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A Message from Outlaw Vern!

Hey Gang! We're so close to hitting our goal, and we couldn't be more excited and inspired by all the love and support. Yesterday we received a special message from one of our favorite local film critics, the original Seagalogist, the one and only Outlaw Vern! Here's what he wrote:

"As a guy whose primary mission in life is to watch and write about obscure action movies, I would be lost without Scarecrow Video's Bang!, Chopsockie and Hong Kong sections. Even if they weren't stocked with movies I couldn't find anywhere else (PAL Code 2 imports of forgotten martial arts gems, hard-to-find VHS tapes in glorious painted boxes) the experience of physically browsing the shelves is important to me. There is no online experience that can replicate stumbling across a weird box for some strange underground death match movie I've never heard of before and realizing that it's something I must investigate immediately.

Without that my review archive would definitely suffer, but Scarecrow's mission is bigger and more important than that. I've discussed these issues with enough smart movie buffs to realize that almost no one really considers the full implications of movies moving away from discs and tapes to files and streams. Because of the way copyright law works, once Scarecrow and other stores buy a movie on physical media they can rent it out forever. You can't do the same with a digital file, so in a post-video-store world it's completely out of our hands which movies are available to the public and when, it's all up to negotiations between giant corporations. If these behemoths don't think it's important to pony up for the rights to continue streaming, say, Alejandro Jodorowsky's Holy Mountain or Stone Cold starring Brian Bosworth, or if it's decided to put Bambi or the Star Wars trilogy back in the Disney Vault for a couple years, or if they can't come to an agreement about how much the rights to The Godfather are worth, then those movies will simply not exist in the digital world. They will vanish.

Scarecrow Video wants you to be able to see every movie you want to. Right now they have over 120,000 individual titles, and that number continues to grow with the new releases each week. I believe there will never be a time when a corporation can afford to or have the commercial motivation to have continuous rights to even, I don't know… a quarter of that collection? It just isn't feasible. By holding on to their physical copies of every movie they can get, Scarecrow are like a Noah's Ark of film. No discrimination between species, they want to save all of them. Important classics, mainstream hits, entertaining crap, weird things you remember seeing when you were little, everything.

We can always enjoy the convenience provided by corporations and their limited libraries, but I believe we can also come together as a community of film lovers to make the continued existence of this non-profit archive a reality.


Thanks so much, Vern! And thanks to all of you who have already contributed, are thinking of donating, or are just out there spreading the word. Every little bit counts!



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