Judge Russell Engebretson has always known Gorgo could open a can of whoopass on Godzilla's scaly butt.
Any movie can be great in two minutes!
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
Commentary by Ernest Dickerson
Commentary by Guillermo Del Toro
Commentary by Joe Dante
Commentary by Jack Hill
Commentary by John Landis
Commentary by Larry Karaszewski
Commentary by Lloyd Kaufman
Commentary by Mick Garris
Commentary by Mary Lambert
Commentary by Michael Peyser
Commentary by Roger Corman
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.
Free to go.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Shout! Factory
• Bonus Film
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