Hunting Grounds Spotlight: Variety Shop

One thing I wanted to focus on this year is enjoying the hunt rather than the bounty that comes with VHS hunting. Lately I have been increasingly disappointed with my luck in finding new Horror movies to add to my collection. I am salivating for the horror fix and it is only popping up in small doses. Argh! Although the goodwill bins have been a wonderful resource for horror goodies lately they been flopping.

Recently I was watching the horse obsessed Mary Kate and Ashley Olson in some rando child’s comedy. Yeah, I may be spooky but I like kewtsie pootsie movies every now and again TOO. SOOO, anygay, there was this quote that went something like “it is not about the treasure you find but the fun you have finding the treasure” and that has been hitting me hard like a huge sledgehammer in the face.

SOOOO, this year I want to let you all in on my slumber party secrets. The people, the places and the hauls from my horror VHS collecting sprees. I want to try and produce more fun content that includes varying nacho recipes and cutsie outfits to wear when you’re on a hot date at the new Halloween sequel (we’re counting on it). Get ready for some wild and crazy reports from the spookiest one of all. That’s me, ghoulie friends.
The first destination is a MUST SEE and a DOOZY on those chicken arms.

VARIETY SHOP
4932 SE Foster, Portland Oregon 97206

When I was scouting Portland as a city that I wanted to relocate to one of my friends who was already living here let me in on this little hole in the wall record store. The Variety Shop. Once inside the store, my world changed and I instantly fell in love with the mass accumulation of their records, laserdiscs and most of all the mountains and boxes of VHS. Additionally, the people who run the store are some of the most intriguing, hilarious and kind VHS vendors that I have ever met. We both enjoy movies and share a natural love for hunky men. Also, they also play some banging music that I am always SHAZAMING.

Some fair warning: Prepare yourself to move tons of boxes in search for those golden horror hits. They are aware of the hot demand for horror tapes and have several banana style boxes full of horror tapes out near the front register. I always go here first because they are always putting out new selections. From memory I found Night School, Split Second, Bloody New Year and Return to Boggy Creek. After you pick a few selected goodies from the front do yourself a favor and travel to the back for nostalgia heaven.
Stacked to the ceiling are shelves of VHS tapes. I will add that most of these flicks to choose from are crap basic films, several copies of Titanic, you get my drift…but any true VHS collector will embrace the commons and search within them to discover breathtaking treasures. There are gold mines back there and sometimes you just have to put in the muscle to forage through mountains of tapes. You can spend a good hour here just scanning the slabs.

This place is an absolute MUST for any Pacific Coast VHS collector. Several titles in my collection have come from this lovely little shop. Good memories and laughs with the two who run the joint also keep me coming back. They recognize me each time and say “hey man” and I can’t be happier to buy from their massive throng of tapes.

Check them out, you will not be disappointed!

Author: Gerald Blanchard

Writer, filmmaker, daily food eater, gay horror blogger.

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