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The Blockbuster Swindle

July 22, 2010

I probably shouldn’t just label this move as one that’s exclusive to Blockbuster because really it’s those who make these movies that should be held accountable. However, Blockbuster and I aren’t on good terms right now. We can blame THAT on the fact that when I went to rent one (as in SINGULAR) movie last night, I had to pay off $45 worth of late fees. (Quit looking at me that way.)

I was unaware of these late fees because someone had informed me that they had paid off the fees when in reality, NO.  No, they did not. So here I am holding up the line because all I want is one simple movie and they have to list off a myriad of charges. AND OH DID HE LIST THEM. This man had no inside voice. He was shaming me into paying for all the late fees which really were NOT my fault but they hear that all the time so I just stood there and looked guilty. BUT! We’re not here to discuss my inability to return moves on time. It’s a problem. I’m aware. More importantly, my bank account is aware but anyways…

I feel like it’s my civic duty to inform you, QuipWhit readers, of the worst of all the Blockbuster Swindles… The Fake Movie.

I really wanted there to be a collective gasp from the audience but instead I feel you all narrowing your eyes like I’m completely making this up.

Well, I’m NOT.

Every year we have those huge blockbuster movies that are all the rage. When Transformers hit the big screen in 2007, it was all anyone could talk about. Megan Fox! Shia LeBouf! Optimus Prime who’s actually being voiced by the same guy who voiced him in the 80s cartoon! (Ok, that last one may have been a bit of a stretch and only me and 3, 252 other nerds knew that fact.) Regardless, you get my point. It was a hit and people were clamoring to get it on dvd. Everyone was excited to watch the movie in the comfort of their own home, away from the confines of the uncomfortable seats, the sticky floors, the heavy breathers and the loud candy openers that are all a given when you see a movie in the theater.

This is where the swindle comes in.

Watch closely.

Blockbuster preys on the uninformed. They know that Transformers is a hit and they want their money. They want it now. There’s no waiting the three months for the movie to grace the likes of a simple dvd. What do they do? Oh it’s simple. And evil.

They sneakily place on their shelves the movie that sounds almost identical to the big blockbuster of the season. So, some unaware grandma comes by, sees Transmorphers on the shelf and thinks, “Little Johnny’s been dying to see that robot movie! And I know it started with ‘Trans-‘ so this has to be it!” Grandma, completely proud of herself, is only setting herself up for shame and failure.

You can see why poor Grandma would be confused.

Transmorphers is not the movie Little Johnny was looking for. Transmorphers does not have Megan Fox and Transmorphers most certainly does not have Optimus Prime and the rest of the Autobots.

I never understood why I felt like I was the only one aware of this swindle. Why weren’t more people outraged? I can go through Blockbuster at any given time and find at least 5 fake movies.  Just last night I saw this gem:

Paranormal Entity does NOT equal Paranormal Activity.

Then I realized, with a great deal of shame, that I’m the only other person besides unsuspecting grandmas who has ever actually fallen for the Blockbuster Swindle. I don’t really understand what happened, how that movie ended up in my hands on that fateful day… I remember wandering into Blockbuster intent on renting some horror movie about a creepy little boy. One of those flicks where the kid is evil and everyone’s in denial and it’s all fun and games until the kid starts sacrificing neighborhood cats. I’m not sure. One of those. What I came out with was this:

El Orfanato: It's not what you're looking for.

How I missed the fact that the title was in another language is unclear. What I do know is that I got home and was 30 minutes into the film before I realized, “Hey, wait a second! I’ve been reading subtitles this entire time! They’re never switching to English, are they?!” I hung my head in shame and knew. I had been a victim of the Blockbuster Swindle.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 22, 2010 2:26 pm

    oooh, this happened to me just a few months ago, but luckily it was free on the Netflix watch instantly. The movie was Sherlock Holmes. This one was extra tricky because it had the SAME NAME! I was watching it and when I saw fake dinosaurs running around causing havoc I thought to myself “why did everyone love this movie?? it’s horrible!” I didn’t realize that I’d watched the fake movie until that night when I was at a party talking to some people and I was like “man, Sherlock Holmes was so bad with those dinosaurs and everything”. People were very confused and didn’t know what movie I had watched. Much confusion ensued until I went home and googled it!

  2. Beanie permalink
    July 22, 2010 2:26 pm

    again, Netflix wouldn’t do that to us, man. No late fees, no fake movies, just anonymous online ordering with no consequences.

  3. July 22, 2010 3:01 pm

    This is why people should not be allowed to vote.

  4. July 22, 2010 10:56 pm

    Yay for Netflix! Too bad I didn’t know Blockbuster was still in business until I read this. (I stumbled upon a Burger King over the weekend and was also surprised that they still existed.)

  5. July 23, 2010 2:12 am

    wal mart does the same thing

  6. reck permalink
    July 23, 2010 12:51 pm

    Red Box!

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