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Old 01-21-2019, 10:27 AM
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You can't judge a [video] by the cover

The revival of brick & mortar video store thread brought back some memories. It wasn't so long ago that I used to walk the aisles of video store shelves picking through dvd's or VHS tapes, looking at the cover art or at the information on the back of the box and making judgements about whether or not to rent a video based on that scant information.

While it may not have always been possible to pick out a good movie based on the cover, it wasn't that difficult to identify what was most likely a bad movie in this fashion. Things like garish art, movie titles with roman numerals, or one or two-word excerpts from reviews with no context (e.g. "riveting action") all suggested inferiority.

How did (do?) you select videos at brick & mortar stores if you weren't walking in already looking for a specific title?

Last edited by Cardigan; 01-21-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:17 AM
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Maybe I'm just not remembering, but I don't think I've ever rented a movie that I never even heard of before. Rather, I'd be browsing and see a movie that I'd heard somebody talking about or that I'd read about or that sounded interesting when it was new but I never got around to seeing it in a theater.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:28 PM
filmore filmore is offline
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If the movie's description had super long bios of the actors, it was probably a bad movie. You know, these kind:
Quote:
In a quaint town, Jack (BILL TOMSON, "When the Moon Sets", "Dogs I Forgot") and Sally (TINA MORGAN, "One More Race", "The City to the South") try to keep a crafty squirrel (FLUFFBALL, "Nuts! It's You!", "Hell's Treehouse") from finding a way into their attic
Especially if I never heard of all the other movies they listed.
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Old 01-21-2019, 01:39 PM
DPRK DPRK is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
How did (do?) you select videos at brick & mortar stores if you weren't walking in already looking for a specific title?
You ask the person working there, of course, who, even if he or she does not have encyclopedic knowledge, has presumably seen all the worthwhile videos. Even watching one movie a day adds up over a few years, and true movie fans certainly watch at least a few videos every week.
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Old 01-21-2019, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmore View Post
If the movie's description had super long bios of the actors, it was probably a bad movie. You know, these kind:
Quote:
In a quaint town, Jack (BILL TOMSON, "When the Moon Sets", "Dogs I Forgot") and Sally (TINA MORGAN, "One More Race", "The City to the South") try to keep a crafty squirrel (FLUFFBALL, "Nuts! It's You!", "Hell's Treehouse") from finding a way into their attic
Especially if I never heard of all the other movies they listed.
I only watch movies starring A-list squirrels.
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Old 01-21-2019, 06:38 PM
dorvann dorvann is offline
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I know this isn't directly related to the OP's question but there is actually a website that has scans of VHS video covers:

VHS Collector
https://vhscollector.com/

Here's an example:
https://vhscollector.com/movie/metal...tion-jared-syn
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:08 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Papyrus font is also a big red flag.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cardigan View Post
How did (do?) you select videos at brick & mortar stores if you weren't walking in already looking for a specific title?
You could go by actors that you were already familiar with, or talk to the clerk. But for the most part we never rented movies that were completely unknown quantities. Renting a movie was a treat, and treats weren't something to get risky about.
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Old 01-22-2019, 12:07 PM
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There are plenty of used DVD stores about, and I browse the same as I always have: I would look for titles or graphics on the cover that grab my attention, whether they sound like an interesting idea, or it's "what the fuck?".


For example, my copy of Invasion from Inner Earth has on the cover a man and woman in ski gear against a bad blue drapery backdrop, looking up at a pink Starship Enterprise.

Neither person was in the movie, there was no skiing, and needless to say, the Starship Enterprise, pink or not, did not appear.

Last edited by Patch; 01-22-2019 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:48 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I only watch movies starring A-list squirrels.
"Nuts! It's You!" was a cinematic triumph.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:27 AM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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The movie about the Algonquin Circle, and mainly Dorothy Parker, was titled Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle.

Cover was probably the least representative scene from the film--but probably the only one that would grab your attention.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:54 PM
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If the cover (or back) showed an actress with feathered hair it was probably some bad 70s movie that I didn't want to see.
A lot of 70s movies also used animated pictures of the cast in some sort of group shot on the cover. Meatballs, Cannonball Run, etc. If it wasn't a hit I heard of then I'd avoid the animated covers.
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Old 01-23-2019, 03:34 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is online now
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"Nuts! It's You!" was a cinematic triumph.
Also, Hell's Treehouse was badly misunderstood. It's an homage to Tail Fluffers, not a parody of it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:06 PM
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Just imagine where Fluffball would be today if, after the success of Acorns Away, he didn't meet Tom Sizemore and get into hookers and heroin. Kinda sad really.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:07 PM
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Just imagine where Fluffball would be today if, after the success of Acorns Away, he didn't meet Tom Sizemore and get into hookers and heroin. Kinda sad really.
It was a J-M V situation, to be sure. When greatness elevates one so high, it sometimes takes them too close to the sun.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:10 PM
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Also, Hell's Treehouse was badly misunderstood. It's an homage to Tail Fluffers, not a parody of it.
Oh great, a Tail Fluffers fan. You people come out of the woodwork in every one of these threads.
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Old 01-23-2019, 10:13 PM
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The last video store I went to my children were young. I never got a chance to pick. Disney movies always took priority. I never was so glad when my oldest became a sci-fi geek. And then the video stores were all gone. I still spent a few more years watching cartoons and princess movies with the lil'wrekker. I know all the songs. It's a talent I keep under the bushel.
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Old 01-24-2019, 02:52 AM
kaylasdad99 kaylasdad99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
Just imagine where Fluffball would be today if, after the success of Acorns Away, he didn't meet Tom Sizemore and get into hookers and heroin. Kinda sad really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isamu View Post
It was a J-M V situation, to be sure. When greatness elevates one so high, it sometimes takes them too close to the sun.
Ehh.

I thought his career arc more closely resembled Val Kilmer's.

Either way, it was a testament to what awaits those who believe their own reviews.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:11 AM
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Oh great, a Tail Fluffers fan. You people come out of the woodwork in every one of these threads.
"You people," huh? I see how it is.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:10 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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"You people," huh? I see how it is.
He didn't see the version of Tail Fluffers with Fluffball. I suspect he saw the version from the back room starring Anita Squirreljob and so naturally he thinks poorly of people he thinks saw it.

SPOILER:
The scene with Anita and the squirrel and the midget in the camel costume was very well lit.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:32 PM
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Was that the version on the Criterion laserdisc? I've been meaning to get that.
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:56 PM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saint Cad View Post
He didn't see the version of Tail Fluffers with Fluffball. I suspect he saw the version from the back room starring Anita Squirreljob and so naturally he thinks poorly of people he thinks saw it.

SPOILER:
The scene with Anita and the squirrel and the midget in the camel costume was very well lit.
That they did not recieve a lighting nomination for that film was. a. crime. There, I said it.
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Old 01-25-2019, 10:14 AM
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If the main selling blurb on the cover was "With Music By...!" and then list like 10 of the latest kewl bands of grungy melancholy kids, I know that movie was one to skip.
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