Monday, October 31, 2011

But still, you can't beat that price

I love Mill Creek’s 50 Movie Packs. It’s a problem. Not that they have nothing to offer, mind you (hell, the Martial Arts set is worth it for The Impossible Kid alone). It’s just that the sheer number and variety of them couples inauspiciously with the fact that -- as I’ve just recently realized -- I am prone to purchasing them indiscriminately regardless of content.

This often occurs when I need to add a few dollars to an Amazon order to get free shipping. In the moment, the idea that I can get both free shipping and fifty more movies for just a few extra bucks seems like a deal too good to pass up, even though thirty to forty of those films will ultimately go unwatched. Not that I don’t try to justify the purchase with an initial, heroic effort to watch as many of them as I can -- a forced march that ultimately sees me consuming otherwise prohibitive anti-films in defiance of any notion I might previously have held of dignity or aesthetic standards (for instance, no other circumstance, short of brute coercion, would have lead to me sitting through The Dungeon of Harrow). For someone with any kind of obsessive-compulsive tendencies at all, one of these sets is like the ribbon you tie around the tail of a caged animal in the hope that it will exhaust itself chasing it.

Anyway, as I was saying, it was only recently that I realized that, under the circumstances just described, I would be prone to buying even the notional 50 Movie Pack pictured above. “Hmm, ‘Pure Crap’”, I would think. “Sounds dire, sure, but when you think about it, it breaks down to only pennies per film!” In honor of this sad admission of helplessness, my good friend #lowdudgeon whipped up the cover graphic above . God help me, I’m already wishing it was real!

But most importantly, readers, now that we have this hypothetical beauty, which mottled denizens of the public domain ghetto do you think should compose its hypothetical contents? I think a nice caveat would be if the inclusion of a title in the Pure Crap 50 Movie Pack would constitute a form of banishment, excluding it from appearing on any other set henceforth. (For instance, I’d love to put God’s Gun on there to prevent it from sullying any future bargain bin Western collections I purchase). But I’m not going to impose limitations on things, because limitations are not in the spirit of… well, of crap, I guess. Your suggestions welcome below.


Tim Tompkins said...

I always justify it by price also. I look at the back, and if there are THREE or more good movies in the set, that's enough for me (19.99/3 = 6.66 each, so how can I lose?).

I then punish myself for my rashness by forcing myself to also watch the 47 other movies that are complete crap (or Pure Crap, if you will).

Kev D. said...

I used to have a truckload of martial art ones (they weren't the Mill Creek ones, I think they were BRENTWOOD) and two movies come to mind as the worst movies that I have ever seen: "Hero's Blood" and "Thousand Mile Escort".

If you've never seen them nor heard of them, count yourself lucky.

I have a couple of Mill Creek ones... I just watched "Teenage Zombies" off of one a few days ago, as well as "Oasis of the Zombies". Thos e were both bad, but I don't think they merit being on the PURE CRAP edition.

"Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory", however, should be.

Todd said...

Tim: So you'll actually watch everything on the set? You set a high bar, Sir. I think the one set that I came closest to watching all of was Drive In Classics, and even then there were a few movies that I was only able to get a few minutes into before giving up.

Kev D.: I watched Hero's Blood back when I had pneumonia a couple years ago and I watched a rash of Mill Creek movies. (Which reminds me, these sets are great to have around if you're planning on having pneumonia.) I reviewed it here. My memory of it is hazy, but I recall thinking it was less terrible than it was a cruel bait-and-switch, since it really wasn't a martial arts movie at all. I also think it's a bad sign when no one seems to have bothered to figure out whether your movie is Malaysian or South Korean.

Mr. Cavin said...

Good lord, I love Werewolf in a Girls' Dormitory, and not in any kind of cynical way, either. Sure, it's a little stiff--something I'm certainly comfortable blaming on the awkward dubbing and bad US drive-in manhandling--but the inner heart of Lycanthropus still beats through even these washed-out looking Mill Creek cheapies. Surely the soapy horror melodrama here is better than a Dark Shadows episode--and that'd be good enough for me, even if I could somehow dismiss the movie's truly vigorous and brutal titular monster, its really rather pretty photography, and that crazy gothic downer ending.

Good thing too, since, thanks to Mill Creek sets like these, I own the movie about seven times over.

I'd be perfectly happy to see Pigs consigned to this Crap box set forever, however.

Todd said...

Well, now I am well and truly torn, because, whereas I'm sure I also own more than a sane person's share of versions of Werewolf in a Girl's Dormitory, it's among those that I've succesfully avoided watching all these years. Do I take the plunge? Sounds like time to play the old 50 Movie Pack coin toss.

As for Pigs, I haven't had the pleasure, but I'll take your word for it.

Tars Tarkas said...

I've always wanted to see a Godfrey Ho 50 movie pack, filled with all his ridiculous spliced ninja films and those non-ninja spliced action films. I have a Warriors 50 movie pack that I've never had the heart to watch any of the film therein.

Todd said...

In a way, with a Godfrey Ho 50 Movie Pack, you'd really be getting, like, 450 movies, although just little incoherent pieces of them.

memsaab said...

Two things:

Your face should be on that cover


Haseena Atom Bump

Todd said...

I don't want to immortalize my "Pure Crap" face. The world's not ready for it.

You know, I'm surprized Shemaroo or another one of the cheapo Indian DVD companies haven't latched on to the whole 50 Movie Pack concept. With no money spent on licensing or restoration, they could cram a shit ton of obscure Bollywood movies on such a set and still set an attractive price point. The shipping from Induna would kill you though.

DrunkethWizerd said...

I don't own any of these kind of sets, but I was at one time seriously considering it... after all, I hear that some of them actually do have decent films with either Uncut or good transfers that aren't really easy to find.

But the cover art usually throws me off the purchase. Kind of like how Redemption films will put some gothic models on the cover of a Jean Rollin film, and they're not even in the movie. Shit like that bugs me. Still want to see the cheap films in the sets, but don't want to lay down three to ten bucks.

Todd said...

I think it's funny how, given the bargain nature of these sets, they bother to use these staged photographs for some of them. I imagine in most cases the "model" is just an intern standing in front of the dry erase board in the Mill Creek employee kitchen.