Thursday, June 17, 2010
One of the things people associate with me is the absolutely freakish obsession I have for horror/sleaze/weird flicks from today and yesteryear. I was one of those geeks back in the day who salivated for an 8th generation copy of Cannibal Holocaust with Portuguese subtitles burned into the picture. Trading videotapes was almost a second job. Yet with the wonderful advent (and relative cheapness) of DVD, so much of what was once nearly unobtainable is common fodder in your local Best Buy. Who would have ever thunk you could easily grab copies of Salò and Redneck Zombies while picking up some printer ink?
But once you get your fill of the NTSC/U.S.-released stuff you gotta start looking elsewhere. Thank you, thank you, glorious Internet. Pick up a region-free DVD player at 220-Electronics (some starting at only $50) and check out Diabolik DVD - easily the best worldwide cult DVD market on the web. Yeah, you could try Amazon or go the next step and order direct from Amazon UK (or whatever country you're into), but Diabolik is in the U.S., compiles it all together, and has better prices, shipping costs, you name it. It's also run by average guys who are just as much hardcore genre fans as small business owners. I tell ya, once I got my first region-free player it was game over. I hardly buy the generic region-free DVDs anymore, the stuff that's available overseas tends to be packaged so much better. Extras, artwork, commentaries, etc. etc. - all unavailable in the U.S.... the world has got a way bigger selection!
OK, OK, but what if you have some flick in mind that you just can't find - at Wal-Mart or overseas? Welp, you're probably fantasizing about some offbeat cult nonsense that simply has no distributor or ownership rights anymore, violates copyright laws (hello Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam), or is even too obscure for the "obscure" DVD labels to hose off and release. Coonskin and Mardi Gras Massacre come to mind as does anything by Chester N. Turner. Welcome to the home-grown business of burning videotapes to DVD. Get a Samsung VCR/DVD recorder and you too can open your own online cult movie depot! There are lots of FAQ's on the internet that posit it isn't copyright infringement, blah, blah Berne Act, but in all honesty it's a bootleg operation and I LOVE it! It's the closest thing to old-school tape trading out there. Sure you get what you pay for, those skips and jumps on a time-chewed videotape are there forever on your burned DVDr, but for $5-$7 bucks can you really complain? With the boom in iOffer there are lots of these operations out there, some riskier than others (I've been burned several times) so it's wise to do your homework. The shops below (Revok and Stumpy) are my faves - I've ordered from each multiple times and have gotten true-to-form product (for what it's worth... can you really blame them if you can't see anything on an advertised grade-D copy of Begotten?). They answer emails, ship relatively quickly, and prices are reasonable. Check 'em out - it's ridiculous the amount of stuff you'll find, including old TV shows, cartoons, concerts, you name it.
Revok Film Prodigies
So shitcan your Netflix account and start checking out one (or all) of the above sites - I'm sure you'll find some lost gems or new treasures once you start digging around. Peace!