They have many varying and wonderful names – cult films, exploitation, drive-in, midnight movies – but whatever you call them, the ‘b’ movies of the 60s, 70s and 80s represent a time of remarkable freedom and adventure in cinema. Typically, this was done under restrictive budget pressure and often well outside the mainstream both in a commercial sense and in subject matter.
Marketing such works became an art form in itself. The advertising campaigns tended to latch on to one facet of each movie, be it the premise, the star or – far more often – the more lurid aspects. Sometimes the marketing became as notorious as the films themselves, such as the “Keep repeating to yourself, it’s only a movie…it’s only a movie…” tag line for 1972’s Last House On The Left.
That Wes Craven video nasty is one of the many, many, MANY titles whose trailers are included in the two volume Drive-In Delirium collection from Umbrella Entertainment. The hundreds of trailers are spread over two four-disc sets for a whopping total running time of nearly 24 hours. It’s a staggering assortment of everything from sex comedies to sci-fi schlock to European slasher flicks – all packed into trailers that run the gamut from brilliant to hilariously awful.
Well-known flicks are in attendance, such as Videodrome, Re-Animator and Friday the 13th , but the real fun is in the more obscure titles. If you cannot find dozens of new titles and desperately want to see them, then you must be dead inside.
The trailers are grouped into sections ranging from “Bad Muthas” (blaxploitation flicks) to “Chicks in Chains” (women in prison movies). There is a sly line in humour in some of these groupings, from stringing Jaws rip-offs together to having a section simply entitled, “Don’t!” that features trailers for Don’t Look in the Basement, Don’t Open the Window, Don’t Open the Door, Don’t Answer the Phone, Don’t Go in the House and Don’t Go Near the Park. Edgar Wright would approve.
The knowing approach even extends to the packaging, where a disclaimer notes that, “There may be imperfections in picture quality inherent to the original masters which will only enhance your grindhouse viewing experience.”
The trailers are often hilarious and often grapple with the silliness of their own subjects’ conceits. The trailer for the Michael Caine thriller The Hand seems acutely embarrassed by the concept while Night of the Lepus trailer somehow manages to hide the fact that the monsters are, well, giant bunny rabbits.
Obviously, watching hundreds and hundreds of trailers for often terrible films gets tiring pretty quickly, so Drive-In Delirium is definitely best experienced in bite-sized chunks. And as background at a party, it is hard to beat. Glorious stuff for any cult film fan.
Runs for 703 minutes and contains the following exploitation sub-genres: “Chicks In Chains”,”New World Nuggets”, “Psychic Terror”, “Undead and Loving It”, Bad Muthas”, “Read ’em Their Rights”, “Ninja Fu”, “Nature Gone Wild”, “Stalk n Slash”, “An Eye For An Eye”, “Shaken Not Stirred”, “Pop the Clutch” and “Tune In. Turn On. Drop Out”.
Runs for 711 minutes and contains: “Giallo A-Go-Go”, “We Are Going To Eat You”, “Don’t”, “British Blood & Bosoms”, “Sexy for Satan”, “A Fistful of Euros”, “Satan Made Me Do It”, “Spooked”, “The Creature Wasn’t Nice”, “Cosmic Carnage & Funked=Up Futures” and “The Hard Naked Truth”.
DIRECTOR(S): Various | COUNTRY: Various | YEAR 2010 | DISTRIBUTOR(S): Umbrella Entertainment | RUNNING TIME: 1414 minutes | ASPECT RATIO: 16:9 | REGION: 4 | DISCS: 8