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Dead Mike

Video shop gems you missed or forgot about

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Aware this is yet another film thread but recent posts from Devon & Scott M about Waking Ned, The Last Supper and the seemingly annual recommendations of Trespass got me thinking about other absolute gems i rinsed on VHS. Also, there's pretty much no new stuff coming out & all of these are gonna be better than that Eurovision toss

COBB - Ron Shelton was the MVP of sports films for a good while but this (and Blue Chips which is also decent) went striaght to video over here IIRC. Tommy Lee Jones plays baseball legend Ty Cobb who in his old age hires a biographer to tell his story. It's told in flashback & TLJ puts in a great performance, especially as 'old man' Cobb.

THURSDAY - Aaron Eckhart & Thomas Jane in an indie crime thriller that stood out in the wave of Pulp Fiction inspired indie fodder. A former criminal has set up a new life away from his past life but an old 'friend' turns up with a massive bag of smack & needing a favour. Mickey Rourke cameos & Glen Plummer in a supporting role adds extra 90's points.

SURVIVING THE GAME - It's 'Hard Target' but more fun & with a miles better cast. Ice T (instant win) is a homeless man being hunted for money. Rutger Hauer is the baddie & also includes Gary Busey, Charles S Dutton & John C McGinley. I fucking loved this as a teen, it's a blast & features on the best/worst injury scenes since Carl Weathers just stuck a stump on the side of his (completely visible) arm in Predator.

INDICTMENT: The McMartin Trial - A TV movie based on the real life story of alleged child abuse in an American nursey. Stars James Woods before he went insane & is a very solid courtroom drama with a decent turn from E.T's Henry Thomas.

AMERICAN ME - Edward James Olmos directs & stars in what I'll lazily describe as a hispanic Goodfellas. Spanning about 30yrs it follows 3 childhood friends and their rise & fall in the Mexican gang scene in LA. This was a cult hit in the US and I've since heard it referenced a few times in rap songs and other films. William Forsythe is brilliant & the scenes in prison are brutal.

BOUND - Gine Gershon & Jennifer Tilly star in a super claustrophobic mafia heist thriller. This was always one of my 'go to' recommendations for people when I worked in the video shop. It stands as one of the worst promoted films in memory which really pissed me off at the time. All the posters we had pushed the 'lesbian action' angle & we were sent extra 'WARNING - EXPLICIT LESBIAN CONTENT' stickers for the boxes. People who rented it expecting Electric Blue but were too shy to go into the adult section brought iit back pissed off & people who'd normally jump at a gangter thriller this good swerved it because they thought it was just soft porn. If you've not seen this then you're in for a absolute treat, plus it's got possibly my favourite Joe Pantoliano performance.

 

 

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Surviving the Game is superb. One of the very best of that genre of films where humans are hunted for sport. Not quite Hard Target level but not far off.

I think me and my best mate rented this out about a dozen times and looking back, we were right to do so. It's hilarious.

 

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1 hour ago, IANdrewDiceClay said:

Do you ever have films you half remember loving but cant remember the name or who was in them? A proper needle in the haystack film?

I had this for years and it was this place that finally helped me discover what film it was. All I could remember of the film was when a man broke some sort of little flying machine and some lights came out of it as he cried. 

I must have been 10 or so when I watched it and it was all I could remember. Turns out i was 'batteries not included'. 

 

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Our local video shop always seemed to have an abundance of Police Academies 4 onwards, but never any of the first three.  I loved that little shop though, their videos all had a fun Sgt Peppers Hollywood stars style covers on them when you took them out, but not on the shelves of course. Distinctly remember getting freaked out by the tape of Seven on the shelf there when I was about 8.

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I just miss video shops. My parents owned a newsagents just down the road from a Ritz and then Blockbuster so I would be in there nearly every day. Honestly I learned so much about TV and film just from looking through those shelves over the years and talking to the staff.

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Clwyd Video in Cefn Mawr used to let me have the posters after the films weren't new releases. Fair fucks! 

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12 minutes ago, PowerButchi said:

Clwyd Video in Cefn Mawr used to let me have the posters after the films weren't new releases. Fair fucks! 

The local paper shop that used to rent them out did this as well.

Our local video shop before that was Budget Video. I used to go every Saturday afternoon when I was 12 and 13 and rent out The Goonies and Predator on rotation every other weekend. Copped a load of cheap videos off them when they closed down and the shop was turned into a dentist.

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My mate Tiny Tommy P was mad on Arnie growing up and he begged and begged Blockbuster to give him a big promotional cardboard cutout of the man himself when the promotion was over (mid 90s, would it have been for T2? Seems a bit late for that but can’t remember what else it would have been). We had to walk past the shop to get to school so he would go in and ask them every day. They finally said yes, and said come back at closing. So he got his Dad to take him down later that night and when they got to the shop the staff had cut Arnie’s head off 😄

We had a Blockbuster, MVC, OurPrice and McDonalds within a stones throw of each other growing up, great times

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9 hours ago, waters44 said:

My mate Tiny Tommy P was mad on Arnie growing up and he begged and begged Blockbuster to give him a big promotional cardboard cutout of the man himself when the promotion was over (mid 90s, would it have been for T2? Seems a bit late for that but can’t remember what else it would have been). We had to walk past the shop to get to school so he would go in and ask them every day. They finally said yes, and said come back at closing. So he got his Dad to take him down later that night and when they got to the shop the staff had cut Arnie’s head off 😄

We had a Blockbuster, MVC, OurPrice and McDonalds within a stones throw of each other growing up, great times

It might have been True Lies, basing it off the fact such a cutout appears in Captain Marvel, but that would have maybe had Jamie Lee Curtis on it too. Last Action Hero?

Edited by HarmonicGenerator

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1 hour ago, HarmonicGenerator said:

It might have been True Lies, basing it off the fact such a cutout appears in Captain Marvel, but that would have maybe had Jamie Lee Curtis on it too. Last Action Hero?

Yeah it could have been Last Action Hero actually! 

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The Hollywood Nepotism Page

This wasn't the one I've been trying to place but I've a memory of a cover that I'm sure stated 'Swayze - Stallone - Travolta' & it was all the shit brothers? The number of people who despite renting films every week,  never seemed to understand the difference between cinema releases they've seen advertised on telly & what's out on video now was staggering. The bloke who owned the shop knew this too so he'd always get a few copies of whatever straight to video shite had boxes just like Twister or Independence Day & they'd always all be out.

Some more good ones (I've linked trailers)....

Gridlock'd - Tim Roth & Tupac star in a buddy move about 2 smack heads who decide to get clean after a friend dies. Tupac was really good in this & after playing wilder characters in previous hood dramas this was a more restrained performance. Thandie Newton is well fit too.

Strange Days -  Ignore the obviously dated 'futuristic 1999' stuff & this is a quality sci-fi whodunnit that was my go-to hangover film for ages. Written by James Cameron & directed by Kathryn Bigelow Ralph Feinnes is a sleazy cyber-porn peddler who gets mixed up in murder & corruption. Top quality cast, more Glenn Plumber & Skunk Anansie smash a cameo.

Rosewood- John Singleton directs a true story about a black town that got burned down in the 1920's & the people who helped the residents escape. I'd love to know if anyone else has seen this & what they think? I really need to rewatch it as I remember loving it at the time & being geniunely surprised that it was straight to video (it tanked in the states). Solid cast with Ving Rhames in the lead with Don Cheadle,Jon Voight. Michael Rooker & Robert Patrick in support.

Matinee- A lovely little family film set in the early 60's about a schlocky B-movie maker who wants to bring his newest creation to big screen whilst the US is in the midst of the Cuban missile crisis. John Goodman is wonderful as the lead. Perfect for a rainy Sunday

A Simple Plan - One of my favourite film genres is 'normal people find something they shouldn't & it all goes tits up' & this is one of my favourites (also one of the first R1 DVD's I bought from the states as it wasn't awailable here). Bill Paxton, Bridet Fonda (miss her) & Billy Bob Thornton star & Sam Raimi directs. Paxton & Thornton are brilliant and Sam Raimi absolutely nails the tone & tension. Link here is to BBC Iplayer so you can watch it now & thank me afterwards.

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