Judge John Floyd likes New Release Tuesday and Hi-Def Thursday well enough, but he prefers Misty Mundae.
"How much flesh could a woodchipper chip if a woodchipper could chip flesh?"
Movie trailers almost always show you the best parts of the films they advertise, and are often more entertaining than those films. So what could be better than a collection of big-breasted, blood-drenched previews for drive-in and direct-to-video flicks that you never actually have to see to know they're terrible? Frankly, not much.
Facts of the Case
With its two-disc Trailer Trash! release, Camp Motion Pictures presents over five hours of trailers for some of the sleaziest, sexiest, and slimiest exploitation films ever produced. Disc One is devoted to gory horror and sadistic action films; Disc Two is a veritable cornucopia of softcore pornography previews from the last four decades.
Trailer Trash! is really a video catalog of features available from Alternative Cinema, LLC, the parent company of all of the various distributors whose names make up the category options on the menu screens. The featured trailers are grouped under their distributor's company heading and can be played individually or as part of that particular line's "vault" of titles, an organizational structure that keeps like films together (and ensures that you won't see the same trailers as in other, similar collections) but undermines some of the fun. Personally, I prefer to see a retrospective like this presented as a single, continuous documentary with an option to view individual titles (a la 42nd Street Forever and its sequels) rather than broken up into subcategories which must be individually selected by the viewer. That quibble aside, there's plenty for the bad movie lover to enjoy here.
Disc One features some real treats. Fans of vintage drive-in schlock will be thrilled by previews for such camp classics as Al Adamson's revenge western Five Bloody Graves, Bruno Mattei's hyper-misogynistic Women's Prison Massacre, and the unforgettable adventures of a 300-pound homicidal overeater known affectionately as "Fat Ethel," Criminally Insane (all on the Retro Shock-O-Rama label). Disturbed children of the '80s will get a kick out of trailers for homemade horrors with hand-drawn title screens and cable access histrionics like Cannibal Campout and Video Violence, as well as Truth or Dare auteur Tim Ritter's ode to marital fidelity, Killing Spree (each available under the Camp Motion Pictures banner). Digital-age deviants will love the coming attractions reels for shot-on-video fare like Chainsaw Sally, Bacterium, and Creature From The Hillbilly Lagoon (from the Shock-O-Rama vault). Guts and gore abound on this disc, while competent performances and professional production values are (thankfully) nowhere to be found.
Change discs and you'll be assaulted by a seemingly endless barrage of sex, from the early and relatively innocent (Doris Wishman's nudist-camp crime caper Hideout In The Sun) to the grindhouse graphic (Joe Sarno's Laura's Toys) to the contemporary late-night cable carnal (House on Hooter Hill). Though the cumulative effect of watching so many of these trailers back-to-back is anything but erotic (Seduction Cinema should seriously consider changing its moniker to "Carbon Copy Lesbian Vampire Films, Inc."), the overview of the history of softcore cinema it provides is actually fairly interesting to the underground film enthusiast. With respect to Misty Mundae and her contemporaries, the older trailers on this second disc are the more enjoyable, both for the historic value (if that is the correct word) of the films featured, and the shot-on-film, tattoo- and silicone-free authenticity of their Sexual Revolution-era hedonism. Plus, a couple of the movies star porn legend Harry Reems, and how can you go wrong with him?
There are no extras here, unless you count the "Ordering Instructions" and "How To Order a Catalog" options on the menu screens. A couple of the films are identified in the menus by a different title than appears in the trailer itself, likely due to the regular exploitation practice of renaming and re-releasing such films to maximize profits. One preview actually repeats shot-for-shot but with two different titles (Dracula's Dirty Daughter and Lust at First Bite), and several of Miss Mundae's trailers appear both under their distributor's heading and in the "Misty Mundae Vault" section. As one would expect with a collection of trailers spanning more than forty years, the video quality fluctuates between excellent and fair. Surprisingly, however, the audio on some of the more recent, direct-to-video trailers is very poor, while all of the older promos sound just fine.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
The benefit of watching a bad movie trailer is that you don't have to sit through the awful film in its entirety. Doesn't watching five straight hours of Z-grade film previews then seem just a bit counterintuitive? No matter how academic you endeavor to be in your viewing of Disc Two, you're likely to feel a bit like a pervert after sitting through nearly two-and-a-half hours of non-stop lesbian and simulated sex clips, and even the most unapologetic erotic horror fan will be thoroughly sick of Sapphic vampire scenes before all is said and done. Be forewarned, too, that even if you've never seen a Darian Caine or Anoushka direct-to-video sex romp in your life (and I haven't, I swear!), you'll be so familiar with these and other regular Seduction Cinema starlets after watching this set that you'll wonder if you shouldn't add them to your Christmas card list.
Trailer Trash! is far from a perfect collection of exploitation movie trailers, but it has enough garbage gems and sleazy surprises to satisfy the die-hard cult film lover. Whether you want to laugh at the ineptitude of the films on display, admire the ambitiousness of the no-budget moguls who created them, or simply shop for new titles for your own trash DVD collection, this set is an agreeable time-waster. At the very least, it's a lesser but worthy companion piece to other, similar releases of recent years.
Gratuitous nudity and stomach-churning gore, delivered in 30-second doses without any pesky narrative to follow? Grammatically challenged, grim-voiced narrators promising scenes of unprecedented depravity and extolling the deviant virtues of salacious shockers you've never even heard of before? Garage gore effects created with food coloring and raw meat? Misty Mundae, Harry Reems, and Fat Ethel on the same DVD? What's the crime here? This set is not guilty!
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Studio: Camp Motion Pictures
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