Saturday, July 22, 2006

Why video shops suck

Before I start about the video shop, I'd just like to say WHAT THE HELL?

My blog stat counter this morning

It seems the BC exploded yesterday (no innuendo intended, although it's not all that inappropriate) with hits from people searching for Kim Cattrall's Nissan Tiida ad, which I wrote about here.

Why the sudden interest? Seriously, I'm baffled. What has happened in the last 24 hours? Has she crashed one? Had sex with one? God knows. But hey, if that's why you're here - welcome! Now, onto more important matters.

Regular BC groupies may remember my extended rant about trying to join the video shop around the corner from my house, and finding it not very easy at all.

I think it's safe to say video shops are not my favourite places in the world. Last night's experience at Ballbuster confirmed this. And this is why:


For some reason, the people who run video shops think it's reasonable to charge $5.50 for a block of chocolate that would usually cost $3, and $4.85 for a 1.25L bottle of Coke. It's the same at the cinema, where it's also somehow considered quite normal to pay $4.50 for a bottle of spring water. The only reason I can think of for this is that video shops and cinemas actually operate in a universe parallel to our own, where celluloid and silicon exponentially affect the net worth of all products in the immediate vicinity. In such an environment therefore, you and everything on your person are automatically worth approximately 15 times more than usual, which means your $10 Price Attack haircut is now an $150 celebrity style, and the squashed up Freddo at the bottom of your handbag is worth about $40 (with rounding). It also means that whenever Pamela Anderson goes to the movies she has to insure her chest for a further $20 million.


You go in to get one video, ONE, which you and your mates have decided upon after a 20 minute argument that involved frequently repeating the phrase "I've seen that" and "I'm not watching a movie with fucking SUBTITLES", and yet when you get to the video shop you're suddenly conned into standing around for a further half an hour tring to choose six more videos so you can save $1.50. Even with a whole seven days up your sleeve you know you're not going to watch them all, because you have a LIFE and occasionally go outside, but still you become a slave to the 'special deal' and find yourself at the counter with a stack of videos you're not particularly interested in, so you can pay them more money than you planned.


Yes, I see the hypocrisy, but I'm pressing on. Last night, as we were trying to work out what other 127 movies to get to fill the special deal requirement, we were subjected to the 'MUM AND KIDS'. Video shop Mum's favourite phrase is "put that back".

"NO TEGAN, put that back, we're only getting ONE Bratz Summer Party Fun Time DVD. I said ONE. Shenille you saw that last week, put it back. Put that BACK."

During this time the 'and kids' run around grabbing various videos and "putting them back" in random places, before moving on to the lolly counter where they start screaming for treats, and the whole thing starts again.

"Tegan, you're not having chocolate, put it back. We've got ice cream at home, PUT THAT BACK."

Then we had to endure the 'INDIGNANT LATE FEE PAYER' at the counter, a depressed 35-year-old father who got married too early in life and now regrets it and who works a shitty job as a worker drone under some bastard boss. Having no power whatsoever in his daily life, he clutches at whatever he can get - getting mad at waitresses, tailgating grandmas on the freeway, and disputing late fees. For about 20 minutes. While people are standing behind him wanting to pay for their videos AND GET THE FUCK HOME BECAUSE THEIR PIZZA IS GETTING COLD.

"This is a rip off. $9 in late fees? But it was a long weekend. This is a JOKE. What a RIP OFF. I'm not paying it. Such a RIP OFF. You can't withhold videos from me. Oh you can? What a RIP OFF."


This, of course, depends on your video shop but if the Campbelltown Ballbuster is anything to go by, 'arthouse' now means 'pornography'. I remember the days when porn had its own special 'adult' section, or was at least stuck on the top most shelf of the new releases. Not anymore. Sitting proudly next to ACTUAL arthouse films like Owning Mahoney and American Splendor was Asian Babes IV and Breasts of Fury. OK so I made up that second title (which actually probably COULD be an arthouse film) but you get the idea. I have no idea when this transition ocurred, but I was frankly pretty offended by it. I have a feeling these movies have had an 'ARTHOUSE' sticker slapped on them so pathetic men can safely take them home without fear of being reprimanded by the wife. "No love, it's not porn, it's ARTHOUSE. All French movies are like this."


Video shops these days are under the impression that they are actually special clubs, and make it very difficult for you to join unless you can prove you are worthy. This usually involves presenting about 150 points of identification, your last gas bill, birth certificate and a signed testimonial from your next of kin confirming you are who you say you are. They might also check the back of your head for the zip holding your latex Scooby-Doo villan mask together, so if you're trying to con them, beware.

And finally:



  1. I love Blockbuster's fantastic idea of having older new (!) releases with a seven day return. These are not to be confused with weekly hires which must be returned after seven days. Hellooo?! Seven days is seven days. One week. If says "return in 7 days" then it's a frickin' weekly rental you morons.

  2. apparently the kim catrell ad got banned in NZ for being too saucy. So there are probably a lot of horny kiwis looking for a bit of that sweet sweet action.

  3. oh and i assume that you are gonna get a lot of hits for 'breasts of fury'!

  4. I haven't been to a video store in quite a while. There is a reason for that - the prices and late fees are outrageous, and they never seem to have the movie I want.

  5. is hap where i find breast of fury?

  6. Don't go knocking the Glynde Blockbuster! It has plenty of Leslie Nielsen, Corey Feldman and Steven Seagal movies, so I don't know what your problem could possibly be.

    When describing the video store landscape, Petstar, you also forgot to mention the loud chick saying such things as "Anal Invaders 35? What's that doing in the Arthouse section? Why is there a copy of Titfest 2000 sitting next to Three Colours Red? That's PORN!" while mothers of young girls preparing for a slumber party with Bratz videos try to cover the little ones' ears...

  7. Well it IS porn! And it's blasphemous that those ridiculous titles should have an arthouse sticker on them. AND THEY NEED TO BE TOLD. PS: those kids have to learn some day.

  8. I know 'INDIGNANT LATE FEE PAYER'. He (and she) calls me at work and complains about getting a late payment on a fine that they themselves haven't paid within the 28 day period.

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  10. And what's wrong with Kino, Petstarr??

    They're right next door to Hong Kong Hardware.

    EVERYTHING in Kino is Arthouse, even the "Hollywood" section.

    $3 a movie can't be beat.

    And the surly young unshaven guy behind the counter is kinda cute.

  11. I'll tell you what's wrong with Kino, zzymurgy: THAT'S what's wrong with them. Although at least they've reduced their prices now so you no longer have to take out a second mortage to afford a new release.

  12. And I would like to add to that the fact that their half arsed website has been under construction for about a year.

  13. Yesterday, I walked into Civic Video Croydon and handed the guy my license and bank card. I then walked the room, picked out two DVDs, signed the form he had filled out for me and paid.

    Admittedly, that has NEVER happened before.

  14. yes, that's why I never enter Blockbuster.

    If you can, small private video places are the best. They have weird collections of things, and the guy working there rolls his eyes at you when you rent anything not by Kurosawa or Goddard.

    Plus, they have to stock softcore to break even. And that's always fun to browse (thought not fun to rent)

  15. I have a theory that those supposed 'special deals' are actually a ploy to get you to pay more money. You end up getting those extra seven videos and pay 50c less... but you inevitably drop them all in two days late (well, as is always the case for me). You end up paying late fees for 8 videos instead of only one. See!??! See my point. It happens, everytime, without FAIL!!!!