Get More Than Just Blockbusters for Your Buck

In the constant search for the unique and wonderful, look no further than Blockbuster Video’s “”Pre-Viewed”” movie section. With a little time and a little money, you can invest in your own movie collection, with a surprising selection of low-cost gems.

In this section, you’ll find hundreds of titles from every movie genre. The idea is pretty simple: The store gets multiple copies of a video when it is a new release, the title moves over to another shelf when it is no longer a new release, and they sell the rest off, which means a good buy for you.

The first thing to keep in mind with any bargain hunt is that you must be willing to invest some time in looking. You are liable to find the prospect somewhat daunting, so here’s a breakdown of the pricing.

All movies for sale are priced according to how recently they were released and their general popularity. So the older and lesser-known films are the best deals here.

To find movies good for when you are extremely bored or stoned, you can browse the $2.99 section. Be forewarned that most of these are movies that no one has ever heard of. But considering their current sale, which offers $2 off any previously viewed movie, this option is tantalizing.

We’ll start at the low end. For $3.33, I found “”Corporate Fantasy,”” a 1999 ultra-soft-core porn, the kind that only a family video store would carry. It was so lame that not even the Fox network would show it. If not for its shits-and-giggles value, this movie would never leave the store.

Moving up to $5 movies, there is a dynamic improvement in the quality of movies available. From a 1995 MTV series comes “”AEon Flux,”” a futuristic cartoon sci-fi with a lot of sexual overtones. AEon Flux is an agent for the fictional, communist country of Bregna and she has a love/hate/kill relationship with Trevor Goodchild, an opposing nation’s leader. Goodchild is incredibly evil and that turns Flux on and pisses her off, so her goal is to kill him or sleep with him. Most know this show for the mega-gore factor and the surreal twists that completely lose you. It’s definitely a cult classic in the making.

Other notable titles include “”Drop Dead Gorgeous,”” “”The Corndog Man,”” “”Titanic”” (shudder), and “”Welcome To Woop Woop.”” The last title is directed by Stephan Elliot, the same guy who made “”The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.””

“”Welcome to Woop Woop”” is a bizarre contribution to the arts from Down Under. It’s the twisted tale of a New York con artist on the lam in Australia, where he wakes up to find that the hitchhiker he picked up is now his teen-age wife and that her beer-guzzling psycho father is the ruler of a town that no one is allowed to leave. It’s something like “”The Addams Family””-meets-Australia on acid. A must for the quirky — it’s odd, but funny, and your friends will think you are some kind of freak for owning movies like this.

Also recommended is Martin Scorsese’s latest and strangest, “”Bringing Out The Dead.”” It tracks two days in the life of burnt-out paramedic Frank Pierce and his descent into madness and subsequent redemption. It is a very dark and gritty movie and it doesn’t always manage to make sense. The plot has a couple of ambulance-sized holes, but Pierce’s bizarre partners and his attempts at getting fired keep things interesting. Basically, Pierce can’t get past the memories of people he could not save. This film is in the middle of the price range, listing at $7.

Finally, we have the full-priced videos at $14. These are the must-haves, the classics that will not be going down in price, or the movies that you just want now. Two oustanding selections in this group are “”Dune,”” a sci-fi epic, and “”Drowing Mona.””

The latter is a hysterical comedy about dismemberment, semi-accidental death, and covering your ass. Bette Midler gets killed off and everyone in town is a suspect, including her husband and son. Packed with famous faces, you may want to wait for this movie to drop in price.