Part 6: Revolver Video aka My Second Home
In 94 I was introduced to Anime, at first through a Super Nintendo magazine I believe. Being a fan of ‘beat ‘em up’s’ ala Street Fighter 2/Mortal Kombat I’d always notice the ‘Fist Of The North Star’ games in the A to Z in the back…I must have learned it was originally a Japanese cartoon around the same time I learned that a documentary called ’MANGA’ would be airing on TV soon, hosted once again by Jonathan Ross. I watched it and I was immediately intrigued and drawn in by how crazy and original this Anime stuff was. After the documentary, BBC 2 screened ’Akira’, which I of course recorded and watched the next day as it was on rather late…I liked it but was rather disappointed that they had screened it in Japanese with subtitles. I know, I know…If I could, I’d go back in time and slap the lips off my face for acting like such a pleb, but I can’t…But I was twelve. I did eventually get Revolver Video to order the dubbed version for me though.
Revolver Video was a small shop, really small…Probably a little bigger than a typical “spare/box room” people have in their houses, but it was great, a proper video shop. It was owned by a couple, Phil and Angela, Angela was an old friend of my mothers and worked there the majority of the time, so that made renting 15’s and 18’s OK once she got the all clear from back home. There was only ever two Revolver Video’s, in fact the other is mentioned by Neil Marshall in the ‘Video Nasties: Moral Panic, Censorship & Videotape’ documentary, which brought a smile to my face. There was times when I’d go there just as it opened and my mother would ring to tell Angela to send me home for my dinner. We’d just chit chat about movies most of the time and their was never really that many customers so I assumed she appreciated the company, plus I was always on hand if she needed someone to pop to the shop for her. It got to a point where we swapped our own tapes from home…One day we were talking about ‘Enter The Dragon’ and she mentioned the nunchacka scene, I then commented about the tragedy that is nunchacka censorship, she maintained that her copy, taped off TV years ago, included the scene.
So we did a swap, I loaned her my newly purchased copy of ‘Hard Boiled’ and she loaned me her uncut copy of ‘Enter The Dragon‘, which was accidentally shown on ITV in the mid 80’s. Great stuff!
I really miss Revolver. When I still lived back home, I always hoped I’d bump into Angela again to let her know that Revolving Video was named after the shop, but alas, I haven’t spoken to her for years. I hope she’s doing well.
As for Blockbuster, which was situated only a stones throw away from Revolver and was most likely the main reason for it’s closing, I hated that place.
No I’m not just saying this because they put both Revolver and Video World out of business (although that is a big part of it), the main reason is the rude and impatient staff that worked there. I’m not sure if it’ was a requirement to be a bitch to work at Blockbuster or if this was just down to some unfortunate hiring when it came to the store in my town.
The main reason I’d go to Blockbuster was to rent Super Nintendo games, or if I was really desperate to see a new release, because they usually had about 42 copies of everything that was new that week. I once politely asked a member if she knew when a certain game would be back in stock, reacting like I’d asked her a million times, she sighed angrily and said “Wednesday!!” in a tone which under any other circumstance would‘ve been followed by “now fuck off!”…Now, whether this information was correct or the it just happened to be the first day that popped into her bulbous permed head is up for debate, but this wasn’t an isolated incident, she was always like this.
There was one other notable member of staff I can remember, she was called Marion…I only really remember her because the N had completely vanished from her name tag leaving her with the rather amusing ‘Mario’ moniker. It was quite hard to hold back guffawing like a moron when my good friend Kriss just flat out asked her if her name was actually Mario.
Another thing that was a big culture shock when it came to Blockbuster (or even Ritz, the store it was before Blockbuster came to town) was that the idea of reserving a tape was fucking alien to them, they didn’t do it, stupid.
In Video World you could ask them to order in a tape from the other Video World a few towns away and they’d do it with a smile, and as I said before Angela would order stuff for me (and even picked me up a copy of ‘Cyborg’ at a VHS fair! Yes!)…But could I get a copy of ‘Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade’ put aside and pick it up in a few hours…?
“No sorry, we don’t do that…”
I don’t really remember much about 95 when it comes to movies, this was the year that music took over my life for a while…Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, Sabbath, whether this constitutes as music to you with of course depend on your taste.
Well, I shall leave it there for now and take a break from these articles as I‘ve gotten ahead of myself, publishing the parts I‘d already written and not getting around to writing the rest…But I shall pick up with 1996 shortly.