I am in the process of digitising some Video8 cassettes and am having a problem with some of them snapping when playing back.

I've taken the cassette apart and it seems that the tape is stuck to itself: I can start to peel it off, but it quickly starts to tear along the direction of pull (think scotch tape or saran wrap). I can use tweezers/knife to grab the end left behind, but no sooner do I get the two strips almost aligned, it starts to tear again.

It's as if the end of the spool had an adhesive applied to it.

Is there anything at all that I can do? All I can think is to bath it in some sort of solution: there's no way to mechanically unspool the tape, even with the most delicate of hands.