PHOENIX, Arizona –
“It’s just the most obnoxious thing, really,” said Derek Davis, Guinness World Record holder for most DVDs in a private home library. “I own more movies than anyone on the planet, yet I just can’t find a thing to watch. It’s really frustrating.”
Davis’ love of collecting movies started nearly a decade ago, when he ran across a video store that was going out of business. “I stopped in on a whim, hoping they’d have my favorite movie, Cinema Paradiso, for cheap. Sadly, they didn’t, but that stop began years of collecting. I’d never seen so many movies at such attainable prices!”
Davis says he ended up walking out of the video store with over 200 movies in that one day, and because of the liquidation pricing, he paid only about $7. “It was really dumb luck, you know? Of course, it also has also really put a damper on wanting to spend any ‘real’ money when I buy a movie. That first trip cost me about 3 pennies a flick. Makes it awfully hard to go out and drop $20 on a new movie, you know?”
Over the course of time, though, Davis has certainly picked up a few movies. His collection, which is meticulously organized by genre and then listed alphabetically, compromises many different forms of media, including old-school VHS and Betamax, as well as Laserdiscs, DVDs, and Blu-rays. His collection has been ranked by Guinness as the biggest private collection in the world, at just about 189,000 films. Unfortunately for him, having that many films at his disposal makes it horribly difficult to choose what to watch.
“You know how a regular person maybe has a handful of movies to watch, and still sometimes they can’t decide what to go with? Imagine magnifying that problem by a hundred, or even a thousand,” says Davis. “It’s just horrible. I have people over to watch a movie, but we end up spending the whole night debating what to watch, and never even get to the film. It’s causing problems with my friends. They don’t even want to come over for fear of staying up until the wee hours of the morning just debating between whether to watch Re-Animator or Punch Drunk Love.”
“I used to love going to Derek’s house to watch movies, back when we were in high school,” says best friend Rob Pooler. “Back then, he only owned 3 movies – Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and BMX Bandits. We didn’t have to spend hours deciding what to watch. We normally would just stay up all night and watch all three. Those were the days.”
Pooler says that now, a visit to Davis’ house is like a walk through the most intimidating video store you’ll ever see.
“Oh yeah. Going in there, it’s like a f—— Blockbuster on crack,” says Pooler. “God, Remember Blockbuster? I’d love to go back to those days. Even they didn’t have this kind of selection. Life was grand back then.”
“If you want to be the biggest and the best,” says Davis, “sometimes you have to pay the price. My price is that I own more films than God himself, yet haven’t watched a movie in 8 months. The massive overwhelming nature of the collection, it’s just too much to sort through. On the other hand, being too lazy to choose a movie to watch has given me something good in return – Now I’m able to catch up on all the seasons of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix!”