Posts Tagged ‘Dvds’

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Play: an unexpected arthouse DVD treasure trove

February 21, 2009

Play is a new/used CD + DVD + Gaming shop at the top of Bourke street.  It’s quite small, definitely unassuming, and not unlike a Dixons in its’ layout. It would be easy to miss, and easier still to dismiss.  When a friend insisted on perusing the shelves I walked in, expecting to indulge them with a quick and bland wander through yesterday’s megaplex hits.  How wrong could a person be?  On the shelves I saw almost nothing but arthouse obscurities, intriguing music documentaries, underground horror and rarely seen overseas television programmes of some note, like Peepshow and The Tudors.  I spied in this shop copies of Passolini’s  Salo (deluxe boxed edition), an early Mike Leigh film ‘Meantime’ starring Tim Roth and Gary Oldman (which I must confess I purchased, sorry all),  George Romero’s ‘Diary of the Dead’, an obscure documentary about Joy Division (not ‘Control’) that came out last year, the BBC adaptation of Dostoyevskys’s Crime and Punishment starring John Sim, The Apartment with Monica Bellucci and Vincent Cassell… many many more.   I was really very surprised and rather impressed.  

The staff member who served me was very cooperative and helpful, friendly and enthusiastic.  My purchases were very reasonably priced, although it must be warned that some of the collectors editions do become rather more expensive than your average DVD at the larger discount retailers.

The CD and Game selection is currently without comment, as my was instantly drawn to the DVD wall, so this blog welcomes the opinion of readers as to whether these sections of the shop impress as much as the film section. 

There is no website for Play, so unfortunately a visit is your only way of perusing their current stock.  

Contact details:

4/50 Bourke Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

ph 61 3 9650 0652

Open until at least 8pm mon to sat…. check with the store for actual times.

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Minotaur – comics, books, figurines and a plethora of ephemera

January 22, 2009

If you haven’t heard of Minotaur yet, well, I’m afraid you’re missing what is arguably  Melbourne’s most voluminous slice of geek/collector culture.  Downstairs on Elizabeth St, between Collins and Lt Collins, Minotaur is a heftily sized L shaped emporium of pop-culture.  From the latest comics and graphic novels from Marvel, DC, Wildstorm, Vertigo and a swag of other publishers to Manga and Hentai, novels, biograhies plus art books and erotica, any fan of the popular written word will have a home here at Minotaur.  For the true fan, of course, there are also figurines a plenty of your favourite comic book, film or novel hero – from A Nightmare Before Christmas to Lord of the Rings, Hellboy to Dexter. 

There is really not enough room for me to try to list the gamut of Minotaur’s stock, and they have even more online in their webstore!!!

The main plusses of Minotaur are that it goes further than almost any other store I’ve seen in Australia to cover the entire world of pop culture and its’ ephemera.  Nothing is too silly, too gimmicky, too obscure for Minotaur: from Emily breathmints to Deathnote shoulderbags, Simpsons toothbrushes and Dexter bobbleheads. At the same time they have a huge back catalogue of trade comics and art books for those who are more serious/completist about their fandom.

The main doubts I have about Minotaur is that they are too large and busy to have any care or attention to their customers:  or perhaps they’re just wary of the passion fans have and they know they’ll get stuck for hours on some obscure point about Batman’s costume if they’re not careful.  However, the smaller comic stores do seem to have more of a personal touch than Minotaur.  But if you want to collect not only your favourite TV show, but the resulting comic, or film, or poster, or patch, or novelty gimcrack, or figurine, or spinoff series, or flavoured gum: Minotaur is the place for you.  Most insane at Christmas, on shipment days and sometimes on the weekend.

Details:

   Minotaur Entertainment     Phone: +61 3 9670  5414 
    121 Elizabeth Street   Comics: +61 3 9670  5415   
    Melbourne 3000   Fax: +61 3 9670  7670
   
   

Email: shop@minotaur.com.au

Shop Opening Hours:
Mon – Wed: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday:  9:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Saturday: 9:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am – 5:00pm

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Polyester Books – 330 Brunswick St, Fitzroy

December 30, 2008

Polyester Books – “the world’s freakiest bookstore”.  

Aaah the memories of being a wee lass and seeing my first mind-boggling dose of counter culture for the first time:  realising that not only were subjects like street art, tattooing, fetishism, the occult and alternative music things that other people were interested in, but they were taken SERIOUSLY!  And people wrote BOOKS about them!  The jolly all round squee-ness of realising that there are communities open to dissenting views and that you can be educated about them… well, let’s just say it warms the cockles of this slightly more grown up and savvy heart.  

Polyester Books is indeed a paradise for the profane, a haven for the heretical, a counter cultural cornucopia.  As their website shows, the topics you can browse through at Polyester include:  Globalisation, Freaks and Tattoos, Mind Expansion, Satanic/Witchcraft/Magick, Pop culture, True Crime and ‘Weird Shit’.  Of course, this also means you can purchase from their website too, but a visit is definitely worth your while, what  with their charismatic staff, often great music selection and the ability to leaf through some of these titles to read and see with your own eyes what in fact they’re about before shelling out your hard earned or pressuring your open minded friends for a book on the UFOs that Ate Elvis. 

The best thing about Polyester Books – they’re totally dedicated to supporting counterculture: so much so that they’ve worn 2 brushes with the law and seizures of property because the books they import are sometimes considered rather.naughty.indeed.  And that from Norwegian Black Metal to Zombie Skinheads:  they’ve really got books on absolutely everything kinda kooky at Polyester.  Including some great local and import Zines. 

The worst thing about Polyester Books:  they should be open later – I guess there’s always the interwebs, but if this were Greenwich Village they’d be open until 4am: sometimes you don’t really want to read about satanic bondage in the whitehouse until after 1am, y’know.  seriously. 

Details in their sig above. Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 10am-8pm, Friday and Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-8pm.  

Subscribe to their mailing list through the website.

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Movie Reel – 69 – 71 High Street, Northcote

June 25, 2008

The Movie Reel is a godsend to the northern suburbs – no matter which pantheon you might believe in, you will be burning the most expensive incense or raising your hands in fervent thanks after a visit to this cult emporium.  The Movie Reel is to the ‘burbs what ACMI is to the city: a rental library with an emphasis on cult, arthouse and foreign films. So if you’ve showed up at the Westgarth cinema only to find that your session is sold out or that they’re only showing a Macaulay Culkin retrospective that week: The Movie Reel will provide a sweet assuagement of your cult thirst. 

The selection is strong, which is the upside. Their shelves are well stocked with everything from serious arthouse to horror schlock.  

The downside is that their website is little short of neanderthal, meaning you really do have to take my recommendation and drop by and browse their catalogue in order to verify their awesomeness. 

Opening hours:

 

Sunday to Wednesday
:
11.00am to 10.00pm
Thursday to Saturday
:
11.00am to 11.00pm
Telephone: (03) 9486 8866

 

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Peril Underground

December 28, 2007

So underground there ain’t no photos of it,  so just keep reading, and hopefully, one day my attempts at covert surveillance will bear the fruit I so obsessively hope for *wringing of slightly damp hands, deranged squint etc etc*.   

Peril Underground – once located on Swanston Street as Peril 305 in the days before Student Headquarters took over upper Swanston (not that there’s anything wrong with that etc) – now lurks subterranean and unique in a basement on Elizabeth Street near Flinders Street.  One enters via a laneway next to the horridly iconic  Golden Arches, where you then enter the basement on the right, descend with care down the rather unfriendly stairs (careful in stacked heels or pumps, people), and then you’ll find yourself in Alternative Paraphernalia Paradise.  Chief of the subcultural seraphim is owner Peter – a fixture of this downstairs lair and an affable and well versed fellow in alternative culture. His fair realm exhibits the following counties:

  The Tattoo and Piercing Parlour.  Often booked out and for good reason – so warning:  a casual impetuous (possibly drunk) visit hoping to be bedecked may not bear fruit. Book ahead if possible.

 Music store: featuring collectibles from teen-faves Tool, NIN, Manson etc to utterly obscure worthies like Shinjuku Thief, Laibach, Imperial marching music… with a lean towards industrial, gothic, “ebm”, metal and dark rock  this store ticks the angst-o-metre up to 11 and for anyone desiring an initial dip into the murky pool of these genres, a trip to Peril could just sort you out with your first few hours of listening!  For those already well familiar with  such sounds there’s unknown pleasures awaiting you, plus the added bonus of an extensive catalogue to order from if you can’t find it on the shelf. In the days of internet purchasing that feature may not hold such a drawcard – except in the case of the rare recordings Peter stocks… 

 The clothing emporium:  with humble beginnings as a small corner of the empire, the clothing behemoth has opened it’s silken maw and taken huge bites of the shop space, now emerging the uncontested winner and dominant area of Peril’s fifedom.  For club girls, victorian gents, cyber freaks and the casual Top Goth shopper alike, there’s gold in them thar frills…Thoughtfully accompanied by piercing jewellery, badges, patches and artwork, not to mention gig tix and -for veteran shoppers the beloved gift voucher – Peril supports local artisanship as well, with artwork, photography and clothing – plus cds of course – from the cloistered Melbourne gothic community on display to buy.  

Dvds: a small collection of cult dvds – music, documentary and film.  

Best thing about Peril: the staff! Peter and his revolving band of bon vivantes will entertain you, help you and  won’t scowl at you even if you are asking for a Tool live dvd.  Friday nights sees a cavalcade of musicians, artists, other shopkeepers and general layabouts descend for a rowdy or possibly quiet catch up… you’re still welcome to browse but you might be able to spot the Gothing ‘leet commingling…  

 The downside: the hours can be quite strict, and if not it’s spontaneously so.  Go during the day, don’t wander up after 6 expecting that because it’s alternative types they’ve got nothing better to do than entertain you in the evenings: they do. Also, they have no web presence to speak of which is nothing short of criminal… word is that they’re gearing up (only ten years too late!)  for cyberspace though, which can only be a Very Good Thing.  

 The oddest thing about Peril: they accept vouchers from other shops! So if you got a bum voucher for a present and don’t know what to do with it: take it down to Peril and try your luck trading it in for perilcash!!!

 Address: 17-19 Elizabeth St.City: MelbourneContact: 03-9614 2040 

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Inferno DVDs/Videos – Elizabeth Street

December 28, 2007


Inferno’s website says the following:

SPECIALISING IN RARE & DELETED DVDs & VIDEOS:Cult Movies, Horror, Sci-Fi, World Cinema, Animation, Music Videos,Wrestling, UFC & Pride, Drive-In Movies, Blaxploitation,

HK & Martial Arts, Classics from 1940s to 1970s, Films of Great Directors
It’s one of those shops you really don’t find much anymore – where product placement hasn’t yet slimed its insidious way into the shop arrangements, slickness and strategy are lacking completely.  Comparing Inferno to alternaculture counterparts like Minotaur, it seems almost quaint and old fashioned in decor.  If it’s like the shop time forgot visually, that’s because all the effort is going into the video, cd and DVD selections.  Inferno sells CD albums, compilations and soundtracks from psychedelia to heavy metal – always with an emphasis on the alternative. Their selection of CDs is smallish though and by no means comprehensive. What they do have an astonishing range of is actual new Videos of cult cinema.  In the day where it seems to be DVD or dodo, it’s really rare to see such a comprehensive range of new videos.  I’m not sure whether they’re legit or dubs, but regardless they’re sitting there on the shelves, winking at you.   DVD or video format  - whichever you prefer there’s a jaw dropping array of schlock horror,  fantasy and art house films on display.  My partner’s cultometre was going crazy over the horror/scifi collection of zombie, robot and killer alien films, plus an impressive array of  Russ Meyer sexploitation.  My aesthetic spider senses were tingling over the arthouse collection from Europe and the UK 65 to 75:  films like the Quiller Memorandum, Fellini’s Satyricon, staples like Quadrophenia, Performance, Blow Up, Get Carter.  They also stock second hand cult books: including rarities, film books, and a whole lot of other sections you’ll just have to explore for yourself.  The obligatory collectables abound: magazines, metal cases, rare packaging, figurines etc sit behind the counter squashed into a monolith of dreams,the occasional discernible name or title peeking out like a diamond in a coal stack – except in this case what is diamond and what is coal is definitely in the eye of the collector. 
Open odd hours during the week and weekends, it is definitely worth seeking out Inferno – it sits resolutely between the narrow cracks of the major chain stores by maintaining its idiosyncratic obsessive collector’s approach. It differs from counterpart further down Elizabeth Minatour by aiming unashamedly at a more specific collector crowd  and in many ways a more adult demographic interested in the truly obscure. Of course, their second hand section is also lovingly curated.  
A weighty and impressive kookster anachronism in the gloss-age of the 21st century and all the better for it.  
SHOP:1st Floor349 Elizabeth St.Melbourne(near LaTrobe St., opp Melbourne Central)

 

SHOP HOURS:Tues 12:00 – 5:00Thurs 12:00 – 5:00Friday 12:00 – 6:00Saturday 12:00 – 5:00

PHONE/FAX
03 9640 0304

EMAIL:
infernovideo@hotmail.com

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