Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Once my family moved to Burleson when I was nine or ten, we had to find a new video store. There were a couple of good ones in the area, including one where I was employed. That store will have to wait for a more detailed blog. So many stories to tell.

Around this time grocery stores started to rent VHS to anyone for a bit more convenience. Not sure if any of these stores do this still, but my dad and I would pick out the weekly rentals while my mother was waiting in line with the groceries. Albertsons' selection was not too bad, but there is something about a store just for videos that supermarkets do not possess. One rental place in the rural area of Burleson, somewhat close to my house, was a place called Showtime Video. This was a small shop, the couple only owned one store to my knowledge and the outside had a huge Hollywood themed mural with the husband and wife owners portrayed in the convertible Cadillac waving. This was probably also the first rental place I frequented that had that elusive adult room. The best part about Showtime's adult section was the door had the cartoon chick from Cool World on the door. I still, for whatever reason, have not seen that film. Someday.

The thing I remember most about Showtime is their extensive horror section. They had the largest collection of gory, splatter fun my young eyes had ever seen. Many of the titles were things I had never heard of, or only read about in the pages of Fangoria. By the time I got my driver's license I had my own membership. My curiosities lead me to rent all of the "true" gore mondo style films. They had all the entries in all of the series - Faces of Death, Traces of Death, Death Scenes. One afternoon I sat in the living room at my parent's house, alone, eating bean burritos from FasTaco (the greatest Mexican fast food place ever!) and watching Death Scenes II. I had just taken a big bite from my gooey lunch when Pennsylvania's State Treasurer Budd Dwyer shot himself in the head. This food and sight combination is probably only rivaled by eating Arbys while watching low budget porn.

The internet was still VERY young, so I had not seen this or any of the other horrible things I have watched since then. Years later I would see this same scene projected on the video screens at a Rob Zombie concert, but at the time I was blown away. Who knew this kind of stuff existed? While most of the Faces of Death stuff was fake, some of these types of videos had real footage and thus began the part of my brain that store what I can never unsee.

On another trip headed home from returning videos to Showtime I had my first car accident. Not even a mile from my house, it was either swerve into an oncoming car, a telephone pole and ditch on the other side, or rear end the truck ahead of me. I chose the truck. This turned out to be an alright decision because it did not damage to his car, and much less to mine than the other options at hand. Stupid rain.

Thank you Showtime for giving me access to hard-to-find horror and things I should not have been watching. You have warped me for the better.


Charlcye said...

My captcha word is "quear"... nice.

Charlcye said...

O, bj's & fasTaco, how I miss thee! All the faces of death flicks were right at kid eye-level. And in 1996, the only logical step after that was rotten.com... My "can't be unseen" brain tissue was thoroughly developed at quite a young age. Thanks Burleson.

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