970s served up only a few horror films, mainly with supernatural themes.

In 1977, when ″Friday the 13th″ was released, and in 1978, when ″Halloween″ hit theaters, Hollywood began putting out a wave of ″slasher″ films, Henderson said, in which ″teen-aged beauties and hunks line up to get cut up by the thousands.″

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