Background: Castle Vision, later Castle Home Video, was the video imprint of the English independent record label Castle Communications, which went defunct in 2007.
1st Logo (1987-1992, 1999)
Nicknames: "Where's the Castle?", "Grid of Doom", "Another Jumpscare Logo", "Hypocrite Vision"
Logo: Against a live-action sky background, a white grid can be seen with its tiles advancing forward. This scene then zooms out to reveal that it takes place on a rich lilac-colored background. Once it's zoomed out all the way, the words "CASTLE" and "VISION" on black squares in cyan can be seen above and below the sky/grid scene respectively. The sky/grid scene then splits in two and a flash of bright light appears in the middle of the screen, causing the logo to disappear and leaving just the background when it dies down.
FX/SFX/Cheesy Factor: The keyed-in sky (similar to the Warner Home Video logo), the Scanimated grid and the zooming. These are all laughable 1980's effects, and became dated instantly. The logo also doesn't have a castle.
Music/Sounds: A synth-timpani plays throughout. When the sky/grid scene begins to zoom out, a harsh distorted guitar drone begins playing. When the flash of light appears, both the timpani and the guitar stop and a loud, dramatic orchestral sting plays.
Music/Sounds Trivia: The guitar drone from the logo is later used in the 1991-1993 opening of the main Russian news program, Vesti. (0:16)
Availability: Should be available on all tapes with the Castle Vision label from 1987 to 1989, including videos of TUGS, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Raggy Dolls. Also appeared on some later releases, including You've Been Framed! from 1991 and used in tandem with the 5th logo on the 1999 release of Children's Sing-a-long Favourites - immediately following the 5th logo (9:02)
Scare Factor: Medium to nightmare. The dated effects and the rapid-moving clouds are sure to unnerve a few, but the scariest thing about the logo is the music; there is very little rhyme or reason to the composition, and the droning and instrument choices sound ominous and foreboding.
2nd Logo (1989-1995)
Nicknames: "Where's the Castle? II", "Portcullis of Boredom", "Hypocrite Vision II"
Logo: On a black background, a teal square with a blue, stylized, slightly slanted portcullis appears. Below the teal square are the words "CASTLE VISION".
Trivia: The stylized portcullis is the same as the print logo for Castle Communications PLC, only colored blue.
FX/SFX: None, except fading-in and out.
Cheesy Factor: There is still no castle.
Availability: Should be available on most Castle Vision releases from the late 1980s and early 1990s. This logo was used in tandem with the 5th logo for some releases for one year.
Scare Factor: None; this is much tamer than the previous logo, but many will find it be boring.
3rd Logo (1990-1992)
Nicknames: "Where's the Castle? III", "Colorful Portcullis", "Hypocrite Vision III"
Logo: Against the white/blue gradient sky with the reddish-white horizon and the midnight blue ground, the scarlet, amber and celadon green arrows with elongated tails and the black drop shadow fly down to the middle one by one and the tails shorten, then two parallelograms with "CASTLE" and "VIDEO" in the modified Microgramma font slide in from the left and from the right, respectively, forming the portcullis design, and the company name flashes.
FX/SFX: Simple animation.
Cheesy Factor: There is still no castle.
Music/Sounds: Three whooshes then the arrows fly down and the slamming sound when the company name flashes.
Scare Factor: Low to medium. The sounds and logo taking up the whole screen might unnerve some, but it's still tamer than the 1st logo. However, the scare factor rises again with the next logo...
Nicknames: "Where's the Castle? IV", "The Arrows/Portcullis of Doom", "Hypocrite Vision IV"
Logo: On a white cloudy background, three down arrows fly to the middle of the screen. A square appears on the arrows, forming a even more abstract portcullis design, and the background fades to white. Then, a chrome ribbon circles around the portcullis and a thin red line appears below the square. The words, "CASTLE HOME VIDEO" appears under it then flashes.
- Sometimes, "HOME VIDEO" would be replaced with "PICTURES".
- An alternate version of the above variant exists, where the logo is placed a bit higher; a filmstrip instead of the chrome ribbon covering half of the portcullis design, and 2 lines being drawn with "CASTLE" in Garamond, and "Pictures" in Laser Std Chrome, appear below in chrome and flash, in which it cuts to black.
FX/SFX: The arrows moving, the ribbon/filmstrip drawing and the text flashing.
Cheesy Factor: For a 90's logo, this is very cheap and outdated animation. Even the first logo was more creative. The logo also doesn't have a castle.
Music/Sounds: A dramatic synth note, coupled with three whooshes, a phaser-like sound and a reversed cymbal crash.
Availability: Appeared on the company's titles from the era like Through The Fire. The variant with "Castle Pictures" is seen on extremely rare UK prints of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
- Original/Pictures Variant: High. The cheap animation, very unsettling music and the design of the chrome ribbon will unnerve a lot, but the brightness makes it pretty tame.
- 2nd (Pictures) Variant: High to nightmare. The even creepier looking design as well as the abrupt end will scare many.
But, as with other logos, the scare factor varies to whoever is used to it.
5th Logo (1998-2005)
Nicknames: "Where's The Castle? V", "Rainbow Oval In Space", "Hypocrite Vision V"
Logo: On a space background with the Earth and the Sun in the distance, we pan over the lowercase letters "castle", as if we are standing on the letters, from left to right. Around the letter "t", the camera pans down and turns in the opposite direction, then zooms out to reveal the text is rotating around the Earth (a la the Universal logo). As this happens, a series of rainbow light trails (a la Star Trek) cover the space background, and after a couple seconds, the screen flashes white to reveal nothing but the new Castle logo on a space background, as pictured above.
FX/SFX: The camera panning, the light trails appearing, the flash and the final product appearing. Decent CGI for 1998.
Cheesy Factor: It's an obvious rip-off of the Universal logo. The logo also doesn't have a castle.
Music/Sounds: A trance-like electronic theme that ends with a guitar chord.
Availability: Seen on releases from the company during this time.
Scare Factor: None to minimal. It's an improvement over the previous logo.