A Blockbuster Memory

Mpepper/ May 22, 2021/ Reviews

Tonight we watched The Last Blockbuster. It was… cute. Nostalgic. It didn’t remind me of my childhood because we always rented movies from the grocery store; our Kroger had its own rental counter, and that was way easier than going to some other location. So I didn’t do Blockbuster until I was away at uni. And even then, I didn’t have my own card; I wouldn’t get one until grad school.

But I had friends with Blockbuster cards, and there is a very distinct memory attached to this. It was Good Friday, and my two friends Natosha and Abby and I decided we would go rent a movie. But what we ended up doing is renting several movies. Horror movies.

Not gore, mind you. I don’t do gore. More like psychological. We started with The Uninvited (1944). Moved on to The House on Haunted Hill (1959), The Innocents (1961), The Haunting (1963), The Shining (1980), and finally some 1980s or 90s cable movie that I can’t even remember. I do definitely recall that we watched them in chronological order, though. We had tried to get one from each decade, more or less, though as you can see, it wasn’t exact. Made for a long night, but a memorable one. We got Taco Cabana via drive thru. I miss Taco Cabana. I know they still exist, but not where I live, so they might as well be as defunct as Blockbuster as far as my circumstances go.

I just looked it up and there is a Taco Cabana in ALASKA but none in California. Like… I can’t even.

Anyway, as for The Last Blockbuster, it was okay. Not entirely cohesive? It spoke to some previous franchise owners, and it spoke to some famous people who have good memories of Blockbuster (some having worked at Blockbuster in their teens), and it focused in large part on, well, the last extant Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon. On its manager and its place in the community there. It kind of made me want to go take a look. I wonder, if I did, whether I’d feel awash with that nostalgia. This movie didn’t quite bring me to full sentimentality, but it was still a nice piece of fluff.

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