Toronto Mike

Ode to the Video Store Guy

My kids will never know a world without the internet. As far as they're concerned, it's always been there, a pervasive connection to a massive database of facts and myths. Periodically, I'll remind them that I didn't surf the web until university.

When I was 13, my buddies and I rented lots and lots of movies on VHS. We frequented a few different shops, including one that somehow remains open to this day, and we almost never knew what we were going to rent until we got there.

There was no or Rotten Tomatoes, so we relied on the video store guy. Each store had a very knowledgeable video store guy who watched everything and would recommend films depending on our tastes. I still remember the day he recommended we rent The Toxic Avenger.

It was the perfect movie for a bunch of 13-year old guys. It was horrible, but in a good way, with a little T and A sprinkled throughout. It was a Troma film, and led to a long period of Troma rentals. Class of Nuke 'Em High, Surf Nazis Must Die, if it was from Troma, we rented it.

I recently re-watched The Toxic Avenger, and it's as bad as I remember it. It's also as enjoyable as I remember it.  If you're in the mood for an hour and twenty minutes of "so bad it's good" fun, you can watch The Toxic Avenger right here.

Thanks, video store guy.

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