Thursday, June 01, 2006

Packge Fetish Fading! + A Whole Lotta' Pink

So today was kind of a bummer. My house reeks, but that's another story I won't get in to. I also ran around all day looking for the VENTURE BROTHERS season 1 DVD. Venture Brothers is a show on Adult Swim and plays sorta' like a Mad Magazine parody of the Hardy Boys/Johnny Quest. 'Cept it's serious. It also has a geeky anorexic weak-stomached crown and wings wearing Supervillain who calls himself The Monarch, who alongside Doctor Girlfriend with his pack of chubby 20-something henchmen who argue over wither or not the Smurfs were reptiles or mammals based on Smurfette's menstural cycles sorta' sealed the deal: it's me in supervillain form. It really is.

Unfortunately every place within reasonable driving distance has sold out, so I returned home empty-handed. My wife decided to soften the blow with an early Birthday present: David Lynch's mind-bendingly fucked piece of expressionism ERASERHEAD. Whoo! This is exactly the kind of thing I need: a gift of a DVD I wouldn't pick up otherwise. The reason? That goddamn packaging fetish I noted was a problem I had elsewhere in the blog.

The recent set of David Lynch DVD's include Eraserhead, David Lynch's Short Films (which I own a crumby looking bootleg of and will inevitably upgrade), and Dumbland - a series of short animated films by him I've never seen. I've heard they were awful, but why knows. Anyway, they all come in a keepcase, no booklet or anything apart from a "buy more David Lynch DVD's here" card. And the DVD's are identical to the special editions that Lynch himself released a few years ago, probably hand-assembled in his basement by creepy little stop motion elves who give birth to live birds from their noses every full moon. That's just how Lynch rolls, y'know. Anyway, the David Lynch DVD's released through his website came in nifty little cardboard packages that unfolded at different levels, revealing the DVD inside (think a digipak on crack) and had a 20 page booklet each. They were $40 a piece, or some ungodly price - around $78 if memory serves - if you wanted a hand signed copy. It's cool that David would take the time to scribble his John Hancock on a bunch of disks for hardcore Lynched Buffs, but $46 (with shipping) for a DVD in a pint-sized paper case? No, nothin' doin'.

Yes, I have spent $60 on a single episode of censored animated porn. But that comes with the territory.

Now, the Lynch DVD's you can pick up at Best Buy or wherever come in generic (in comparison) keepcases with no booklets. But remember that packaging fetish I mentioned in the "I have a problem" but? Well, let's look at these two examples for a perfect summary of why it would be bonkers of me to NOT buy the keepcase versions:

Lynch DVD - It comes in a unique DVD case. I like "unique". But I don't like cardboard CD cases: they scratch and scuff easily, don't hold a damned thing securely, and where do you put them? WHERE?! I own some music video's in these monstrosities and they're just... floating around. Somewhere. Not that I watch ST. ANGER videos on a regular basis, but what if I needed it to force someone out of my house via violent bleeding of the ears?

Standard DVD - It's the same disk in a case I can keep with my other messed up psychadellic DVD's. Same extras, same transfer. Any notes that may be in the booklet of the other version will probably be covered in the exaustive interview that Lynch gives on the disk. So the only thing I'm -really- losing is a box I don't like, and a booklet I don't need. And an extra $20 on the price tag.

Want proof that package fetishes are bad? A while ago I ordered the CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST 25th ANNIVERSARY DVD from the *ahem* fine folks at Poker Industries. Their newsletter and front page pimp - and pimp hard - that they have the totally out-of-print limited to 11,111 digipak deluxe edition. Nobody else but eBay has it, and even they've more or less dried up stock, with 2 or 3 left where as there were 20 or 30 a few months ago. What's the difference? The standard version comes in a double-sided clear keepcase, while the numbered version had a graphic locking digipak with artwork on the inner flap of the infamous Impaled Girl. (If you don't know this image, I haven't taught you enough.) The back is an uncropped image of the back of the slipcase/keepcase art without all the cheesy text, and the front of the package is the impaled girl in all her glory. Awesome box, right? Worth paying $40 for when I can get the keepcase version for $20? I thought so.

And then I get said awesome ultimate LE and the fucking locking-case arrived cracked, and inside of a day the clear plastic part pulled off of the artwork. I tried to glue the bastard back down, and all I ended up doing was ripping a (very) little chunk of the art and made part of the plastic all... cloudy-like and bumpey. I doubt I'll ever sell it, so it's not like I ruied a valuable object of monetary worth for me... it's just, damnit, I spend double on a cool box and this is the thanks karma bitch slaps me with? What the crap.

So, with this in mind I'm more than grateful to have my keepcase-clad copy of ERASERHEAD getting ready to snuggle up alongside the other weirdness on my shelf, like FANDO & LIS and GOZU. Those poor bastards need company. And I don't think I'll ever upgrade for the package, either. I wouldn't mind seeing the booklet, but it's not a privelage I feel is worth $20.

I'm keeping my broken Cannibal Holocaust box though.

So, all that lovely rambling aside, I need to tell you guys something: I have recorded 25 pounds of porno. No joke! Friend of mine - one of the guys who reads this, doubtless - went quite broke buying tape after tape of vintage 70's and 80's smut from Yahoo Auctions Japan, a place so evil that no American (or Austrian...) can buy tapes and have them shipped directly to their home: you have to have a deputy service, like Celga, order it for you, ship it to you, and you pay out the peehole for the privelage. It's still the only way to get genuinely rare stuff you can't order anymore, and if you ever happen upon a lot of DVD's or whatever, you can sometimes get a hell of a deal on them, even after Celga rapes your wallet dry.

So here he was, with about 30-40 hentai, pinku ("Pink Movies", or Pinku Eiga - tehatrical soft-porn Japan produced from the 1960's to the 1980's, typically with epic stories and big budgets) and yakuza tapes and Laserdisks all at his fingertips. But my friend had a few problems; for one thing, he lives in Austria, a country that uses PAL TV's, not NTSC like Japan and the US. Another is he doesn't even own a TV, let alone a VCR anymore, and watches everything on his PC with a DVD-ROM. Last, but definately not least, is the fact that he maxed out his poor Visa in the process. So what's he do under these dire circumstances? He sends them to his ol' pal Kentai to record them all to DVD-R and then sell the originals on eBay, of course!

I'm both happy, and sad, to note that my 25 pound box of porno has been delpeted. There are a couple scragglers - the DEMON BEAST INVASION laserdisk box, for one, and I need to do some seriously hardcore restoration work on LOLITA ANIME UCHIYAMA AKI: OMORASHI GOKKO (of course - the best episode HAS to be the one with bad tape wear!), but all the tapes have been recorded, edited, compressed, burned, and within another half-hour, will be sold... aside from a few well earned souveniers of this long, strange international porno ring both he and I will be saving. I've seen movies where vaginas spew girl-juice in the face of priests, porno movies with badly fimed shark attacks, Disco inspired black light whores going on a murdering rampage porn, and everything in between. A few have sucked out loud - ZA IKENIE, I'm looking at you - some have been unespectedly amazing, like Ero Shogun's 21 Whores (do -all- concubines do nothing but masturbate in their spare time? ...I hope so...), and truth be told, a handfull of these tapes weren't even porn. But... there was a suypplimentary 7 pound box that followed, so even if the not-porn was 7 pounds worth (and it wasn't)... that's still 25 pounds of porn.

Maybe I'll review the cool ones here. Maybe not. We'll see what live hands me first.

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