June 21, 2013

De-hoarding My Horror DVD Collection

After 5 years of actively collecting horror DVDs, the time has come to start getting rid of the ones which I'll never watch again before I end up on "Hoarders". It's a slippery slope, and I'm getting closer to sliding all the way down every time I come back from the pawn shop.

A few things have prompted my decision to do this which I'll present for you as a list. If you can identify with any of my reasons, it may be time for you to at least think about de-hoarding too.

1. I don't weigh 500 lbs so I'm not going to make "show and tell" YouTube videos of my collection.

I've never intended to create a background of shelves full of DVDs to make other people feel jealous or to compensate for the inadequacies of my own unhealthy lifestyle choices. I may eat total crap and drink far too many Monster energy drinks, but I only weigh 168 lbs (just so you know) and don't spend all day slumped in front of the television watching movies.

Owning thousands of DVDs doesn't make you a better movie fan or make you better than anyone else, it simply means that you've had more money than sense and bought more DVDs.

2. I only bought my DVDs for something to watch.

I haven't had cable or Netflix for years; I just bought DVDs to watch instead. Now that I've seen them, reviewed them, and discovered that most of them are easily available online anyway, they can go.

I don't suffer from nostalgia. My visual memory is too good. If it wasn't for this blog, I would probably never rewatch any movie.

3. A lot of horror movies are too childish.

I'm a fully grown man in my early 40s. What use are movies about American teenagers to me?

Since I'm English, I barely identified with the protagonists even when I was the same age. Americans in movies come across as coddled children compared to people from other countries, and they disgust me. To be honest, my entertainment pleasure has started to come from watching entitled idiots get hacked to death or eaten rather than enjoying the story. Unfortunately, that leaves me even more frustrated as such wish fulfillment never comes true.

Pretty/stupid people who get everything handed to them on a plate will continue to dominate the planet for the rest of time. Bumping them off in horror movies only works for a short while before it becomes as irritating as real life itself.

4. I'm bored with horror movies anyway.

During my years of reviewing horror movies, I've seen the quality drop further and further every year. It's now got to the point where I could sum up any new horror movie with a couple of expletives rather than an erudite explanation. Although it's indicative of my far more realistic rental store conversations, it doesn't make very interesting reading.

"So what's this one like?"

"Complete and utter shit."

See what I mean?

It's not because of nostalgia or trying vainly to chase the fear buzz from my childhood, but simply because expectations have become lower right across the board. No effort goes into even trying to make anything original whether it be big-budget Hollywood blockbusters or low-budget, Wal-mart camcorder nasties. People have become so used to a diet of shit that new shit doesn't taste so bad to them anymore. It still does to me though.

Horror movies are nothing but formulas, clones, and remakes. Change the locations and the character names, and it's the same half-dozen stories over and over again with greater or lesser production values than before. It's product not art. It never really was art anyway.

5. I want the space back.

Having a lot of DVDs takes up too much room. I'd rather have the clean space to move in than rows and rows of dust catchers.

Being a "museum curator" of a load of old tat was never part of the plan.

6. One day I'll be going back to England.

Unless I have a huge yard sale, I've got to transport all these DVDs back home. It wasn't so bad bringing the ones I already had over, but now it's got silly. Even with lots more Case Logic folders, the excess baggage charges would be ridiculous.

Having moved four times since I've been living in America, I've had enough of packing and unpacking all these boxes of plastic and paper.

7. Horror DVDs are worthless.

If DVDs weren't worthless, I wouldn't have got them from the pawn shops, bargain bins, and yard sales. Even though I have great taste and discernment in all things, it doesn't make my DVDs worth any more second-hand. I'll be lucky to get $2 for each one at my own yard sale.

Even Blu-rays are worthless. From the moment you've bought them, you'll never get back what you paid for them even if you never open them (unless you have a valid reason for a refund). Everything is streaming or (illegally) downloadable from torrent sites so hardly anyone buys physical media.

8. I don't identify with the cliques.

I don't belong to any clubs, online forums (other than my own), or go to conventions so I'm not what you could ever call a "fan" as such. Apart from some aberrations in my past when I tried to force myself into fitting in, I never have done. In every case, it ended badly. I rub people up the wrong way because I speak my mind, don't support "hobby horror"... and I'm not social.

At the end of the day, I'm just some guy who watches a lot of movies and may have seen some that you have. I've never collected DVDs to be part of the gang.

9. I'm getting older and grumpier.

As I've got older, I've had less and less in common with other so-called "horror fans" to the point where I know how to work the system just enough to cause me to despise everyone else. For example, if I make a Facebook post or Tweet about "Girly", it'll go unnoticed, but if I post a picture of a Critter, a Jason mask or a Freddy glove, voila, all the "likes" and "retweets" bring the lowest common denominators out of the woodwork, and it sickens me. You bunch of easily-led plebs! You know who you are.

Even taking other people's ages into consideration is no excuse. There may well be new horror fans sprouting up every day who haven't seen certain movies and think that everything is cool, but the stuff that the gormless, hipster douchebags rave about is the only aspect which horrifies me. You can shove those generic Bumhole (Blumhouse) Productions, zombies, slashers, horror-comedies, and faux "found footage" movies where the sun doesn't shine!

Mid-life crisis? Maybe. But I think I had that when I was 33, briefly. It's taken a very long time, but I've been growing-up and further away from what used to interest me every day since. I never did like Critters, Jason or Freddy though.

10. I have nothing better to write about. Horror movie blogging is dead.

Unless you are a sell-out like the big name horror sites or you have a novelty gimmick like being morbidly obese or a girl (although there are far too many girl horror bloggers/vloggers for that to make as much difference as it used to), nobody other than the occasional nerdy "man-child" cares about horror blogs or movie reviewers. Too many people are doing it, and 99% of them just write out the stories in their own words and slap a couple of pictures up.

After becoming totally dissatisfied with the lack of discernment, ability, and journalistic integrity among "movie reviewers", I don't read anyone else's blogs nowadays. I've also just wiped the GFC widget (which Google/Blogger is phasing out in favour of Google+). Although I keep getting thousands of pageviews every day, nobody actually reads or comments my blog either so what's the point of writing it? Monetisation? Yeah, the 37¢ that I make each year through affiliate links makes so much difference.

Anyway, in the coming series of occasional posts which I'm writing for my own cathartic benefit, I'll be posting pictures of my de-hoarding process as and when it happens. If you still like to live vicariously through blogs, you might even find some amusement here... especially as I'm going to bitch like never before about the DVDs which I'm getting rid of.

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