Label: Garagehouse Pictures
Do today’s trailers reveal too much? Too many problematic spoilers? Perhaps, but they have nothing on the grungy, wildly entertaining trailers from the past. The kind of trailer that would turn up in the drive-ins, fleapits, and grindhouses of yore. Or in our modern era, the kind of trailer that is unearthed and compiled on blu-ray and DVD. If you are a fan of series like Synapse’s 42nd Street Forever, or Severin’s Grindhouse Trailer Classics then you will want to take notice of Garagehouse Pictures’ Trailer Trauma series.
The product of the combined private trailer collections and efforts of George Reis (editor of http://dvddrive-in.com/) and Harry Guerro (co-organizer of Exhumed Fest and various other east coast revival screenings) the latest volume of Trailer Trauma brings over three and a half hours of vintage trailer entertainment. With an emphasis on the horror and thriller genres this disc is a master class in the art of trailers and their accompanying ballyhoo.
Grouped in thematic chunks like werewolf films, vampire films, movies with ‘House” in the title, possession flicks, etc. Trailer Trauma 2 flows from strength to strength in its verisimilitude. Focusing exclusively on the rare trailers not found on other comps, movies appearing under retitleing (John Landis’ debut feature shows up here under the mid-80’s retitleing of Banana Monster), and trailers that were inexplicably left off of certain movies’ DVD releases (Let’s Scare Jessica to Death, The Possession of Joel Delaney).
At their best these trailers “spoil” their features by assembling the best moments for maximum impact (Cathy’s Curse, a slog to sit through looks eerie and appealing in its trailer form). Alternatively some of these trailers play coy with the extreme content contained in their parent features (Zombie’s effective trailer is largely a credit crawl advertising barf bags given out at screening). Taken together all these various trailers end up being a gateway to a world past, a world where producers and exhibitors go to any length to guarantee butts in seats.
As for the disc itself, these trailers are handsomely presented with minimal digital tampering. Colors sometimes wane, scratches and cigarette burns are evident, and sound can occasionally be crackly. This adds to the charm. As for extra features there is a feature length commentary track wherein one of the disc’s compilers and a longtime friend breathlessly give you every detail you would want to know about the movies highlighted on this compilation. They point out alternate titles, retitlings, and the careers of the talent in front of and behind the camera.
The very definition of a “party disc” and if this is your kind of party, I want to party with you.\
Written by Michael Felix
“Is this movie in 3D?”
“No, but your face is!”
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