Gathered consumer data from both NetFlix and Blockbuster Online Video Rental outlets shows the rental of the 1985 Cold War classic, Rocky IV, has increased almost 200% in light of recent world developments. The movie depicts fictitious Philadelphia boxer, Rocky Balboa's attempt to avenge the death of his former opponent and current best friend, Apollo Creed, at the hands of an unbeatable Russian boxer, Ivan Drago. The fourth and most financially successful Rocky film is currently at the top of over 87% of the queues of Netflix users.
Brian O'Brien, night manager of West Coast Video on South 15th St. in Center City believes that the increase has much to do with the U.S.'s recent stand on the Russian invasion of Georgia. "Aside from the Nazis who no longer exist, there's no greater villain for the American public than the Russians." After being bitter rivals during the Cold War, animosity between Russia and the U.S. plateaued over the last decade. Recently, Hollywood has begun to rekindle the flame with well known American heroes like Indiana Jones taking on the dreaded "Red Army" in Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
O'Brien also believes that healthy Olympic competition (NBC 8pm) has helped spur the Rocky IV revival across most of the country. What about locally, particularly focusing on the Eastern half of Pennsylvania, we ask? "Everyone already owns it," states the precocious WCV employee. "If they don't have it on DVD, they have it on VHS. If they don't have it on VHS, they'll watch it on cable. They've got the toys, the soundtracks, the bed sheets, and a statue out in front of the art museum."