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June 27, 2011

Movie Review: Trailers From Hell Volume II (2011)

Joe Dante's had an interesting career. He started his 30 plus year journey in film by creating theatrical trailers for Roger Corman. This then brought him some directorial opportunities for some of finest genre films of all time (Gremlins, Piranha and The Howling). Dante's worked with the likes of Spielberg and Tom Hanks as well. Pretty impressive, I think. The director's never forgotten his roots and the films that made him what he is. If your not aware of Trailers from Hell, it's a website devoted to movie trailers mainly of the cult film variety with an interesting touch: Commentaries are played over each trailer by some of the best directors and writers in the game today. It's turned out to be quite a fun mix . The folks at Shout! Factory saw fit to compile 20 of these trailers on what is now the second volume of the series.

Buy Trailers From Hell! Vol. 2 on DVD

Roger Corman and his insight on Ski Troop Attack and Premature Burial are included. Corman also weighs in on Little Shop of Horrors in the special features. Jack Hill, another notable genre director comments over his film Pit stop where he claims it's one of the last black and white action films. Brian Trenchard-Smith (Escape 2000, Stunt Rock, Man from Hong Kong) starts the program off with his take on Devil Ship Pirates and Stranglers in Bombay. Smith makes it a point to mention the massive rack-age on one of the actresses that is thankfully on display in the preview. I like this guy!

Much like Dante, John Landis is another fellow whose had some fine success with mainstream cinema but still seems to have his heart in horror and cheesy monster flicks. Gorgo is Landis' choice. Landis is one of the better talents on the DVD to give his recollections - primarily of when he was a young man enjoying Gorgo for the first time.

Hellboy director, Guillermo Del Toro, shows a lot enthusiasm in his selections - Deep Red (English and Spanish language trailers) and The Hunchback from Notre Dame. Del Toro has an interesting observation on Argento and how it seems he "gets off" on what he portrays on screen. On the Notre Dame trailer Del Toro brought a chuckle out of me when he compared the look of the hunchback to that of another Spanish talent, Javier Bardem.

One of the extra features on this disc that may be the biggest surprise of any supplement on any release this year is a lovely anamorphic wide-screen transfer of the original Little Shop of Horrors. This movie has been public domained to death with shoddy releases. This however, is not the case. Shout's Little Shop of Horrors is the best presentation of the film EVER. The materials are in great quality and there’s been some sound restoration work here. Also included is the theatrical trailer (with Roger's commentary).

The Trailers From Hell website continues to accumulate commentaries over trailers by various industry talents as we speak. Could that mean we’ll see more volumes from Dante and Shout! Factory? I sure hope so, these really are a blast to watch and certainly a treat for trailer geeks like myself.

(Screencaps provided by

1 comment:

  1. This is a great compilation and is worthy of your time and money!