Hello, my name is Casey Scott and I'm a trailer-holic. Yep, I'm sure it hasn't been diagnosed yet, but I know I'm not the only person who suffers from this disease and cannot get enough of those seedy previews from the 60s and 70s (and well into the 80s) advertising some of the sleaziest, most bizarre, craziest, and daring films ever to be shown on the screen. Something Weird Video and Sinister Cinema have cornered the market for years with their incredible compilation tapes packed to the brim with rare trailers and TV spots for some of our very favorite exploitation masterpieces. But it has taken quite some time for DVD's dedicated exclusively to the artform of the trailer to appear on the marketplace (All Day released several well-done discs, ALL MONSTERS ATTACK! and THE HOUSE OF HAMMER). Hopefully the hard work of archivist Gary Huggins will open the doors for future releases. Huggins has compiled 40 trailers from all different genres of drive-in madness, in addition to throwing in some very rare intermission and pre-movie shorts and advertisements to create a one-of-a-kind viewing experience which reflects the one-time-only theatrical showing of this very program! One word describes this disc: sublime. Here's a run-down of the contents, and keep in mind that in addition to these trailers there are plenty of little surprises thrown in-between select previews:
A PERSONAL GREETING FROM MR. DOM DELUISE - A nifty theatrical short which prefaced the theater's coming attractions. The joke's stupid, but it's a cool extra.
WELCOME TO THE THEATER - This humorous announcement welcomes us, the viewer, to "the theater." We're told not to smoke, not to eat red meat, and other nonsensical warnings. Where did this thing come from?!
PREVUES OF COMING ATTRACTIONS - The familiar swirling colors reel with that groovy 70s music. Aah, just seeing this makes my heart skip a beat!
ALL THIS AND WORLD WAR II - How can I explain this one?! Basically 20th Century Fox, the studio behind such bombs as MYRA BRECKINRIDGE, takes that film's thoughts of combining the old Hollywood with the new. Yes, this is the infamous oddity with vintage WWII footage, film clips, and newsreels scored by Beatles cover songs! It seems there's very little rhyme or reason explaining why certain clips and songs are included, but this is one I wish would hit video sometime. It apparently has never appeared on home video anywhere, but a soundtrack LP was released. The cover artists include Tina Turner, Ambrosia, The Bee Gees, David Essex, The Four Seasons, Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Keith Moon, Helen Reddy, Leo Sayer, The Status Quo, Rod Stewart, and Frankie Valli; see clips of Richard Burton, Milton Berle, Warner Oland, Jimmy Durante, Gregory Peck, James Cagney, Sessue Hayakawa, Hitler (!), and other Hollywood stars get egg thrown in their face with this kooky documentary.
BLACULA - One of the best blaxploitation films of the 1970s, hands-down. Despite the kooky title, this is a creepy 70s updating of the Dracula legend, with African prince William Marshall rising from his uncovered coffin to claim the reincarnation of wife Vonetta McGee! Brief clips of The Hues Corporation are heard, and 50s singer Kitty Lester is seen in her two scene-stealing sequences, including her infamous slow-motion attack of Elisha Cook, Jr.! With Thalmus Rasulala and Denise Nicholas. Everyone should have the gorgeous MGM DVD in their collection.
LOLA - More popularly known as BEYOND EROTICA, this is one amazing Eurotrash relic! Lovely Andrea Rau (DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS) is the title character, abducted by sexual sadist David Hemmings and forced into a submissive animal state on his private island. Someone release this on DVD now! Alida Valli is in the cast somewhere, too. Rau gives a sexy, believable performance, and is just as enticing as she was in DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS. Released by Joseph Brenner over here in the 70s, the trailer also features stock music familiar from DEADLY WEAPONS!
SISTER STREETFIGHTER - The conclusion to the Japanese STREET FIGHTER series, this is the entry which has appeared on home video almost always in a very cut form. The trailer highlights the incredible stuntwork, including a fork being thrown into an offending hand, a man thrown into a wall, a climb up a tall building, and plenty of sharp weapons slamming into chests, heads, and other body parts. One amazing sequence has "Sister" jumping into the air and levitating there battling her steel-clawed opponent in mid-air! Sonny Chiba of course co-stars to help "Sister" kick major ass. I'm a sucker for any movie with women kicking ass, and this looks like one of the best!
MAD MACHINE - Another rare theatrical advertisement for patrons to work out their frustrations on the Mad Machine in the lobby. So instead of beating up your wife or your boss, you can stroll down to the local bijou and try out this gizmo. Have no idea what it is, but I'd take out some stress on this baby!
THE WONDERFUL LAND OF OZ - Barry Mahon's eye-popping kiddie matinee classic starring his son as Tip, who created Jack Pumpkinhead to scare his evil Aunt Mombi(!). See beautiful drum majorettes wreak havoc in the city of Oz, a mechanical cow's head blinking giant oversized eyelashes, wooden performances right out of the Redwoods, and hear one of the goofiest theme songs you'll ever hear. Run out and get Something Weird's DVD of this head-scratching absurdity, double-featured with the equally inane JACK AND THE BEANSTALK.
BIG DOG LOST - Awww, this is cute... A giant Marmaduke dog named Big Jeeter runs away from his rich owner and befriends a young orphan boy Buster who saves him from the streets. The chemistry between the kid and the mutt is very strained, and the dubbing is hilarious! I wonder where this one ended up?
BLESS THE BEASTS AND CHILDREN - Damn you NRA! See Billy Mumy, a long way from "Lost in Space" with long hippy hair and a goatee at age 17 (!), and a TV show host cross-examine a gun club president about killing buffalo! Just seeing this trailer made me sick, lots of Mondo-movie moments of buffalos being shot in cold blood for sport. The Carpenters' theme song is better-known than the movie itself.
PRELUDE TO HAPPINESS - A painfully low-budget drama about a girl who has her leg amputated. Real tearjerker material, eh? You'd think so, but with the low-rent local theater performances, goofy melodramatic dialogue, and the apparent lack of any kind of discernible plot. And check out the cameo by the boom mike! Someone unearth this bizarre low-budget curio now!
THE DIARY OF KNOCKERS MCCALLA - Another Barry Mahon monstrosity shot in good ol' New York City. The casting should be of interest; "Knockers McCalla" is played by the same actress who had a fight with Jake LaMotta via crude insert footage in CONFESSIONS OF A PSYCHO CAT! You know, the one who makes out with her own mirror image and has weird-looking breasts. One of the actors was a NYC nudie regular whose name I can't remember. The library music score and dumb dialogue make this a must-find lost film! The trailer is preceded by a goofily graphic Old Chelsea Theatre "Coming Soon" title card.
THE STREET FIGHTER'S LAST REVENGE - The third STREET FIGHTER film starring Sonny Chiba, who is currently enjoying a second career life via his excellent supporting role in KILL BILL VOL. 1. Plenty of gory fight footage (including a blood-spitting kick to the head, multiple painful groin kicks, machine gun battles, and a man burned alive in a giant furnace), which is what kept 42nd Street audiences coming in droves, and that wonderful fuzz guitar theme song.
THE AMAZING DR. CHICKEN - A very bizarre Bible Belt drive-in ad for a local chicken restaurant chain. Why don't YOU order in from the doctor?
ABBA THE MOVIE - I gotta see this Holy Grail of 70s rock group movies! Before SPICE WORLD, there was a similar venture with the Swedish pop group ABBA. I absolutely adore Benny, Agnetha, Anni-Frid, and Bjorn and their music is very dear to my heart, so I wish someone would release this on DVD sometime soon. With plenty of live performance footage by the group, you also get to see them act and speak in ENGLISH (!) and a minor plot point has a reporter making it his life's goal to get an interview with the supergroup. The trailer misnames Agnetha "Anyana"?!
BUMMER - Here it is, Dave Friedman's worst film. The musical score isn't bad, and the cast is fun for drive-in aficionados (including Carol Speed), but the story of a rock group, their sexual escapades with dumb groupies, and their bass player losing his marbles is nothing special. The movie's title is a right-on summation of the film, too.
THE TOUCHABLES - OK, where is this film? Why have I never heard of it? A trippy kitschy 60s artifact from the Swinging UK, a quartet of beautiful women kidnap a rock star and transport him their bubble-like dome dwelling, where they keep him satisfied with sex, drugs, and mind-expanding adventures. The beautiful women are Judy Huxtable, Esther Anderson, Kathy Simmonds, and Marilyn Rickard, all gorgeous model-types. Even if the trailer is better than the movie, this is one very entertaining preview filled with groovy visuals, women with guns, free love, and a superb psychedelic theme song. Get this on DVD pronto, somebody!
TEENAGE GANG DEBS - This one isn't listed on the DVD cover, but this is a better-looking print than the usual version you've seen. Hyperbole-driven narration ("The go go girls who go...too far!") plays over outstanding footage of catfights, femmes with switchblades, biker cats blazing down New York's streets, and dance numbers. One of the shining moments of New York City exploitation, be sure to add Something Weird's DVD to your collection.
THE GIRL, THE BODY, AND THE PILL - One of Herschell Gordon Lewis' least-seen exploitation mini-masterpieces, the trailer is hosted by cutie-patootie Nancy Lee Noble (SHE-DEVILS ON WHEELS, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT) who explains the movie's plot: a new teacher at the local high school gets into trouble for teaching her class about sex and emphasizing birth control. Noble is adorable, with her peculiar Southern accent and perky personality really winning over the audience. After appearing in Lewis' films (and acting head and shoulders above the usual Lewis leading ladies), she migrated to California and dropped the "Lee" from her moniker to appear in such classics as JACKSON COUNTY JAIL and CHESTY ANDERSON USN. Wherever she is now, she is missed.
THE SWITCHEROO - This one looks like a keeper! A group of beautiful women vacationing on a yacht find that their trip to Tahiti was really a trap laid by a sadist who wishes to have his sexual way with each one of them! I really want to see this; there's lots of whipping, lesbian scenes, dry humping and writhing, and big boobs dangling in exotic dance numbers.
THE BODYGUARD - I remember a clip from this appeared in Frank Henenlotter's BASKET CASE (the same clip of the nunchuku-wielding student appears here). Distributed by sleaze mavens Aquarius, this Sonny Chiba actioner opens with innocent bystanders being gunned down outside an office building. Some New York City footage is cool time capsule material! Sonny Chiba returns to whip plenty of ass, fighting drug trafficking with nothing but his fists. Lots of beautiful women either parade before the cameras or are terrorized by bad guys. One guy is punched so hard his teeth fall out!! Viva Chiba!
REAL LIFE - Albert Brooks hosts this very funny preview to his obscure film REAL LIFE. He explains that the ad will be in 3-D and goofs around with the audience. I don't know what happened to this film, but I've always loved Albert's sense of humor and would definitely see this based on the off-the-wall trailer.
STUNT ROCK - I thought I was seeing a Spinal Tap concert while watching this! Lots of light shows, big hair, and stupid stunts during a heavy metal concert immediately recalled the Stonehenge debacle from SPINAL TAP! Sure, there's lots of stunts and loud music, which would probably sell really well even today, but this looked more irritating than anything else.
CAN HIERONYMOUS MERKIN FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE HAPPINESS? - I don't think I could ever sit through this one based on description alone. Four words: Anthony Newley ego trip. Despite the rave reviews quoted in this ad, I've heard plenty otherwise. No footage is every shown, merely lots of hyperbole to entice people into the theater to see an X-rated movie.
USE THE BACK DOOR - Another lost skinflick starring personal favorite Diana Lewis, she of Milligan's FLESHPOT ON 42ND STREET. You also get to see Kim Pope in a lesbian scene and lots of crotch-rubbing! One woman masturbates with a Pepsi bottle; I don't think the company would approve of the product placement...
THE SEVEN BROTHERS MEET DRACULA - The outrageous concept of Hammer's Dracula films clashing with the Shaw Brothers' martial arts genre was a whacky idea that was surprisingly successful with this one-shot deal between the two studios. Peter Cushing is in this, believe it or not, and lots of scary-looking Chinese vampires, rubber bats, cool resurrection scenes, nude Asian chicks, boiling blood, moist gore effects, and more entertainment than one movie can handle!!! If you haven't seen this one yet, what are you waiting for?!
KISS THE GIRLS AND MAKE THEM DIE - An Italian spy movie which is said to be the worst of the popular 60s subgenre. That being said, it features lots of kitschy visuals, Mike "Mannix" "Touch" Connors as the hero, silly fight sequences, and beautiful femme fatales, so it can't be ALL bad, can it? I'd watch it, that's for sure. Lots of banana peels being thrown around!
THE MOLESTERS - God does this look sick! A film made of "true crime" vignettes highlighting pedophiles, child molesters, and impregnated 12-year-old girls. Yecccch! One boy accuses a homosexual of molesting him and points out a mole on his inner pubic region (!), a sadist beats teen girls, a voyeur steals young skinnydipping teens' underwear, and a slimy neighbor gives a young girl a bath and impregnates her in her sleep!!
THE CANDY SNATCHERS - Hands-down the most underrated exploitation film of the 1970s, and one that has stayed undeservedly obscure for too long. I pray each night that the DVD Gods will deliver this to the digital format sometime soon, with oodles of extras. The trailer accents all the nastiness in the film to good effect, but glosses over the superb performances, unexpected plot twists, vicious supporting characters, and just how damn well made this film is. Tiffany Bolling should have a long career in top-notch Hollywood productions after this one. If you like the trailer, you'll without a doubt love the full-length movie! Beg, borrow, or steal this movie!
THE TELEPHONE BOOK - A tres obscure independent New York City production which was just recently given a retrospective in Bill Landis' Sleazoid Express magazine. The trailer explains it as a quirky love story between a lonely girl and an obscene phone caller, and that enough gives me reason to see it. This preview is too short, but is better seen as a teaser for a strange low-budget feature well ahead of its time.
VOODOO HEARTBEAT - The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film's review of this film has had me seeking this on video for ages! The trailer is packed with voodoo rites, a ridiculous Elvis-look vampire in a business suit and with long sideburns, gloppy gore effects, a spy subplot, and God-awful acting and dialogue! Gotta get this on DVD soon!
EXORCIST II: THE HERETIC - It's Hollywood gone 42nd Street. A trailer set to a score of boys choir-gone-disco and frantic editing of images of locusts, Richard Burton, Linda Blair, and Louise Fletcher camping it up, goofy light effects, a "what-the-hell?" stage musical number, a giant monster, psychiatric experiments, and more scenes too embarrassing for words. Maybe I should give this flick a chance....?
DEVIL WOMAN - This abbreviated version of the familiar DEVIL WOMAN/DRAGONS NEVER DIE trailer, I'll never get tired of this Hong Kong version of the Medusa legend. A beautiful girl with venomous snakes for hair seeks revenge for those who wronged her by burning down her house and humiliating her. Plenty of snakes to make you queasy!
BRUKA QUEEN OF EVIL - This, ladies and gentlemen, is the best trailer on the entire disc. Has anyone ever seen this film anywhere?! It looks right up the alley of Mondo Macabro, a film packed with snakes, witches, a band of evil midgets, rock monsters, kung fu, scantily-clad damsels in distress, snakes, lesbians, a Medusa woman, vampires, snakes, giant bat monsters, beautiful Chinese scenery, walking trees, flying stunts, a giant snake with a woman's head, human sacrifices, and did I mention snakes?! If I don't see this film released soon, I'm gonna scream!
OLGA'S DANCE HALL GIRLS - Opening with the familiar acid-swirl art from THE WEIRD WORLD OF LSD, this trailer for the last "unofficial" entry in the OLGA series is better than the movie. See beautiful Linda Boyce (NYC nudie regular), lovely blonde Uta Erickson (my personal fetish figure), and bizarre Satanic rituals. The latter only makes up the last 5 minutes of the movie, which is dominated by dialogue about recruiting horny housewives into Olga's exclusive club.
THE SIN SYNDICATE - A badly dubbed preview for this pretty poor Findlay production. Before they hit their stride with TAKE ME NAKED, the Findlays pumped out trash like this for various producers. This one, also known as ZERO GIRLS, follows a group of prostitutes involved with a crime ring who threaten to testify against their mob bosses in court and are tortured and threatened after telling their life stories. Darlene Bennett is in this one, but there's not much else to recommend about it.
THE WILD WORLD OF BATWOMAN - Another trailer better than the feature. Jerry Warren's incredibly stupid copyright-infringing action adventure flick is boring, unfunny, and overlong, but the trailer has the best parts: that goofy Batwoman costume and go-go dancing.
SWEET SUGAR - God, yet another 70s classic that should be on DVD already! Busty, beautiful, and a superior actress, Phyllis Davis plays Sugar, a prostitute who sleeps with the wrong politician and is thrown in a South American jail. Black beauty Ella Edwards is her fellow inmate who helps plan their escape. Nasty whippings, lots of sex, women kicking ass, machete-wielding maidens, and an insane action-packed finale make this a must-see "women in prison" masterpiece!
THE SADIST - Man is this a rough one... Who knew Arch Hall had it in him, especially after the abysmal EEGAH! and WILD GUITAR? Director Nicholas Merriwether (aka Arch Hall, Sr.) introduces the trailer before proceeding to show clips from the film, with Arch Jr. as a sadistic teen criminal who holds a gang of innocent bystanders hostage at a broken-down gas station with the help of his vixen partner-in-crime. There's a vicious catfight, horrific gun battles, and suspenseful chase scenes and assaults. Hall really gets into his role, scaring the hell out of the viewers and pulling out all the stops in what should have led to better roles in bigger productions instead of him wallowing in his daddy's crud like THE NASTY RABBIT and DEADWOOD 76.
MOVIE STAR, AMERICAN STYLE OR LSD I HATE YOU - All of Albert Zugsmith's 60s mindblowers seem to have disappeared, but at least we have the trailers reminding us just how whacked out the man must have been by this time! In this one, a Marilyn Monroe-imitator, a tough guy James Dean-type actor, and a beautiful Queen of Hollywood actress all experiment with LSD at a Hollywood part and have various kooky adventures. The trailer is tinted in beautiful colors, awkwardly dubbed, and makes not one lick of sense. How could you not want to see it?
MUSICAL MUTINY - Yep, another Barry Mahon messterpiece. A concert headlined by The Iron Butterfly (two years after their prime) is the highlight, but also see local Florida garage bands like The New Society Band, The Fantasy, and The Grit. It was all shot at Pirate's Island Amusement Park, where Mahon worked booking musical acts for the stage. Another one which I wish would come out on DVD soon; until then, Something Weird offers this on VHS and DVD-R. The narrator has a strange talk with a young girl at the finale of the preview...
ZABRISKIE POINT - Michaelangelo Antonioni's egotistical head trip movie was quite popular when it came out in 1969, but years later, it's more of a misfire than anything else. Hell, the Pink Floyd soundtrack has endured longer than the movie! You will learn nothing of this plotless comment on 60s youth from the trailer, but I'd see it based on the beautiful cinematography and senseless sex and violence emblazoned across the screen.
DOLEMITE - I don't much care for this Rudy Ray Moore blaxploitation blockbuster, but the trailer itself is one entertaining relic. Rudy Ray narrates the preview himself, over footage of his bad kung fu moves, grotesque sex scenes with the female cast, hilarious foul-mouthed dialogue, and non-stop action. Skip the movie and wallow in this excellent trailer!
COONSKIN - Another one I can't believe was released, and I'm not surprised is missing in action on DVD. Ralph Bakshi's tres controversial animated feature stars Miss America, a big-busted cartoon chick, and I still don't know what it's about, but the trailer paints a pretty off-the-wall Bakshi universe I'd like to see preserved on DVD.
JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL - OK, what is this doing here?! Well, it's definitely one of the most embarrassing films of the 70s, with an all-seagull cast dubbed by celebs who loved the best-selling novel. The Neil Diamond score is quite irritating, but the photography is beautiful. I just wish I cared whether the seagulls got into a pecking fight, or whether they got to eat enough trash to survive. With some really bad shots of a fake seagull in front of a blue screen.
KRAKATOAN WEDDING CEREMONY - Think you've seen everything? You ain't seen nothin' like this! A fake reporter (for "69 Minutes". hardy-har-har) is on-location shooting a native wedding ceremony played by shirtless white guys and gals. The bride shouts "Fuck me babe" before the fat groom jumps on top of her and screws her to high heaven! It's one of the funniest things I've ever seen!
I have no word whether this disc will be part of a series, but here's hoping there's more where this came from! Gary Huggins, I salute you and thank you for the most entertaining spin my DVD player has had in ages! One of my favorite discs of 2004!
TRAILER TRASH is only available through Gary Huggins' Chucky Lou A/V Club, so youn can order it by clicking HERE. This is a very limited edition of 500 copies and if you're a regular reader of DVD Drive-In, you CANNOT be without one! (Casey Scott)
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