A LOVE LETTER TO BLOCKBUSTER VIDEO.
On behalf of current society, TNUC would like to apologize for a large majority of us (not Uncle T) who acted like total PRICKS when the announcement came that Blockbuster Video had sadly passed away. The once reigning, defending, undefeated, undisputed champion of video rental stores had closed it’s doors for good and much of what could be heard by former fans/customers was nothing but negative comments and complaints. Instead of thanking Blockbuster for providing countless movie browsing memories, people took to the internet to whine and bitch about their “nightmarish memories” of late fees, customer service and other complete nonsense. It was demented and sad to see people so quick to bash a place that opened our eyes to so many classic and wacky film discoveries.
As for the independent mom-and-pop video outlets, we love em’ too, but Blockbuster was JUST as goddamn magical. Entering under that blue & yellow canopy and walking into an overwhelming movie paradise with racks of videocassettes stacked high and low was something truly special. I remember during one of my initial trips roaming through the ‘Action/Adventure’ genre section and seeing out of the corner of my eye two giant, tanned, almost-naked, oily freaks on the front of a VHS box with the words The Barbarians across the top. I was never the same.
Just like so many others, the biggest impact came from the almighty ‘Horror’ aisle. The endless array of VHS covers with monstrous artwork featuring demons, beasts, maniacs with blades, women in terror and neverending nastiness made young imaginations run wild. I remember doing several laps around the store just to walk by these titles for a second and third time before having to choose a movie and go home. In prepubescent TNUC days I attempted renting horror movies but usually changed my mind last minute and rented Beetlejuice for the 9th or 10th time that month.
This letter of love wasn’t meant to bash our current times or make anyone bummed. Uncle T has no problem with movie streaming services and downloads. What we do have a problem with is unfair Blockbuster bashing. To those ungrateful pricks who haven’t let Blockbuster rest in peace: Guess what? Now there’s NO place to walk into and stare at boxes with strange and over the top artwork featuring masked psychopaths, seduced women, kid-friendly talking beasts and exploding-muscled, renegade heroes. There are NO aisles to roam down and get lost under the fluorescent lights and stale popcorn aroma. We know you miss this experience…and if you claim you don’t…YOU WILL.
With loving memories and deepest sympathy, Thank you Blockbuster.
*If you have fond memories of Blockbuster and can still close your eyes at night and smell that VHS clamshell plastic, share your thoughts below!*