Walmart is the Place to Buy Horror Flicks! I’m constantly on the prowl for inexpensive, quality additions to my horror collection. Brick and Mortar is all but dead and gone, and that means far fewer specialty shops. It means far fewer Blockbusters. In my neck of the woods, there are zero rental shops. Literally, within roughly 35 miles, not a single rental shop exists. Which leaves few options, corporate options like Target and Walmart if you prefer to steer clear of Redbox, which isn’t exactly known for amazing disc sales.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of either store. I purchase the necessities, but I’m not one to wander over to the entertainment sections. I don’t expect them to have jack shit in terms of film. I don’t play video games. My home components are up to date. I have no reason to be there.
But something happened yesterday that made me realize that I could, potentially, have a lower IQ than a fucking banana peel. On a whim I headed toward the entertainment department of Walmart. I figured, what the hell – I’m getting an oil change, may as well browse at something other than bland tee-shirts, fishing poles and a bunch of produce I’m already well stocked on.
I entered the cinematic region; a fair selection they boasted (mind you this is a “Super Walmart”… if that makes any difference these days), action, horror, comedy… even el Español titles swept into vision, an uncannily clear and eclectic fog.. somehow, as insane as it sounds, clear as a summer day. And I’ll be damned if the horror section didn’t snag my attention instantly. Their titles far surpassed what I could have foreseen.
A multitude of vintage television shows lined the racks (I think I saw a fucking Dark Shadows collection!), as did contemporary and extremely popular works like American Horror Story, Bates Motel and The Walking Dead. The selection was impressive. And when I turned to view the aisle designated for new releases exclusively, I was really surprised. I already own the majority of new flicks that see release (comes with the territory), but there were a handful of pictures I’ve been trying to track down. Namely, Mr. Jones. I went through ludicrous scavenger hunts seeking this one out. All the while Walmart has it in stock. Amazing, they had a price tag that read $6.99. Not too shabby. DVD yes, but I don’t need a Blu-ray disc for a found footage flick.
My fluid movement halted suddenly, when out of the corner of my eye I caught what looked to be… yes, the first season of Tales from the Crypt… for $5.00. No-brainer. Continuing my perusal, I stumbled across a small section, a mere 30-percent of one single end-cap, in which a handful of horror themed cartoon DVDs sat. Sadly, I owned just about all of them, save for a Scooby Doo disc containing four vampire themed tales with bonus material. $4.00? I’m all in. But before I could tear my eyes from the insane box sets, one more caught my attention. The Puppet Master boxed set. 9 films. Five buckaroos. They may not be the best flicks out there, but they’re entertaining, and at roughly $.50 a flick, just couldn’t pass it up.
Eventually I made my way to the center isle displays, where hundreds of Blu-rays and DVDs are crammed in a bin with a $5 sign on it. I figured what the hell. I grabbed a raggedy version of Hotel Transylvania, and it played perfectly, not a scratch on it. Talk about opposite ends of the spectrum, I also found a gorgeous copy of Day of the Dead. Looked as though it had been carried with concern to that bin, every following hand to touch it, doing no more than caressing with the utmost respect. And then I saw something that really caught me off guard: the old Friday the 13th boxed set that features Friday 1-8 and an additional bonus supplement disc. It was a little haggard, many a careless mitt has held (and apparently returned) this one, and yes I do already own the collection, but I simply couldn’t pass that deal up. And as it turns out, after getting the discs home and examining them, they’re perfect. They may be better than perfect, for five bucks.
I left Walmart with nearly two full franchises, a newer flick I’d been completely unable to find, the first season of a true classic, some good creepy cartoon fun. And it all cost me next to nothing.
Walmart, I shall return!