Monday, December 29, 2008

The VHS Is No More..... A Eulogy....

The very first VHS tape I ever remember owning, was Three Amigos. Sure I had cartoons here and there and a few movies scatterer around but the very first VHS I was given that was mine and mine only was Three Amigos, this was also the first movie I ever saw in the theater. I was the tender age of 5 when I saw it in theaters. And I was 6 when I got it on VHS. I got it on Christmas. I had a wagon as a present and in the wagon was tons of scattered toys, Ghostbuster toys, He Man toys, and that 1 VHS. Now every Christmas I was suck up until I was 14. So that Christmas, with a bad case of the flu, I laid on the couch after opening presents, and put in Three Amigos on VHS and watched it over and over all day.

A couple years down the line, when I was in the 2nd grade, my Mom and Dad dropped the bombshell on me. The kinda news that parents drop on their kids that change the course of that childs life forever. My parents were going to buy and run a video store. A mom and pop shop in the far corner of a shopping center. Life would never be the same.

My love for movies grew 10 times bigger that day. Every weekend or day off from school I would go to work with my Mom and my Dad. I would put away VHS movies, and sit in the back room and watch countless movies. It was there that I saw many many movies for the first time, it was there in the hordes of VHS movies that I decided I wanted to be a director. A VHS came along by the name of "Clerks." that changed everything.

Every Tuesday was the best day of the week in the summer time. That was when new releases would come out. 8am every morning me and my Mom would climb into the car and head to the warehouse where THOUSANDS of VHS movies were held. They ran this place to distribute all the new releases to video stores, as well as for stores to come and pick up older titles, or order them. We would go every Tuesday morning to get the newest movies and go to the video store and put them out for rent. We would also grab screeners. Which is just a copy of the movie on VHS, before it was supposed to come out on VHS. I remember bragging to my friends about already having Encino Man before it was to come out. That copy of Clerks I got was also a screener, it came in the box with another movie, called Pulp Fiction. I saw Clerks and Pulp Fiction on VHS for the first time ever on the same day, my 12 year old brain was blown away forever.

At home, we had one of those huge VHS home video cameras. Me and my friends would make movies with our action figures, or film our own talk shows. We would take these tapes and pass them around at our Jr High, they became something of an, "underground" thing that all the kids would pass around.

It was around that time that the fun would end. Something called Laserdisc came around and of course, we got a player. I remember getting Jurassic Park for it, the best day of my life. Jurassic Park on LASERDISC! And yeah, I still have a huge laserdisc collection and a working laserdisc player. But that never caught on. We had gave up on trying to rent out that format and started to order something called... DVD..... you know what happened after that.

Across the street, the bastards known as Blockbuster Video opened up. Our little store didn't stand a chance. Right when DVD was set to start rolling in, we closed down. Our little mom and pop shop had DVDs in stock, but the Blockbuster didn't. We closed down, and that was that.

In High School, I sold out, and got a job at Blockbuster. It wasn't the same. It sucked. But something happened. My manager was a bitch. A giant, fat, idiotic woman. Blockbuster had still yet not started carrying DVDs. A few stores here and there were, but that was all. Every day I would get asked about DVDs, and I would mention to my manager that she should do something about getting DVDs in the store. She said to me "Yeah like LASERDISC?!" A week later I went in to check my schedule and saw I only worked 1 day that week. After that, my name was on the paper, but I had no days for work. She was phasing me out. I heard from a friend that she was pissed at me, and she felt I was trying to do her job for her. Well, the winner of that epic confrontation is clear by TKO. Me.

It was announced that the LAST maker of VHS is closing its doors. The last company left that was still pumping out VHS tapes will hault production on them. The VHS tape, is no more. DVD has won the day. Now many people believe that Blu Ray will take over DVD, but I don't. Not anytime soon at least. 10 years down the line, maybe. HUGE maybe. My heart will always remember the fond memories I had of VHS tapes. The VCRs that would shred the tapes. The idiots that would return tapes to our store after leaving them on the dashboard of the car, causing the sun the melt the tapes down. The idiot guy that came in and rented a porn tape, and returned 15 minutes later in tears because he was on a bike and a truck ran him off the road and he dropped the tape and it was ran over and busted into 100 pieces. Yeah, it happened. So many VHS stories to tell, all involving porn titles too, and no special DVD stories to talk about.

Heres to VHS. Thanks for changing the world.

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