It wasn't every weekend, but my parents indulged my brother and me with VHS rentals fairly often. It was cheaper than going out to dinner or to Chuck E. Cheese or whatever (though at least my mom could kick back with a cheap chardonnay at Chuck's while we ran around like psychopaths and pretended not to be completely terrified of the animatronic band of wannabe Muppets).
The rental place near us charged only 50 cents per movie, and they had a huge selection. (Blockbuster eventually led to the demise of that place with more titles and video games. Sadly.)
We normally gravitated toward the cartoons and G-rated crap, and every so often we were allowed to get something PG. I remember us being obsessed with a collection of Christmas cartoons that were definitely off-brand and definitely strange.
I used to see the same titles all the time, but I never once picked them up. Probably because we were renting Overboard. God, I loved Overboard.
Ahhhhhhhh! Joanna was such a bitch! She was the best!
But anyway, there were a ton of movies that I passed once a week. They always intrigued me, but I never even picked them up to read the back. For example:
Given my generation's obsession with 90210, how on earth did I never rent this film? Luke Fucking Perry? A lesser Baldwin brother? I almost want to watch it now just to judge its ridiculousness.
I'm guessing that he needs to win a bull-riding competition to like, save his family's ranch or something, and there's a girl he likes but she's stuck in a horrible relationship with the rich landowner's son and they're trying to buy Luke's family's ranch to build a mini mall or a new well for the town. But in the end love prevails? OF COURSE IT DOES.
This one. God. I couldn't stop staring at the cover. All I wanted to know was how her hair was possibly long enough to make it into a noose. So in this film, clearly there is a killer, but the killer totally has a TWIN and the TWIN is actually the crazy one. And somebody dies getting strangled to death with that amazing noose-braid. Otherwise, why even bother getting the hairdresser out of bed that day? And then it's all a joke? APRIL FOOLS!
And then there's this:
What the hell? Who made this the picture for the rental? And Ryan O'Neal? Really? Did you spend all of the residuals from Love Story that fast? Now that I am not ten years old, I can tell that her ass skin isn't really showing, but when I was ten years old, I couldn't understand what was going on. Did people really wear pants like that? Why? Were they comfortable? Wasn't she cold? Where is her shirt? WHAT IS GOING ON???!?!
So I miss video rental stores, mainly because it was an experience. You could find the latest releases, but you could also find INSANE movies like these that the owners clearly got for free when ordering twenty-five copies of Back to the Future.