The 50s’ had soda shops. The 70s’, roller rinks; and the 80s’ were all about the Mom and Pop video rental store.
I’ve said it a million times here on the internet: Video rental stores were the key that unlocked the youth to the horror genre world and God fuckin’ bless them. Without my local rental store Action Video, I would have never seen such important visionary works like The Blob or Scanners, solely based on the beautiful VHS cover art alone. As a kid, it was the place to be on a Friday night. It was a beautiful ritual that included the important Naugles or McDonald’s dinner tradition (both in the same parking lot), doing “Jack Ass” type wheelies in the parking lot on our bikes after, and then Action Video for the latest and greatest selection in horror films.
Also, remember having those disturbing, “gross-out” parties with your favorite horror movies from said video store behind your parents’ backs? Yeah, me neither. My parents gave zero fucks if I came home with A Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. However, according to an ABC 20/20 special with Barbara Walters, we were doing some pretty horrific things with said movies. Yeah sure, it’s all the rage renting horror films that will shape our future as the next great Serial Killer.
Just writing that sentence out made me laugh out loud. I mean, just because Jeffrey Dahmer loved the Exorcist III, doesn’t mean I’m going to watch the Texas Chainsaw Massacre a few times and then go on a mechanic rampage with a gardening tool, wearing people’s skin on my face.
Sounds like fun, but I think I might pass on that.
While the scare attempt is laughable at best, it does ring all the nostalgic bells for those of us who have such fond memories of said good times at the Video Store. It also really puts me in the mood to flip on some Splatterhouse University or Evil Dead. So it certainly isn’t all to be seen as a negative thing. More so just pure comedy that triggers me to watch all the cheesy horror flicks I can squeeze into one day.
Although, I have to state the greatest thing about this is the kids that are interviewed for the segment. Watching their little faces light up like Ralphie on Christmas morning when he gets his Red Ryder BB gun as they gush over films like Slumber Party Massacre just melts my heart. This was our youth. THIS is how we felt as young horror fans. Except for that Caston Jarvis kid. What a misguided individual that one is. Someone get him a snickers.
Then of course thankfully, there are the positive highlights of this news story that light the voice of reason into logic. Interviews with strong genre voices like horror author Chas Balun, horror Queen Linnea Quigley, and Witchboard‘s Walter Josten defend this nonsense fear-mongering and I couldn’t be more proud. Josten in particular, stated so perfectly, “It’s nothing worse than what you would see on the news.” And I fully agree there could never be a truer statement as reality (especially now more than ever) is way more terrifying than any horror movie you could put in front of me.
Watch. Laugh. Bask in the nostalgia of how horror movies warped our fragile little minds and made us psychopaths.