Wednesday, May 1, 2013

It Came From the Thrift Store...

Hi, everyone. This month I've decided to adopt the theme of It Came From the Thrift Store, in which I'll review things I've picked up over the years at the local Goodwill, Salvation Army, and countless other smaller and infinitely more terrifying consignment shops. My motivation for doing this is shown in the photo above. That's my VHS shelf. While a lot of those films are old favorites, there's a sizable fraction that I still haven't watched. I'm going to be moving apartments in the next couple of months and I desperately need to get rid of a large portion of my earthly trappings. You see where this is going. My problem is, I can't throw away an unread book or an unwatched tape. It's my biggest character flaw, one that will undoubtedly result in my corpse one day being found weeks after my death, half-eaten by cats, rotting underneath a pile of sci-fi paperbacks. So to try and avoid an early demise, I'll be powering through as many of these tapes as I can throughout the month and reporting back here to keep you all apprised.

I know VHS is in vogue these days, but I wouldn't call myself a collector. I'm not here to show off rarities or review ultra-scarce shot-on-video horror tapes. Hats off to the collectors that do - I love reading about stuff like that. I'm just not that cool, nor does my treasure hunting ever result in anything too rare. The reason for this is mostly because I live in North Carolina, where the population of sleazy video stores is thin and most rare tapes have long since been snatched up. Horror of any kind is scarce in the thrift stores to begin with, especially the stores linked to religious charities. To get a sense of how repressed this state can be, you need only to try and buy some hard alcohol. You'll have to go to the state-run "package store" and sneak a "package" back home, where you can drink alone while experiencing a minor crisis of faith. One that may or may not be induced by watching Prototype X29A.

Still, I don't want to give the impression that I haven't stumbled across some pretty cool stuff while poking around thrift stores. One of the benefits of living in such a conservative area is that there are TONS of really fucking weird Christian videos everywhere I go. I've had to make myself stop buying them, because I don't have the room in my house. Also, I don't want to scare visitors who don't know me that well with a giant shelf of Bibleman and Feature Films for Families tapes. What's even weirder - these tapes are in constant circulation. Example: during one expedition I found two videos of stage plays in which actors portrayed the plight of sinners who get sent to Hell. Pure gold, I thought, except that I had forgotten my wallet at home. In the 30 minutes it took for me to go home and pick it up, someone else had bought them both.

I'll plan on sticking mostly to the usual genre fare throughout May, but I wouldn't be surprised if a Christian kids' film or two creeps in. Also, who knows what's on all these unlabeled recordable tapes I always feel compelled to buy? I may even fire up the editing software and rip some trailers, commercials, or other ephemera for you. If there's anything shown in the picture up at the top that you'd like to see me review, be sure to let me know. The comments are open below.

And always remember:

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