Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mondo Video

Ah, the 1980s. The hub nut and I were newlyweds, broke and young. We spent many evenings exploring the cramped aisles of our favorite video store, Mondo Video, located in a tiny strip mall off Channel Street in San Pedro.

The owners, from what I could gather, were a son and his father. The location was dark, spooky and isolated, so the elder Mondo carried a pistol, visible beneath his sizable stomach. I don't know if I felt safer with the nearsighted owner packing heat, but that little item, coupled with his loud voice and wild hair was more than enough to encourage criminals to take their activities elsewhere.

The shop was tiny, but loaded to the ceiling with B-movies of all genres, old movie posters and underground newspapers. The store was a mecca for sullen movie buffs, shadowy characters and teenagers looking for soft-core B-movie porn, like Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS.

The two Mondos (I kid here, I don't know what their names were) were never particularly friendly to anyone, but they were less than rude to us, probably because we returned the videos on time and paid in cash.

This is where I fell in love with Z-movies, like Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Spider Baby, Blood Feast and Incredibly Strange Creatures (Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies.)

One evening, only a few years after we discovered the place, we found a pile of videos in front of the door, with a small sign stating they were closed for good.

My heart was broken.

After that, we had a hell of a time finding videos we liked - Blockbuster never carried much in the way of vintage films, and most video stores didn't specialize. Only a few stores in the Hollywood area catered to our tastes, and that was too far for us to drive for a few movies.

I miss Mondo Video, and I always wondered what happened to the owners, and why the store closed. If anyone knows, I'd certainly appreciate the information.

No comments: