I went a-Googlin’, but I haven’t been able to turn up much information about the $1 DVD’s I’ve been snarfing at dollar stores lately. I’ve bought them at various dollar stores. They’re usually sitting in big plastic tub near the registers. They’re mostly old obscurities I’ve never heard of, but I’ve gotten a surprisingly high number of true classics (e.g. The 39 Steps, His Girl Friday) from these bins as well. They’re all packaged the same way: the discs are contained in cheap cardboard sleeves and shrinkwrapped, with a still from the movie on the cover and a brief blurb on the back. The series is called “Movie Classics” (and boy, does that produce some useless results when you start doing web searches) and the address at the bottom of the sleeve is:
PMB 421 991-C Lomas Santa Fe Drive Solana Beach, CA, 92075
In addition to the occasional classic, there are episodes of old TV shows, 70’s obscurities, ancient cartoons, and the like. The discs have no extras, most of the time they don’t even have menus. The video and sound quality varies from almost passable to laughable. But hey, they’re a buck, so I’ve been collecting them like bottle caps.
The way I figure it, there are only two possibilities: either these are films which have (luckily) fallen into the public domain, or they’re straight-up bootlegs. I hope it’s the former.
Forms follow function, and often obliterate it.