This Friday, you’ll have the chance to see James Cameron’s mega-hit masterpiece Terminator 2: Judgement Day on the big screen once again. Yes, we know it’s in 3D, and those kind of converted releases are nearly uniformly horrible, but Cameron himself swears it’s gonna be different this time, and besides, if you’re like us (born in 1987 or later), you probably grew up watching a grainy-ass VHS tape on a tiny-ass TV in the middle of your living room.
Well, at least you did until that sweet-ass DVD with the metal case hit the streets everywhere back in the early aughts, but we digress. To remind you of both how good you have it now, and also make you super nostalgic for the early ’90s, we present to you this advertisement made for video stores back in 1991, starring a young Robert Patrick and a ’90s sitcom family:
This tape (which the YouTube uploader claims was “boosted from a Portland, OR Blockbuster Video in 1992”) was made to convince retailers to buy a bunch of copies for their store — 20 whole copies even! You might be wondering why this was the case if you weren’t there, and that’s because video tapes used to be extraordinarily expensive at nearly a hundred dollars a tape, and these type of bundle deals, with their promo swag (oh god how badly we want that sweater and those glasses now) and forced-upon-you copies of Drop Dead Fred were just way people did business back then.
Buying used tapes was starting to be a thing too, and it was something that retailers like Blockbuster were especially trying to push as they foresaw the cost of tapes falling at some point in the future, and that’s why it’s so heavily featured here.
But let’s get onto the good ’90s ephemera, shall we?
George H.W. Bush, then-President and future neighbor of Homer Simpson, introduces Arnold at a campaign rally or some other big event, something that we’re sure Barbara was happy about at least. We’ve got a fresh-faced and young Robert Patrick looking absolutely out of his element shilling for his studio bosses, and god help whoever told him not just to improv the lines or whatever and instead forced him to read from a teleprompter, or, more likely, a large sheet of poster paper with the dialogue scribbled across it. And finally, perhaps the best part of all: The sitcom family in the pre-made advertisement for buying the movie used from your local Blockbuster. We’ve got all we need: A young man in love with Arnold, a father obsessed with rewinding and looking at one of the less-iconic effects shots in the film, and a mother with shockingly great aim when it comes to flinging the remote away from her husband.
God bless us, we wish we could go back in time. At least we’ll have the chance to for a little bit this weekend when Arnold and the gang hit the big screen once again. Terminator 2: Judgement Day 3D hits local theaters this Friday.