The average video store comes on to its customers with the promotional hype of a radio station: all hits, all the time-and nothing else. For most renters, that's fine. But how do you locate a tape of, say, the French farce Mon Oncle d'Amerique (My American Uncle) when the store clerk suggests you settle for Uncle Buck instead? And what good are stacks and stacks of Pretty Woman to the Japanese-film fan who wants Woman in the Dunes? Fortunately, the following mail-order services make it easier than ever to buy (and rent) hard-to-find video titles:
(6736 Castor Ave., Philadelphia, Pa. 19149)
More than 20,000 titles for sale in every conceivable genre, from documentaries to exercise tapes. Catalog $7.95 (with order, $4.95).
(1517 West Fullerton Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60614)
Great for lesser-known movies by famous (and not-so-famous) directors. A $25 membership gets you three-day mail-order rental privileges, $10 per title (first two free). Catalog $7.95 ($5.45 for members).
Home Film Festival
(P.O. Box 2032, Scranton, Pa. 18501) Good for independent movies and foreign films. The $25 membership includes catalog and a free three-day rental; after that, rentals are $5 for one title, $9 for two, $13 for three.
(5959 Triumph St., Commerce, Calif. 90040)
Strong selection of silents, serials, Westerns, and musicals. No rentals. Discounts up to 15% on star-themed packages (films of Bogart and Bacall, for instance, or John Wayne). Free 700-title catalog.