The Video rental store in town (Hollywood Video) went out of business last week. This could be a sign of the times, or just mismanagement. The little DVD ATM machines in McDonald’s and grocery stores seem be slowly taking the place of the giant mega video stores. Hollywood and Block Buster are gone and only Showtime survives, at least in my little town. It seems that the video store is destined to be replaced with DVDs for a buck a day and Net Flix. No, I will not shed a tear for Hollywood, but I will jump on the opportunity to buy cheap DVDs like a raven jumping on road kill, but first it has to be ripe and ready for easy digestion. Cheap.
I used to cringe every time I went into our local Hollywood video. The logic of how they picked videos and what quantity to display has always baffled me. I went in once to rent Serenity a week after it was released on DVD and they had only four display boxes and none to rent. Right next to it was the Transporter2 with a zillion DVDs for rent. So much for taste. In the front of the store there was a rack full of Serenity DVDs to buy. I guess this was done in an effort to get people to buy rather than rent. Anyway, I am sure that if this marketing strategy worked Hollywood Video would not be going out of business. I could also wax poetically about how inept the sales staff was, how they were ignorant of movies, and how they couldn’t multi-task to save their lives. But that is not the point. The store was closing and selling off all of its stock, DVDs, Video games, displays, posters, everything.
Three weeks ago I noticed the sign outside. Store closing, everything must go, 50% off! Previously viewed DVDs were listed at $14.99 were reduced to $7.99, and new movies were on sale from $24.99 to $14.99. I hate to tell them but they need help with their math. Also, I can go to Target or Wal-Mart and get the DVDs new for $14.99. I decided to wait.
The road kill not ripe enough.
A week later the sign was updated. “Everything must go, closing in 7 days, 75% off everything in the store” Now the previously viewed videos were down to $2.99 and new movies at $4.99. I had to jump on some obscure movies before they were gone. So I picked up Screamers, Undead, Akira, and The Stuntman, my lovely wife picked out some chick flicks.
Six days later we drive by and yes, the sign changed again. “$.99 any movie in the store, closing tomorrow!” Yes, it was time. The kill was ripe enough to buy just about anything. Now was the time to grab up bad movies. I was not alone; people were walking up to the counter with dozens of movies. Why buy bad movies? Every time I go into a video store I am fascinated by some movies on the shelf. These are the movies that I would pick up, read the description, and put back down. I never rent them, and they never seem to show up on TV. These are the movies that are too bad for obscure cable channels at three in the morning. At a buck each this is the time to buy such a movie. For a buck I can own a movie that I can proudly, and without much shame, watch once and review on my blog. That’s a cheap price to pay for easy material. For example: One of the movies I bought was Alien Apocalypse. It is touted as the worst movie that Bruce Campbell ever acted in. That’s a bold statement. I also bought The Last Sentinel (2007). On the cover one review says “…endless blood guts and gunfire…” what more do you want for a buck? It is apparently so bad that Rotten Tomatoes didn’t even review it, another bold statement.
I also bought probably the ultimate in campy, back shelf, bargain bin; even Wal-Mart has too much class to stock movie of all time. Yes I am talking about the one the only…”CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH”.
I can’t wait to review this movie. With a cast consisting of Shannon Tweed, Bill Maher, and Adrian Barbaeu how can I go wrong? Well, I hope to find out.
So, with the closure to Hollywood video I managed to spend under $20.00 on movies that will provide some great movie review material. That’s cheaper than some of my late fees last year at the same store. This Irony cuts both ways.
The movies that really make me wonder are the ones left over. How would you like to make movie that couldn’t even sell for a buck on the last day of a video store? I noticed that there were many, many copies of movies by Michael Moore, and Al Gore left on the racks, right along side of horror movies that even I have too much class to rent. Oh, and to be fair, there were two documentaries about Arnold Schwarzenegger left next to Bowling for Columbine. They are probably at the bottom of a dumpster by now.