BEST CHEAP THRILL (2001)
Your run-of-the-mill dollar store, with its stockpile of motor oil, off-brand toiletries, and faux Tupperware, is a thing to be celebrated in its own utilitarian right. But let's face it: It's nothing to write home about. Your dollar bazaar, on the other hand--now that's another matter entirely. Dollar King's got the basics bases covered, but for our buck, the thrill's in the exotic: bulk packages of three-foot-long sticks of incense; funky ashtrays and candles; mirrors imprinted with the Virgin Mary; yards and yards of synthetic hair for do-it-yourself weaves; bamboo backscratchers; odd porcelain knickknacks perfect for...we admit we have no idea, but they're cheap. Sure, some of the stuff exceeds the touted single-smacker price tag, but it's hard to leave this place feeling like you've spent too much--though the guilty pleasure of buying cartloads of praying-angel candleholders and leopard-print placemats does have its own side effects.