The best interview comes from Troma Entertainment founder Lloyd Kaufman, who has very little good to say about Blockbuster Video, considering only a minuscule number of franchises would carry Troma films, like the classic Toxic Avenger. Kaufman’s interview is often interrupted with censored bleeps as he rants about the video industry’s corporate corruption.
Highlights of Blockbuster’s history include the revenue sharing program it had with the major studios. This program forced many mom-and-pop video stores to either go out-of-business or convert to a Blockbuster. Contrary to popular belief, Netflix didn’t kill Blockbuster; Sumner Redstone did when he needed cash to purchase Paramount Studios. We can now talk about the competition from Netflix, Redbox, and other streaming services (see Netflix vs. the World).
“…one of the best nostalgia documentaries to come out in years.”
The heart of the documentary comes in the second half as it focuses considerable time on the last store standing. Cameras follow Harding as she becomes a national celebrity appearing on morning shows, entertainment news channels, and becomes an answer on Jeopardy. She’s put incredible amounts of effort into keeping the store alive. The store itself looks like it is frozen in time. Her computer system hasn’t changed since the late 90s. She often has to reboot the software with the corporate floppy disks.
Still, looming over her head is whether or not Dish Network will allow her to continue to operate as a Blockbuster. If they don’t, the store is done.
If you’ve ever stepped inside a video store to rent a movie, Taylor Morden’s The Last Blockbuster is going to bring back memories of the past. It’s probably one of the best nostalgia documentaries to come out in years. It’s all feel-good and good-feels from start to finish and a surprise here and there. It’s also cool to know that many of our favorite celebrities often found themselves, like us, at the video store on a Friday night endlessly scanning the aisles for weekend entertainment.
"…it's all feel-good and good-feels from start to finish..."