You’ve missed the latest blockbuster at the cinema. ‘No problem … I’ll wait until it comes out on video then I’ll rent the blockbuster from the video shop’ you tell yourself.
The blockbuster is finally released on video and you dash to your local video rental shop. You fling open the door the scan the shelves frantically for the title you’re after. You can’t find it. Maybe the title is so new that the staff have not had a chance to put it on the shelf. ‘Do you have The Terminator in yet?’ You wait in anticipation for the member of staff to hand you the title so you can dash off and have a movie night. Your excitement is over in a few seconds when you’re told it’s already been rented out. Your next question is ‘Can you put me on the waiting list?’ ‘Yeah sure … there are already 8 people on the list so you’ll get it in 3 weeks time’. You leave the counter dejected and begin scanning the shelves for an alternative. You pick up the empty video cases to get a rundown of the other available movies. The member of staff recommends ‘The Germinator’ pointing to the case on the bottom shelf. ‘It’s just like The Terminator but made on a smaller budget’. You’re not convinced as you bring the case to the counter, hand over your membership card and cash, then trudge out of the shop. Once home you settle down and load the video cassette into your machine. You’ve had enough after 20 minutes into the Germinator. Your conclusion is this … this film is bad … total rubbish … it was not made on a smaller budget, it was made with no budget!
Fast forward 3 weeks and you finally get your hands on The Terminator. You tell yourself that good things come to those who wait as you swagger home with the case containing the blockbuster movie. Once inside you want to savour the moment. You prepare some snacks and settle down in anticipation. You insert the video cassette into your front loading machine … the cassette is gobbled up and you hear ‘clunk clunk’ as it’s digested. The lights in the room are flicked off and you start rolling the film. After 20 minutes you’re hooked to the screen. This film is the real deal produced on a real budget. You’re perplexed when the film reaches 22 minutes and the picture on your TV starts to get distorted. The picture distortion is followed by sound distortion. The picture and sound distortion continues for the remainder of the film. Maybe just maybe good things only come to those whom are swift off the mark.
The local video shop. Step in and be surrounded by rows of shelves with various film titles on display. Some of the films were well known whilst others could be described as Shelf Fillers. I recall entering my local shop. It was an Off Licence and Video shop (cool idea … after downing a bottle of Vodka, the shelf filler movie will seem like an Oscar nominee). I remember trying my best not to make eye contact with the titles on the top shelf. I remember handing over my membership card after finally making my selection. I remember heading home hoping that the film actually works once inserted into the machine.
The video shop brings back fond memories for many. It also brings back thoughts of frustration for others. The video shop is sadly now well and truly burried. It’s coffin has been slammed shut and lowered into the depths of the past with little chance of resurrection. Still we have our memories … some good and some not so good. The days of pushing a video cassette into a front loader or top loader will either make you smile or want to hurl a chair across the room!