Johnny Walker, Rewind, Replay. Britain and the Video Boom, 1978-92, Edinburgh University Press, 2022.
Charts the introduction and rise of video entertainment in Britain from the launch of Betamax and VHS in 1978 to the development of the video superstore in the early 1990s.
- Presents the first book dedicated to Britain’s video boom
- Considers the development of the video distribution industry in the UK, identifying the key players
- Appraises the development of video shops and clubs, from the late 1970s to arrival of Blockbuster
Rewind, Replay is the first history of Britain’s video boom. It considers the earliest video distributors who, from the late 1970s, took chances on a wide range of films and other programmes to attract consumer interest. It also addresses the phenomenon of the video shop, the speed with which video rental became a habitual practice among the British public, and the key industry players who, at the height of a recession, invested wholesale into what contemporaneous media reportage was describing as a mere ‘plaything’.
Media historian Johnny Walker explores how distributors and store owners navigated various pressures including piracy, the video nasties moral panic and market rationalisation, as well as significant developments including the introduction of new legislation bespoke to the video medium and the corporate expansion of the industry in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to show how the pre-recorded videocassette, over the course of a few years, became a staple of high street retail.
Introduction: Rewind, replay
- We’ve got it taped
- Shrugging off the recession
- Threats and benefits
- Regulation and adaptation
- Independent spirit vs. corporate muscle
Conclusion: Video legacies
Johnny Walker is Associate Professor in the Department of Arts at Northumbria University. His authored books include, Contemporary British Horror Cinema: Industry, Genre and Society (2015), as editor, Hammer and Beyond: The British Horror Film (by Peter Hutchings, 2021), and as co-editor, Grindhouse: Cultural Exchange on 42nd Street, and Beyond (2016). His scholarship can be found in numerous journals and anthologies.