Rant of the Day: Kiosk Capitalism

I mean…yeah haha

Mostly this is just a rant about RedBox, which I still use anyways and their streaming app has free stuff to view with adds. However the actual kiosk for the service is just the old video store without the charm or people and with fewer steps. You still have to return the movie in time or you keep being charged, if you want to buy the movie it’s usually more expensive to do so, and the selection is actually worse on the kiosk. I think RedBox does it on purpose so people use the streaming service and have to spend more money.

Video on demand isn’t much better than having to pay for numerous streaming services anyways. Even worse kiosk capitalism, (which after a quick Google search tells me the Washington Post wrote about in 1993!) is literally everywhere. On my recent trip I wandered into a McDonald’s without realizing that they had the ordering machines ready, which is probably why the people at the counter gave me a weird look when I went there first. I was expected to use the kiosk instead.

I’m pretty sure none of this is good, especially since it will cause people to lose their jobs and those machines usually break really easily. I would know since I deal with self check out machines at work and they cause me a great deal of annoyance and they well, break! Also something like the RedBox kiosks is really way too based on people not having Internet and also being willing to still use physical media in a world of online viewing. There’s a reason video rental stores went under in the first place.

Tubi Time!

When I finally bought a Roku streaming device in 2018 one of the services on there was Tubi, which used to be a nice little very free secret which is still thankfully free. It reminds me of old video stores or the public library with the mix of old and newer movies, random junk, nice cult gems and everything in between. I’ve been using it even more since last year due to it’s halfway decent collection of horror and western movies, plus kung fu movies.

Sure there are ads, and Tubi doesn’t have any original programing that I know of, yet it’s still rather handy. Right now as I type this I’m watching Airport ’77, which is definitely not on Netflix or Hulu. Sure it’s cheesy as hell but it’s nice to view a slice of 1970s blockbuster cinema. Plus you get used to the ads, anyways. I really am trying to burn through my list on Tubi, yet they keep adding stuff I want to see. So it’s really just like the other streaming services I’m currently using. Quarantine time is cinema time.

Piracy, Argh!


My coworker, Kaine, once said “This is why we commit crimes” as a joke. However this can apply to the incoming rise of online piracy that is going to happen. Everyone and their dog is creating a streaming service, which is bad. Not everything or everyone needs to have one, and the whole thing goes from monopolies to way too much segmentation.

Plus I don’t get why network TV streaming services that are free still require a cable subscription. It doesn’t matter I guess since cable is where streaming is heading towards. Eventually there will be streaming buddles or something like that. People are also overracting to Netflix losing Friends and The Office. I don’t get subscribing to a service for only one or two shows, yet people do it anyways.

Perhaps folks will use second hand stores like Half-Price Books to find TV on physical media. More than likely many will go back to pirating TV, especially since jailbroken firesticks exist. I prefer to do things the legal way, and so I guess there are just some shows and movies I won’t get to watch. I don’t have enough time as it is regardless.

In The Streaming Waiting Line

One of the bad things about having both free and paid streaming sites at my disposal is that I have way too many queues full of movies and TV shows that I either choose to ignore or do not have time to watch. It is bad enough that I also have a queue on my folks Netflix for whenever I stop by, in addition to the Netflix I already am paying for. This on top of Shudder, Hulu, Tubi TV, and even Crackle (the last two are free, at least), so the list is pretty long. There are times when I admit I am not going to watch something and remove it from the queue, or I finally watch something only to add something new in its place. While in the beginning a queue was a good way to make sure you did not lose that cool looking new or old movie/TV show you really want to see, it is now a reminder that you are not watching said program.

In this case, it stems from me being a huge procrastinator (I actually finished Bird Box, after months of putting the second half off. Whoops). One solution is to simply purge my lists and just watch whatever I am interested in, although that means having to search for programming. That usually ends in me looking through stuff without ever hitting watch, another problem for another time. A better idea is to suck it up and go through everything on my queue, although a tricky idea is to simply wait for most of it to go away due to expiring rights issues. Maybe if someone came up with a way to go without sleep….yes…

Horrorfest 2018 Presents: Tourist Trap (1979, David Schmoeller)

Create a horror movie with killer puppets, Chuck Connors, and Tanya Roberts and I am going to watch it. I love 1970s horror for being out there, unafraid to try its hardest to scare the viewer. While Tourist Trap is merely creepy, it also has plenty of entertainment value and also one of those endings you think about for days. Bravo to Shudder for having this movie and for Joe Bob Briggs adding the witty and informative comedy. Also based on what I have seen of his work David Schmoeller is an underrated horror craftsman who made some good flicks that I have enjoyed. This is one of them.

A group of young folks make that classic horror movie error of stumbling onto an abandoned museum. Is this place in the middle of nowhere and run by western acting legend Chuck Connors? Absolutely. I also like that I was unable to guess the Final Girl, which makes Tourist Trap in that unique small group of slasher films. I love the weird kills, Connor stealing the movie, the young likable cast, the amazing ending, and how goofy this film is at times. I imagine this flick has a high replay value, and that everyone should watch it at least once.

MonsterVision Lives


Those poor kids today have no idea what it was like to have to use cable and local TV to see many cult films that never came to their area. Or enjoy drive in’s, something I have never been fortunate to expirence. Well for us who were around for the 1990s Joe Bob Briggs was the guide to numerous low budget cult classics every week on TNT’s MonsterVision. Even though there were commercials and some questionable footage had to be cut (often for time) there were also Drive-In totals, great trivia bits, and Briggs’ snappy commentary.

So when years after TNT axed MonsterVision, all of us fans were excited to hear that the streaming service Shudder had convinced Briggs to do one last (hopefully not) Drive In marathon show. Fittingly called The Last Drive-In, this was to be a 24 hour marathon hosted on Shudder from Friday night to Saturday night. This was a great idea, one that would allow us fans to also comment on Twitter during the marathon. In fact, I wrote this while enjoying one of the films shown, the freaky 1987 classic Hellraiser. Plus getting retweeted by Briggs on Twitter in real time is cool, a nice byproduct of social media.

Despite some issues with my Roku player and the Shudder app (something everyone else experienced) this was a success. Clearly the fans of Briggs still heavily exist, and the “Hey we broke Shudder” jokes were amusing despite having to deal with streaming issues. However it was all worth it, just to see Joe Bob Briggs on TV doing his thing all over again. I am glad that Ted Turner and overworked servers could not stop JBB from doing what he does best: introduce us to fun and interesting cinema. Joe Bob Briggs forever, indeed.

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