With the release of documentary film The Last Blockbuster this week, the Blockbuster Video store in Bend, Oregon, is making history yet again. This time, it's by offering The Last Blockbuster as a rental exclusive -- it isn't going to be available at Family Video, at any remaining mom & pop stores, or at Redbox locations. That is something that Blockbuster used to do -- at one point they even owned their own production imprint to make movies that were exclusive to the retail giant -- but the last time that happened was in 2011. There is also a Blockbuster-exclusive retail version of the Blu-ray/DVD combo pack, which has been available for pre-order through the Blockbuster Bend website for weeks.
The film, which was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital on Tuesday, follows Sandi Harding, the manager of the world's last remaining Blockbuster. It also features appearances by Adam Brody (Shazam!), Doug Benson (The Lego Batman Movie), Ron Funches (Trolls World Tour), and geek icon Kevin Smith.
"We are really excited to be the first Blockbuster exclusive DVD since 2011, which is kind of like coming out with a brand new game for the Sega Dreamcast," Taylor Morden, who directed the film, told ComicBook.com.
It isn't necessarily all rose-colored recollections, either; the movie also deals with how Blockbuster, as a major corporation, used its size and financial resources to force smaller stores and chains out of the industry in its heyday. Even the titular last Blockbuster used to be called Pacific Video, before Blockbuster essentially told them to either license the Blockbuster name, or find themselves in competition with a corporate-owned Blockbuster down the street. There's also independent film legend Lloyd Kaufman, creator of the Toxic Avenger, whose scene in the film is uniquely venomous, with insults directed at Blockbuster the chain, Blockbuster management, and the video store system of that era.
Per the official synopsis, The Last Blockbuster sees Harding as she "reflects on the store’s vibrant past and navigates the difficult task of keeping a video rental store open in the era of streaming. Taking us through the history and subsequent rise and fall of the franchise, the documentary reveals the real reason why Blockbuster went out of business (hint – it wasn’t Netflix), while celebrating the unique and defining culture it created in the ’80s and ‘90s."
You can see the film on digital, or buy or rent it from Blockbuster Video in Bend.