Movie Article

OOPs for Sale

Out of print DVDs bring in big bucks -- Here's why your copy of ''Robocop'' is worth more than the price you originally paid

Out of print DVDs bring in big bucks

An $875 smut show? Criterion's uncut version of Salò stands as one of the rarest and most expensive DVDs in the medium's eight-year history. OOP (out of print) mere months after hitting stores in August 1998, Pier Paolo Pasolini's 1975 graphically sexual (and scatological) critique of fascism tops a growing list of titles commanding exorbitant prices on online sites like eBay and Amazon Marketplace. With most OOPs, studios' licensing deals expire and cannot be renewed (Criterion won't discuss distribution particulars), leaving a small supply for the deep demand. Other coveted OOPs, like The Last Days of Disco (around $130) and Topsy-Turvy ($80), may not command Salò's price, but who thought RoboCop could ever go for $100? Consequently, cheap counterfeits have flooded the market, so collectors better do their homework — a genuine Salò has 29 chapters and a white ring in the center of the disc. And if a price seems too good to be true — say, $25 for The Killer, which can go for $300 — it probably is.

Originally posted Apr 11, 2005 Published in issue #815 Apr 15, 2005 Order article reprints