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Sunday, June 5, 2011

Project: MOGUL


I'm not sure when my obsession with Mogul's VHS releases started.  I'm not even sure what the first one I ever purchased was, but I can remember the excitement of coming across a new, previously unknown title at some creaky backwoods video store or pawn shop.  Information was practically nonexistent, and the lists below were compiled the old-fashioned, pre-internet way:  wasting lots of gas finding every video store in the surrounding states and begging, bribing and sometimes stealing for them.  Classics are few and far between in the Mogul Communications line-up (not Mogul Video, as they're ofttimes incorrectly referred), but the rarity of their tapes and the obscurity of their titles, not to mention their typically outlandish, garishly-painted artwork, never fail to capture one's imagination.  Hilariously, some of their covers include the following disclaimer in small print across the back:

The scenes depicted on this sleeve may be an artist's impression & may not necessarily represent actual scenes from the film.

You gotta love 'em.  Mogul's lineage can be traced overseas to the U.K., where in '83 they were set up as yet another VHS arm by GO! Video's Des Dolan. Interestingly enough, Mogul Communications' name and logo wasn't only devised for home video use, as the company simultaneously issued a slate of video games under the banner. Not surprisingly, their games were essentially knock-offs of arcade hits, and included titles like Chomper Man, Kongo Kong and Pollywog. Fans of the label will notice artwork elements recycled from not only the U.K. Mogul tapes, but sometimes the GO! catalog and the video games, too!

As far as I know, in the States the outfit released around 70 titles on at least four different branches between '85-'88. Des Dolan's connection can explain the proliferation of films pulled from pal Dick Randall's holdings, along with other Brit associates like Michael J. Murphy. Ironically, Mogul is probably most famous for a movie they didn't release: Ruggero Deodato's Cannibal Holocaust. Their acquisition was announced, but the company went belly-up before their VHS was ever issued. Below are the tapes I've been able to track down.

I'll be frequently updating this list with links to each individual release, including cover scans, exact runtime information, alternate titles, etc. I also hope to do some related interviews, to shed a little light on the outfit. Keep checking back, or become a follower to ensure you don't miss anything!

Mogul Communications, Inc.:
MOG1002: Captive Planet
MOG1003: Macabre
MOG1004: Insanity
MOG1005: Curse of the Screaming Dead
MOG1006: The Last Mercenary
MOG1007: Terrorism
MOG1008: Reactor
MOG1009: On the Edge
MOG1012: Days of Hell
MOG1013(S): El Congelador de la Muerta
MOG1014: Gunblast
MOG1015: Fatal Fix
MOG1016: Street War
MOG1019: Contraband
MOG1020: Ninja Holocaust
MOG1021: Thunder Squad
MOG1023: Special Force
MOG1024: Deadly Sting
MOG1025: Crimebusters
MOG1026: Fury
MOG1027: Autopsy
MOG1028: Green Inferno
MOG1029: Rape
MOG1030: Sniper
MOG1033: Metallica
MOG1034: Fist of Death
MOG1035: Scandal
MOG1037: Demon Queen
MOG1038: The Killer
MOG1039: Don't Panic
MOG1040: Alpha City
MOG1041: Bladestorm
MOG1042: The Hereafter
MOG1043: Fast Guns
MOG1044: Assault Squad

Other Titles, Possibilities and “Iffys”:
Hostages, Terror of the She Wolf, Satan's Blade

All American Video:
AAV103: The Ninja Strikes Back
AAV104: Satan's Blood
AAV105: Big Boss 2
AAV106: The Daughter of Emanuelle
AAV107: King Frat
AAV108: Ninja vs. Shaolin
AAV110: Gymkata Killer
AAV112: Necromaniac
AAV114: Holocaust 2
AAV117: Sabotage
AAV119: Hell Hole
AAV121: Greed

Mega Video:
WV5001: Viking Massacre
WV5002: Invitation to Hell
WV5003: Taste of Death
WV5004: Mission Corbari

KID1: Bumper Fun Video Annual

If anyone out there has information regarding the gaps in this roster, including confirmation that Hostages and Terror of the She-Wolf actually exist, please get in touch! Also, I'm looking for prerecords of Fast Guns (Mogul) and Taste of Death (Mega). If you have copies for sale or trade, please let me know. I'm additionally interested in more information on Mogul's UK arm and its line of videogames.

For a look at other labels, check out The VHS Archives!

© 2011 -- Bruce Holecheck. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I have extra copies of GREED and VIKING MASSACRE available if anyone needs them!

  2. When I finally get around to getting a decent scanner, the All American SATAN'S BLOOD sleeve will be sent pronto!

    Is HOSTAGES the movie with Hugo Stiglitz that Paragon put out?

  3. Thanks Ian, but I have SATAN'S BLOOD already, I just haven't gotten around to its listing. The (known) tapes I still need are SCANDAL, THE HEREAFTER and ASSAULT SQUAD on Mogul, and TASTE OF DEATH on Mega. And of course any of the unknowns!

    Not sure what HOSTAGES is. Someone mentioned it years and years back when I first started compiling the list. It could be bogus, but stranger things have happened.

  4. Isn't Galaxy Video another sublabel of Mogul's? I have a scan of SATAN'S BLADE with the same rainbow-colored streamer across the top, but instead of MOGUL being in the middle of it, the word GALAXY is.

  5. The Mogul SATAN'S BLADE tape is a UK pre-cert; I'm assuming Galaxy just swiped their art and modified it to fit their release. None of the Galaxy tapes I own have any mention of them being a Mogul company.

    (If Mogul did issue SATAN'S BLADE Stateside, I don't have it! I've only seen the Prism issue.)

  6. Over on my blog I have some scans of Mogul UK covers, including a Satan's Blade that is not a pre-cert.

  7. I'm still debating what to do about the UK tapes. I'm not sure if I want to branch out from a domestic database or not.

  8. Although Des Dolan acquired my film DEMON QUEEN for U.S.distribution back in 1986 (and released it the following year), I always regretted licensing the film to him. Why? Because about a week after I'd signed the Mogul contract, Lon Kerr of Motion Picture Marketing (the distributor of Fulci's GATES OF HELL) came along and offered me TEN TIMES the amount Mogul was paying. But by then it was too late.
    When I first met Des and the Mogul team, they were operating out of the Hollywood condo where Des lived on Kings Row. Later they moved into a small house and hired me to help set up their new digs. The house doubled as a warehouse for all the Mogul inventory, so I had to stock the wall to wall shelves with hundreds of now-rare Mogul titles.

    1. Des was my Mate, we often met in Wardour street, nights in the Wag and the Blue post pub, Des died a few years ago but I would love to find his wife Phenomena or his son zen Nick watercash@gmail.com

  9. Great story, Don! I had actually been meaning to get in touch with you to see if you had any memories of the company, but I guess you beat me to the punch!

  10. Project Mogul is shaping up nicely! What labels/subs are taking on next?

  11. Next labels up are Super and Regal, with Video City and World following shortly thereafter. They'll all branch off of the main VHS Archives page.

    I still need to do up PETS to complete the Imperial Video Corp. list, but I'm still holding out for one alternate tape scan.

  12. Hello,

    I'm collecting Mogul UK and US, so far I have figured out mog 1020 ninja holocaust US
    mog 1012 days of hell UK, MG 9006 california bulls UK, MOG 1013 chocolate killer UK, MOG 1008 Reactor UK.

    I have to dig into my vaults to give you other numbers