Looking Back: The Video Store

    The video store. A place that brought happiness and joy every time I walked in through those doors. A place where I could spend hours looking through every genre of film on either VHS or DVD. Going through the video games section in hopes of finding one of the newer games that had just come out or one that just looked up my ally. The horror section had always been my favorite, especially when I was younger. Just looking at all those covers for movies like Re-Animator, Dead Pit, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the Friday the 13th series, always ignited my imagination for what some of those films could be like.

    Growing up there were two places when I used to live in North Carolina that I remember frequenting. They were mom and pop stores. One was called Magic Show Video and the other was called Video Stop. They both stuck out because when you went over to rent something from Magic Show, you had to take what looked like a circular tag hanging off a thumbtack below where the box for the video was on the shelves. Video Stop had a traffic light as part of their logo. They were also the place to go get the better new releases as well as some of the better video games.
    When I moved back to Ohio, I started going to what was then called Video Connection (later Movie Gallery) and Blockbuster Video. I was in love with Video Connection because of their horror and sci-fi section had a bunch of obscure flicks like The Mad Butcher and an alternate titled version of Joe D’Amato’s Emanuelle and The Last Cannibals titled Trap Them and Kill Them. It was also where they started to put out DVD rentals when they started getting popular and mistakenly put out a DVD copy of the full uncut version of Caligula in their regular new release DVD section (which after renting it many, many times, they realized their mistake and put it in the adult section in the back). Blockbuster usually always had all the new releases in stock, but sometimes they’d be out of the one you’d want and you would have to wait forever to have someone return their copy. Blockbuster was the place that I first rented copies of Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Evil Dead 1 & 2, and The Shining among many others. 
     
    Of course it’s all different now. Most video stores have called it quits (most recently Blockbuster) due to streaming (Netflix), or people just downloading the movie at home. For me, it was about having something physical, be it a VHS tape or a DVD, and being excited to go home and watch something you had either waited for since theatrical release or those special features with the commentary track and all the deleted scenes that made you decide, I should go out and get myself my own copy of this flick. Now you just have everything right away and I think that takes away the mystique of what renting a movie was. At least that what it feels like to me. There’s no interaction with other people anymore with the exception of probably going into somewhere like a used record store, because at least then the clerk or whoever might actually strike up a small conversation on what you’re getting or what you’re looking for.
 
  Streaming or downloading isn’t going away any time too soon. That’s something that’s here to stay, until they start coming out with holograms of movies or something to that avail. Until then, all we have are those memories of our youth.

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Timey-wimey: Memories of Doctor Who and the 50th Anniversary Special

    My first memories of Doctor Who was when I was probably around the age of 10. It was either elsewhere on TV or on PBS was when I caught a small glimpse of the Doctor, that Doctor being Tom Baker and his awesome scarf. But what I mainly remember was the Fox Network broadcast of the Doctor Who TV movie with Paul McGann as the eighth doctor. I remember seeing the TV spots for it and thinking it was gonna be pretty cool, so I set my VCR to tape it (which I still have the old tape commercials and all to this day). At the time I thought the flick was pretty cool, but after watching it again recently for the first time since it originally aired and knowing what I know now about the Doctor and the show as a whole, it’s really not that great. It’s ok, Paul McGann was awesome, but Eric Roberts as the Master was terrible. I don’t understand the casting behind that at all. I just wished they had given McGann more time as the Doctor. Alas, it was not meant to be.
    Flash forward to 2005, I hear that they’re bringing back Doctor Who and it’s spose to be pretty fantastic. I got to watch one episode of the new series a year or so after it had aired randomly one late night on BBC America. It was the episode where the ninth doctor and Rose end up in the secret compound where they encounter the very last Dalek. I thought it was pretty cool. I liked how much of a bad ass they made the Doctor look. Only other time I got around to watching the show was when someone on the internet had put up all the episodes from the Three Doctors story from the old series, which I thought was awesome. Still one of my favorite of the original run.
    Flash forward again around 2011. I keep hearing about how Doctor Who is getting really popular again with people, especially younger kids. I really don’t pay any attention to it until probably like six months ago when Doctor Who fandom is at  it’s peak with Matt Smith as the eleventh doctor. Netflix had the first six seasons of the new series up. My wife would marathon ‘em while I was at work and I come home to catch the rest of an episode or two and be interested. I initially got to see two or so episodes of the Christopher Eccleston doctor, but then saw a good majority of the David Tennant doctor episodes. I think I got pretty hooked around David’s last season on the show. I started trying to watch it regularly when Matt Smith came on. I really liked the story ark of Amy Pond, the girl who waited.
    It was just this last month that I finally sat down and actually watched all of the new series. Like everyone else, I wished that Eccleston had stayed a bit longer. I really liked Tennant’s take on the Doctor more than I thought I would for some reason. I think my favorite companion of his has to be Donna Noble. I just loved everything about her. Matt Smith has been extraordinary so far. I love Amy and Rory, but I don’t know about Clara. She’s ok, I guess I just have to let her grow on me a bit more before I can really like her. Felt like there should’ve been more River Song, but never say never I suppose.


All this brings me to what I initially wanted to write about, the 50th Anniversary.


    November 23rd, 2013 will be a day long remembered as The Day Of The Doctor. 50 years of the Doctor celebrated in a giant sized episode which had the eleventh doctor teaming up with ten and the Warrior Doctor (or 8.5 or now 9 depending on how Steven Moffat has the ordering system now) to try and fight off Zygons all while trying to make a decision on not blowing up Gallifrey. I thought the special was very well done. Sure there was a few little nitpicks here and there, but overall the special was brilliant.
    Going forward to the 25th, I got the chance to see a 3D screening of the special on the big screen with the wife and ton of Whovians. The theater was packed. People cosplaying as Tennant, Smith, and even a girl wearing a fez. The intro for the show was hilarious as Strax showed us what would happen if someone in the audience were on their phone or trying to pirate it all complete with a speech on how it was great to eat popcorn because “popcorn can feel pain”, complete with a close-up of him eating popcorn and the popcorn screaming in terror. Then we were treated an actual intro with eleven welcoming us to the 100th anniversary of Doctor Who in 12D to which a stage hand comes over to correct him saying it’s in 3D. Hilarity ensues as ten appears and they do some fun gimmicky 3D stuff with their sonic screwdrivers. The 3D in this was pretty damn good. There’s only been a small handful of 3D movies I’ve seen on the big screen, but this one has stuck out being the best I’ve seen so far. Kudos to the BBC for having a good 3D budget for the special! The reactions from the audience members really added to the experience. You could tell from people that knew the show and who were just starting out to people that waited to this very day to see what had happened. I just loved all the cheering and gasps from people. Most notably towards the end where all the previous Doctors make appearances to help save Gallifrey. It started with cheers for Hartnell, then bigger cheers for when McGann and Eccleston appeared and then people going crazy with the little cameo by Peter Capaldi. Then the gasps, followed by a giant round of applause for Tom Baker’s cameo, and then another at the end of the behind the scenes featurette with Colin Baker. My wife and I had such a wonderful time and was well worth the money. By the way, I couldn’t help but laugh when a group of people behind us at one point said out loud “fucking Moffat”. That and the young girl and her friends running to their car continuously screaming “GERONIMO!” and my wife and I screaming back “ALLONS-Y!”

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For those of you that may or may not have seen the trailer for the 1979 roller disco movie Skatetown, USA (which is available on Synapse Films’ 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2 DVD) or elsewhere may have noticed something particular. Young Patrick Swayze looks strikingly like Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki.

For those of you that may or may not have seen the trailer for the 1979 roller disco movie Skatetown, USA (which is available on Synapse Films’ 42nd Street Forever Vol. 2 DVD) or elsewhere may have noticed something particular. Young Patrick Swayze looks strikingly like Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki.

(Source: )

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More stop motion animation awesomeness! This time, it’s a stop motion remake of the X-Men animated series intro!

Be sure to check out more stuff from animator Kyle Roberts  —-> HERE 

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I think the late Greg Giraldo said it best about Chevy Chase, “..living proof that you can snort the funniness right out of yourself.”

Ever wondered what Evil Dead 2 would look like with rotoscope animation? Well here it is!

Be sure to check out other work by PFR Studios ——> HERE 

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