DVD: Grindhouse Trailer Classics

May 2, 2015 | By


GrindhouseTrailerClassicsFilm:  Excellent

Transfer:  Excellent

Extras: Good

Label: Intervision / Nucleus Films

Region: 0 (NTSC)

Released:  August 12, 2014

Genre:  Exploitation / Movie Trailers

Synopsis: Vivid compilation of uncut trailers for classic sleazy exploitation shockers.

Special Features:  Featurette: “Into the Grindhouse” (18:30) / Grindhouse Poster Gallery (4:36)






When the MPAA switched from demanding cuts in films to suit the needs of political, social, and religious groups to rating movies based on content in 1968, it unshackled indie filmmakers from restricting the level of intense weirdness in their work, and allowed specialty American distributors to handle product sold purely on sex, blood & guts, and action.

The 55 represented flicks in this collection span many genres – zombie, women-in-prison, Naziploitation, biker flicks, martial arts, straight action, car chase, slasher, rape-revenge, and charnel house gruel – but what becomes evident as one glides through this garish trailer collage isn’t the extreme content, but the cross-pollination of elements that created unique (if not highly ephemeral) genre hybrids.

Rudy Ray Moore blended poetic argot, martial arts, and polyester-clad dancers in Disco Godfather; Let Me Die a Woman fused exploitation with interviews and documentary footage of a real gender re-assignment operation; oversexed German schoolgirls in Secret of Sweet 16 encountered a Satanic cult; and gender roles were flipped as women fought crime or in the case of Werewolf Woman, howled and devoured under the influence of a super moon.

To the other end, the films with weaker content are over-hyped as edgy, and the contents of over-edgy flicks are either seen in flashes or splayed out in bloated trailers resembling featurettes packed with all the prime disemboweling, eyeball trauma, and a weird (but flexible) formula of breast / ripped flesh / breasts / mashed head / breasts / breasts / kung fu kick / breasts / Mexican wrestling match / etc. The music is sometimes tinny or funky (or showcased a tune to sell a spin-off LP), and film titles are big & bold, flashed, and spun around to ensure you remember which celebration of mayhem to catch next week.

The first of a four-volume series released in 2007 by U.K.’s Nucleus Films, Intervision’s reissue doesn’t replicate the trailer content in Nucleus’ recent Video Nasties sets, but back again is Emily Booth for an 18 min. featurette on the history of grindhouse cinema, its rediscovery on home video, and Hollywood’s hunger to remake what’s impossible to recapture.

At 129 mins., this is a tremendously lively collection of delicious trash, showcasing clever, crude, and inept filmmaking and fading / emerging / amateurish thespians. Content ranges from laughably ridiculous to quite disgusting. The tragedy is that not every represented film is available on DVD, but this set is sure to prick interest in some rare and very weird trash.



© 2015 Mark R. Hasan



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Category: Blu-ray / DVD Film Review

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