It is with heavy heart that I come to you today. I am here to announce the end of an era, the final nail in the coffin in of one America's greatest institutions: the video store. Specifically, my second favorite video store of all time, Murfreesboro's Video Culture.*
For anyone who did time in Bucket City, you know that Video Culture was/is a cinephile's dream, crammed full of obscurities and oddities and staffed by some of the most knowledgeable film nerds this film nerd has ever met. It was the sort of place where — much to my wife's chagrin — you could “run in” and emerge hours later having thoroughly discussed the filmography of Ruggero Deodato, the sociopolitical ramifications of post-Magnum Force action cinema and the later works of Z-movie meister Al Adamson the way some people talk about the weather.
Needless to say, I logged a lot of hours at that store and watched a lot of awesome movies I might never have seen, all thanks to the great folks at VC. Which is why I got super, duper, extra bummed out when I found this message, pulled from Facebook, in my inbox this morning:
after 16 years of serving up the best of filmed entertainment, we are closing up shop. August 14th will be our last day of business. everything in our inventory is up for sale, so come in & get it while the getting's good! thanks to everyone for the love & support over all these years. we will miss you!!
We're gonna miss you too! Like really, really miss you! Fuck Redbox. Fuck Netflix. I want to get my movie suggestions from an actual person rather than an algorithm. I hate having these robots make their ham-fisted suggestions, hate the cold touch-screen interface on those creepy machines. I don't want to wait for the post office to bring me my disc, or take tips from tiny blurbs and hack-ish customer reviews.
No. I want to talk to a real person that has actually watched these damn movies and can tell the difference between Black Swan and Black Gestapo. Damnit, I want Video Cultures on every corner in America to free us from the tyranny of movie-barfing androids!
Please? Pretty please?
*The number one spot will always be my hometown shop, Video Outpost, where I basically learned everything I know about film. Let's hope that VC doesn't suffer the same fate and get struck by lightning on the last day of the going-out-of-business sale.