Catacomb video bucks the trend
"Oh, so you like B movies? Well I have just the thing for you."
That's Trevor Fielding, one of the two principles with Catacomb Video in Qualicum Beach. He does, too.
Fielding races down an aisle of the Memorial Avenue video store and seconds later comes back with a title called The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. The lurid cover certainly seems like a B movie, but Fielding knows his stuff and he confirms it.
"They must have had a production budget of about 100 bucks," he said. "It's a takeoff on the B movie genre. Very funny."
He's right. It's very funny. Just the ticket.
Fielding and his partner Kate Scorah take pride in knowing about movies and being able to suggest the perfect title. They opened their store just three months ago after being forced to move from their previous French Creek location because the building that housed their store was being demolished. They opened shop just over three months ago.
However, they've not only been able to hold onto much of their French Creek business, but they've started to round up a lot of movie fans in Qualicum Beach as well.
The recipe to Catacomb's success in the face of video stores going belly up across the rest of the country, is one part obscurity and two parts selection.
"Many video stores are checking out and aren't putting any money in," said Scorah. "We thought if we are going to survive in the future, we have to pour money into our library. People can get new releases anywhere these days, but there are some movies that are obscure and hard to find. You can't just download them anywhere. We are trying to set ourselves apart in areas where Netflicks and Shaw are not going to be able to help you."
True, Catacomb has all the new releases and Blu Ray options, but along with Zero Dark 30 they carry titles such as I Eat Your Skin and This is Spinal Tap.
"Spinal Tap came from our personal collection long before we opened the store," Fielding said. "We like to think we have a pretty deep library. We have some titles you wouldn't find anywhere else — obscure ones."
The couple have always been fans of movies and both worked in various video outlets prior to going it alone in French Creek three years ago. That experience has exposed them to more titles than many might believe possible.
"Even if we haven't seen a movie, chances are we've at least seen the cover and can picture it," Fielding said. "We had a huge collection ourselves as well and it seemed inevitable we would one day own a video store."
They are not only familiar with obscure works by obscure directors, but also obscure movies by world famous directors.
"If you thought Peter Jackson was over the top with Lord of the Rings, he did some really weird stuff before that. Meet the Feebles is offensive to so many senses," Scorah said.
And their latest find?
"We just got one in called Cemetery Man, an Italian production. Very bizarre. He lives in a cemetery where all the bodies come back to life and he's sick of it. All he does is kill zombies and he wants a raise because he's bored," Fielding said.
Catacomb also specializes in old titles that, while they may not be must-have classics, likely have some meaning to some people of a certain age.
"There was a lack of movies older than 1965," he said. "We've made an effort to bring in golden age titles."
Catacomb is open every day except Christmas.