Grindhouse Video Knoxville sells horror movie DVDs and VCRs

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Horror movie fans around the world rely on Grindhouse Video to find the best, weirdest and most specialized scary movies.

Knoxville Horror Movie Fans Get An Extra Bonus this halloween after the industry leader moved to Knoxville and opened a video store here.

For fans of old-school video libraries, horror movies, or physical media, Grindhouse Video has just about everything you could want.

Originally based in Tampa, Florida, owner Mike Sandlin quit his job and started selling used DVDs at a flea market. He opened a retail space in 2014 and Grinding House Video was born.

Grindhouse Video owner Mike Sandlin stands in the aisles of Grindhouse Video in West Knoxville, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. Sandler moved the store from Tampa, Florida earlier this year.

Sandlin moved to Knoxville in May to be closer to her daughter, Kortney Sandlin. He brought Grindhouse Video with him and moved to 7212 Kingston Pike. It’s a bigger space than Florida, which Sandlin never thought would happen.

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“Horror has always been a consistent sell,” Sandlin said. “There are more horror collectors, people who will buy physical media, for the horror genre, just because streaming doesn’t necessarily carry everything.”

Spread horror around the world

Grindhouse Video has a global presence. That’s partly because it’s so weird to see a video store these days, let alone one that focuses on horror.

Sandlin focused on selling scary movies because his store in Tampa had limited space and he loves the genre.

“People from all over the world would come to this (Tampa) store,” Sandlin said. “But I’ve had people who have come… like traveled to Tampa and now Knoxville from Australia, from Europe, from Germany – I think I had someone from Japan – from Canada, like everywhere in the country, all over the world and I came to wherever I was for Grindhouse Video.”

The website is the real draw, however. Sandlin closed its Tampa store for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the website “doubled sales the first year and then doubled again the second year.”

Essentially, he said “the website pays for everything” and it keeps the store running.

Including Sandlin and his daughter, six people work at Grindhouse Video, run the store and have fun with horror enthusiasts.

“I really want it to be a hub for people,” Sandlin said. “The guys I hired to work on the front line are really good at talking to people. They love talking about movies. So I don’t mind if people are here for two hours just to talk.”

What you can buy at Grindhouse Video

Horror films are seen on the shelves of Grindhouse Video in West Knoxville, Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Deals Last name comes from fast-paced, low-budget horror movies and the theaters that showed those movies. That’s pretty much what you can find on Grindhouse Video.

The main section of the store is almost entirely devoted to horror, including classic films, B-movies, and underground films. All videos and DVDs are newly packaged and start around $20, but can go up to $150 for collections or premium offers.

Along with the main horror selection, there’s a used DVD and Blu-Ray section listed alphabetically with no genre label. These also vary in price, with some rarities on movie shelves. The store also offers VHS and LaserDiscs sections for old-school collectors looking to fill in the gaps in their collections.

Grindhouse Video has movie merchandise for sale including t-shirts, pins, magnets, action figures, socks, mats, books and more. The store is modeled after the old home video shops Sandlin remembers growing up in.

“We’re also pretty much one of the only movie stores, not necessarily horror stores, but movie stores,” Sandlin said. “There are a lot of record stores that sell movies. There are a lot of bookstores that sell movies. For example, we are a movie store.”

Grindhouse recommends horror movies for Halloween

Grindhouse Video is seen in West Knoxville, Wednesday, September 28, 2022.

Are you looking for a classic horror movie or do you want to branch out? Sandlin has a few suggestions.

Classic horror movies to watch:

  • “Friday the 13th” (1980)
  • “Halloween” (1978)
  • “Carrie” (1976)
  • “The Night of the Comet” (1984)
  • “Nightbreed” (1990)
  • “The Thing” (1982)
  • “Re-Host” (1985)

Lesser known horror movies to watch:

  • “The Sucking” (1990)
  • “Microwave Massacre” (1983)
  • Frankenhooker (1990)
  • “Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama” (1988)
  • “Nightmarish Sisters” (1988)

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A sponsor of this fall Knoxville Horror Film FestivalSandlin hopes that the physical store will become more popular than the online store, and he would like to overtake the space.

“I never thought I’d be open, let alone still here,” Sandlin said. “I don’t plan to open another store. So this will be the store at least for the next few years.”

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday.

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