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Case Number 21684: Small Claims Court

Buy Trailers From Hell! Volume 2 at Amazon

Trailers From Hell! Volume 2

Shout! Factory // 2011 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Russell Engebretson (Retired) // July 1st, 2011

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All Rise...

Judge Russell Engebretson has always known Gorgo could open a can of whoopass on Godzilla's scaly butt.

The Charge

Any movie can be great in two minutes!

The Case

As the astute reader will have already guessed, Trailers From Hell! Volume 2 is Shout! Factory's second DVD collection of movie trailers. As in the first volume, a director or other film industry personage provides a commentary for each trailer.

Here's the trailer and commentary rundown for the disc:

Commentary by Brian Trenchard Smith
Devil Ship Pirates
Stranglers of Bombay

Commentary by Ernest Dickerson
The Creeping Unknown

Commentary by Guillermo Del Toro
Deep Red
Deep Red (Spanish)
Hunchback of Notre Dame '57

Commentary by Joe Dante
Donovan's Brain
The Invisible Ghost

Commentary by Jack Hill
Pit Stop

Commentary by John Landis

Commentary by Josh Olson
The Lineup

Commentary by Larry Karaszewski
Last Summer
The Tenant

Commentary by Lloyd Kaufman
Terror Firmer

Commentary by Mick Garris
Flesh Gordon
Fire Maidens of Outer Space

Commentary by Mary Lambert
Godzilla vs Mothra

Commentary by Michael Peyser
Seven Days in May

Commentary by Roger Corman
Premature Burial
Ski Troop Attack

The majority of the trailers are for movies from the early sixties from studios like American International Pictures and Hammer Films, with a scattering of non-horror cult films such as Seven Days in May, Last Summer, and The Lineup. Many of the commentaries are fascinating, with plenty of juicy trivia; a couple are not much more than plugs for the movies by their respective directors (Pit Stop, for instance). Even the self-promotion is okay, since these are very obscure movies and may very well be deserving of a wider audience (maybe not in the case of Terror Firmer, which, judging from the trailer, should be burned for posterity).

One might ask, what's the point of owning a DVD of material that can be viewed for free on the Internet? Well, possibly the better quality image, and you can delight in the ownership of a shiny silver disc, too. If you're the correct age (old as dirt), you can flashback to your childhood multiple times—even without an Internet connection; and you can choose any handy TV with a DVD player to experience the ecstasy of nostalgia without the agony of sitting through the whole godawful movie.

Actually, there is a full-length "cult classic" on the disc you may feel obligated to watch, Roger Corman's The Little Shop of Horrors. As a huge added bonus, the extra is a full-length feature film (just as in Bizarro World, trailers are the main feature and the movie is an extra). I thought it was the height of dark comedy when I was ten or eleven years old and saw it for the first time at a grungy indoor theater. My brain matter has accumulated a few more gyri and sulci since then, which likely accounts for my present-day opinion that this is a pretty bad movie filled with juvenile malapropisms, cheap sets and props, clumsy edits, and many painful acting moments. On the up side, it sports a wonderful score, in particular the opening theme, a sort of hard bop jazz number that is startlingly good. I don't know if it was written by Fred Katz or the uncredited Ronald Stein, but the music is now the highlight of the movie for me.

A single view of Trailers From Hell! Volume 2 was fun, which makes it worth a rental. It's probably not worth a purchase unless you're a collector of this kind of movie memorabilia.

The Verdict

Free to go.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 72

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
• None
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Comedy
• Documentary
• Horror

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Film


• IMDb
• Trailers From Hell

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