The Daily Caller’s favorite Blockbuster rentals

Allison Coyle Contributor
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NOW that Blockbuster is officially going out of business (some 50 stores scattered about the country are expected to struggle on for a while), pour out a 40 for the pre-streaming age.

The days of shaking out your piggy bank to rent a movie at the end of the week are past. Checking the wall of your local video store is a bygone ritual. Children yearning for limit experiences with screen sex and violence need no longer beg their parents to reach up and get that slim box on the third shelf.

In honor of the fallen franchise, The Daily Caller shares with you a few of our favorite and most memorable Blockbuster rentals.


‘Point Break’ (1991)

Alex Pappas, Senior Reporter – “You probably never heard of it, but that VHS was dope.”


‘Corky Romano’ (2001)

Patrick Howley, Reporter


‘Next Stop, Nowhere’ (A.K.A., ‘Punk Rock Episode of Quincy, M.E.’ from 1982)

Tim Cavanaugh, Executive Editor – “Let the young nurse hardware nostalgia. I’ll take limitless selection, no disdainful comments about my movie choices from cash-register hipsters, and full-show streams available on Vimeo and YouTube. For years the Punk Rock Episode of Quincy didn’t even circulate at Blockbuster at all, but through samizdat VHS copies passed around by Gen X ironists: a next-generation “High School Confidential” that turned on far more kids than it scared straight. By the time the full run of “Quincy” came out on DVD, Blockbuster was already on its deathbed, and the passage of decades had brought a new twist: that Quincy’s evaluation of L.A. punk was pretty much completely accurate. While I’ve always loved the show’s brassy opening-credits sequence, the fullness of age has also taught me the essential truth of its vision of a middle-aged man, in lumpy sweater and relaxed-fit pants, leading a life of sex and danger in the City of Angels.”


‘The Rock’ (1996)

Christopher Bedford, Associate Editor – “The Rock was a favorite in our house.”


‘Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey’ (1993)

Whitney Waters, Intern – “I never looked at my dogs the same.”


‘Darby O’Gill and the Little People’ (1959)

Sarah Hofmann, Videographer – “I never looked at Irish people the same. Also taught me that short people cannot be trusted.”


Titanic’ (1997)

Faith Braverman, Intern – “I remember when Titanic came out on VHS. I lost my freaking mind. And it came in the fancy two-part cassette rental.”


‘Spice World’ (1997)

Taylor Bigler, Entertainment Editor – “I probably made my dad take me to rent ‘Spice World’ AT LEAST every Friday for a year because it is obviously amazing.”


‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ (1989)

Katie Howland, Intern


‘Lord of War’ (2005)

Chuck Ross, Contributor – “The last movie I rented from BB was Lord of War, and it’s also the last movie I didn’t return.”


‘Jurassic Park’ (1993)

Jake Harris, Intern – “I don’t know how many times I rented it before I finally bought it from a cheap video store when I was older.”


‘His Girl Friday’ (1940)

Tim Cavanaugh, Executive Editor – “The greatest journalism movie ever made, and probably the best movie in the (surprisingly vast) genre of pictures where the divorced Cary Grant schemes to prevent his ex-wife from marrying Ralph Bellamy or a Ralph Bellamy type. Also a perfect specimen of the kind of movie we’re lucky not to have to trek down to a strip mall, in all kinds of weather, and pay money just to see in its entirety.”


‘Mortal Kombat’ (1995)

Jordan Demcher, Intern – “Blockbuster was also great for video game rentals. Tomb Raider and Twisted Metal both made for horrible purchases, but great rentals. But if you’re only searching for movie rentals, I’d have to go with Mortal Kombat.”


‘Air Force One’ (1997) 

Clark Hennessy, Deputy Director of Audience Outreach


‘Dawn of the Dead’ (1978)


Tim Cavanaugh, Executive Editor – “Again, because Thank God Blockbuster Is Dead, you don’t have to settle for any of the heavily edited variants of “Dawn of the Dead.” Watch it in all its two-and-a-half-hour glory and you’ll see that it contained, when Jimmy Carter was still president, and without a $200 million budget or A-list stars, every element that has ever been used in flesh-eating zombie films: epic road trip, tactical drama, Hawksian group dynamics, slapstick comedy, social commentary and intestines. Like The Odyssey, the New Testament, “The Road Warrior” and Joyce’s “Ulysses,” “Dawn of the Dead” is a sequel that outdoes the original, yielding new gems on every visit. Most recently I noticed that the unloved, unappreciated David Emge gives what is by far the greatest performance as both human and zombie in film history.”


‘The Lizzie McGuire Movie’ (2003)

Breanna Deutsch, Contributor – “It’s a secret, but I love this movie. And I still use the line ‘you’re an outfit repeater.'”


‘The Emperor’s New Groove’ (2000)

Paul Connor, Associate Editor


‘Warriors of Virtue’ (1997)


Robby Soave, Reporter – ” It’s about a disabled kid who travels to some super generic fantasy land and helps these anthropomorphic ninja kangaroos defeat Overacting Angus MacFayden. It came out when I was 9, and I think I rented and re-rented it every weekend for like a year. I liked the girl in it (a young Marley Shelton!). When she turns evil mid-way through the film and betrays the disabled kid and the kangaroos, she really broke my heart.”


‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ (1975)

Allison Coyle, Intern – “Considering I was a Christian school kid, I had peculiar taste.”


Honorable Mentions:


‘The Big Lebowski’ (1998)

Taylor Bigler, Entertainment Editor – “I have a copy of ‘The Big Lebowski’ that I never returned.”


‘Salem’s Lot’ (1979)

Tim Cavanaugh, Executive Editor – “With a humble TV movie, Tobe Hooper joined Stanley Kubrick and Brian de Palma among the great cinematic interpreters of Stephen King.”


‘The Evil Dead’ (1983)

Allison Coyle, Intern – “When my brother and I were kids, we would rent the most outrageous looking horror movies we could find for fun. This turned out to be a masterpiece.”