The Crazy DVD Packaging Hall of Fame


The DVD of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was officially released yesterday, and a lot of people are confused by its unusual cover design, which resembles a bootleg video you might buy on the street. So many people mistook the disc for a pirated copy that the DVD-rental company Redbox has had to put a warning message on all their vending machines. This may well be the most press DVD art has gotten in years — which is too bad, because there are definitely some stranger designs out there than a fake pirated cover. Here are some of our favorites.

Blade Runner Five-Disc Ultimate Collector’s Edition

This boxed set actually doubles as an authentic Voight Kampf test! If you suspect somebody of being a replicant, tell them that you spent over $100 for a cheap metal suitcase full of DVDs. If they react as if this is a totally reasonable thing for you to spend your money on, then watch out: they’re probably not human.


When the DVD of Twilight was released in the UK, it came with what advertisers called the “first ever ‘autobite'” — meaning that the packaging company made a mold of Robert Pattinson’s teeth and stamped each DVD cover with it. We can only imagine what Poor Robert was thinking as he waited for the dental impression to dry.

Ichi The Killer

This anime-inspired 2001 Japanese film is a modern cult classic for fans of the horror genre. The DVD set, which came in a plastic “blood bag” case and is notoriously hard to open, is not as widely celebrated. And rightly so. Ick.

Mad Men Season One Limited Edition

A cigarette lighter? Really? We get it. People smoked a lot in the ’60s. Especially ad guys. If the show is to be believed, they were also super sexist and committed a lot of adultery. Is the next limited-edition case going to be shaped like a pair of spread legs in high heels?

Get Smart Limited Edition

Okay, the shoe phone reference is kinda cute, we guess — we’re more surprised that they wanted to make a limited-edition case for this stinker of a movie in the first place. At the very least they could have used this idea for the original TV show’s DVD collection instead

The Simpsons

Believe it or not, The Simpsons is notorious for packaging its DVDs and CDs in really awful cases. Since the fifth season, every set has been shaped like the head of a different Simpsons family member, and people hate them so much that Fox apparently set up a website where you could request to have a regular cardboard case mailed to you. The limited-edition case for The Simpsons Movie isn’t much better; as you can see from the above picture, it’s shaped like a donut.

Evil Dead Book of the Dead Limited Edition

“Hey, I know,” said the guy in charge of package design. “Let’s make the DVD collection in the shape of the terrifyingly grotesque book from the movie that releases evil murderous demons! There’s no way having that on a shelf will terrify anyone in the middle of the night, with its beady black eyes. They could put it next to their collection of not-at-all-creepy clown dolls!”

The Big Lebowski 10th Anniversary Limited Edition

Get it, man? It’s a bowling ball! Never mind that it’s not very economical in terms of space and that the DVDs probably fit really awkwardly in there. Bowling, dude! (On a side note, we wonder: can you get this set at the Little Lebowski store in Greenwich Village?)

Planet of the Apes Ultimate Collector’s Edition

Look at this thing. It even has fur. We’re not really sure what more to say, other than that you probably shouldn’t ever turn your back on it because it looks like it will probably try to kill you.

Alien Quadrilogy Deluxe Alien Head Limited Edition Box Set

Wait, we take it back! We’d rather have the ape guy over this monstrosity — at least he’ll fit on a shelf! Seriously, where would you put this? It looks so easy to knock over, and then all the DVDs would go flying, and it would probably bleed a hole through your floor or something.