Review for Grindhouse Trailer Classics: Volume 3
What a freakin' blast! 55 slices of pure adulterated trailer trash. And before any pedants correct me, I chose these words with care. Here's the dictionary definition of adulterated: To make impure by adding extraneous, improper, or inferior ingredients. These 55 trailers (adding to the vast sleazy and salacious selections from volumes one and two) are pure magic to anyone with even a modicum of nostalgia for seventies sexploitation, blaxsploitation, nunspolitation, nazisploitation, WIP (women in prison), gore, slasher, schlock or just plain trash. And there are clearly a few of us about.
I was old enough for Russ Meyer cinema posters to catch my eye at the local flea-pit, but not old enough to go in and see them. The same was true of euro-vampire sleaze and saucy comedies with X-rated content. Had I actually made my way in (I think I managed to get into an airing of 'Rosie Dixon Night Nurse') I would inevitably have felt disappointed; not so much because the films weren't great (they usually weren't) but that the posters advertising them clearly were. I guess the same could be said of the trailers, had I been lucky enough to have seen some of those.
Of course I may well be doing many of the films in the genre a gross disservice. I defy anyone to not thoroughly enjoy Blaxploitation epic 'Foxy Brown' or Jean Rollins 'Lips of Blood' in all its poetic magnificence. But the fact that most the films advertised in these trailers would inevitably be less fun than the trailers themselves is, probably, something of a truism. Which is why it's so great that the fine folk at Nucleus have striven, on our behalf, as a mammoth labour of love, to collate the very finest of these into trailer collections. If they can do that for me, the least I can do is buy the lot. Which I have done. (Well, volumes two and three are on their way from my favourite e-tailer).
Anyway, enough procrastination. You don't need a lot of verbosity from me to persuade you to buy this set. Pictures speak a thousand words and frankly, if I was reading this review, and was convinced that this was for me, I would just stop reading round about now and place my order.
For the less convinced, lets dig a bit deeper into the veritable treasure trove of clips to be found on the single silver platter.
'Grindhouse' seems to have found its way into modern vocabulary thanks to Quentin Tarantino whose many films (including, err, 'Grindhouse' for example with its two features: Planet Terror and Death Proof) remain fairly faithful tribute to the genre. It' sactually a term that was used to describe the kind of sleazy single-screen cinema houses that moved in to replace strip-joints on 42nd street showing stag loops as alternatives to the live bump and grind burlesques so popular in the late 1940's / early 1950's.
During the 60's and 70's, in order to compete with TV, these theatres took to showing the kinds of movies you were never going to see on the box (well, until Channel 4 started showing them in the late 80's). These movies were generally sexy, violent or both. Poor production values were the norm and prints were often scratched or broken.
There are over 100 minutes of wall-to-wall coming soon features here in various states of disrepair, accurately invoking the scene (according to Kim Newman in his excellent introduction to the set). It's got it all - sexy Swedish wife-swapping parties, Blaxploitation, Nazi love camps, creatures from beyond the grave, redneck murder, rape and pillage, naked nuns and gals with guns.
Just in case your eyes deceive you, every bit as important to trailers was the narration - assuring you that you have NEVER seen anything like this, and warning you away from the cinema if you were easily shocked, whilst titillating you every inch of the way.
You can either watch attentively as I did, or maybe just loop 'em endlessly as you go about the daily grind. They're certainly worth a re-run or two as you're bound to miss something worthy first time through. They also make a great reference source for future purchases (I'm guessing about a third of the films here have made their way on to DVD as some point) and an excellent companion volume to the 'Something Weird' trailer loop I picked up some years ago.
If you like cinematic trash - then this is decidedly for you. Utterly essential.
Oh - and in the spirit of 'pictures speaking louder than words', here are a bunch of grabs that will do exactly that.