HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
Wing Commander
Look Back in Anger
Early Man
Killdozer
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 

Grindhouse Trailers

  What is the purpose of a trailer? To make the viewer want to see the film it advertises, of course, and in the nineteen-seventies as censorship rules were relaxed there appeared a new breed of trailers to bring the latest exploitation movies to the public. These minute or two minute long bursts of energy were designed to whet the appetite, and in the United States cutting them together from the raw materials of the actual movie became quite a skill in itself.

Thus these previews had no qualms about giving away major plot points, or spoilers as we would call them nowadays, as long as whatever footage they employed made the product look as exciting as possible. In practice this meant packing them with shots of every scene with a car chase, a fist fight, a sex scene or nudity, gunfights, and more, as if to say (usually in a very deep voiceover) look, here's a movie that will finally live up to all the hype we're throwing in your face, no matter if actually watching the thing would rarely amount to as an exciting experience as promised by the advertising campaign. These were not always for American flicks either, as European and Asian efforts received the same treatment.

Sometimes you would get lucky, and find a gem among the dross, but for those with a taste for such screen antics it was always worth investigating the more intriguing trailers to see if just this once you'd go along to the drive-in or the cheapest cinema in town and have your expectations met. Of course, for many seeing the trailers didn't matter quite as much as the distribution companies would have liked to think, as you were either going to go out on Saturday night to the movies or you weren’t, and what you got to watch there was not really all that important as long as you had some way of killing time with your buddies or your partner. Though if you were watching these in a British cinema, it was more likely you would have sought them out as something out of the ordinary than your American cousins might have.

Fast forward to the present day and these trailers are part and parcel of cult movie fans' appreciation of the grindhouse circuit and their entertainments, so no matter how much it is attempted to recreate that sense of the forbidden and the extreme, the modern imitators will always be that: the imitators. This makes the compilations of grindhouse trailers, a tradition which started way back in the eighties with such videocassettes as The Best of Sex and Violence or Sleazemania, something to be treasured, and Nucleus have been bringing out volumes of these under the Grindhouse Trailer Classics banner, the latest of which is the third.

On this disc you can marvel at how many of these pop culture artefacts feature car chases (driving on two wheels a speciality), or stewardesses, or bad dubbing, or female convicts, or are so concerned with presenting the highlights that they fail to make any sense whatsoever. There's a mixture of the slightly better known - Black Mama White Mama, Macon County Line, The Candy Snatchers, Terminal Island - with the very obscure, some with famous faces, others with nobodies, often ridiculous, at other instances patently not able to meet their promises, and all the better for setting the dedicated a challenge to track them down now that many are being released on Blu-ray and DVD. As extras, there are more trailers and an overview from genre expert Kim Newman, but mostly you can relax and amuse yourself at how over the top and at times hilariously oversold these movies were for around an hour and forty minutes. If you do decide to look further, there's a whole world of these cult items waiting.
Author: Graeme Clark.

 

< Back to Article list

Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: 31 March, 2018