For those of you who may be wondering what Trailers From Hell is but have taken the time to read this review, you are about to be introduced to what will probably be one of your new favourite sites. Trailers From Hell is a site for people who love films, made by people who love films (and make films). Conceived and created by the likes of director Joe Dante, Trailers From Hell draws on the knowledge of a variety of gurus (generally notable genre directors) who provide commentaries for film trailers.
The Trailers From Hell website can be found here and I can highly recommend you check it out, if you haven’t already. Make sure you have a few hours to spare before clicking on the link though.
In addition to the site, a DVD was released last year by TFH which collected together a number of these trailer commentaries and although a great release it did not add too much to what was already available on the site. For the the second volume though, TFH have filled the disc with a selection of trailers and commentaries exclusive to the DVD release, thereby making it more of a special one off release.
The selection of film trailers is absolutely fantastic and the gurus brought in to comment on them provide a lot of background information on the films and their trailers. The commentaries are never just dry and factual though and filmmakers such as John Landis, Brian Trenchard-Smith and Joe Dante have great senses of humour and this shines through in their commentaries.
On this new volume Trenchard-Smith’s commentaries on two Hammer oddities, Devil Ship Pirates and Stranglers of Bombay, are almost certainly my personal favourites but listening to Del Toro speak about his love of Argento (delivered in both English and Spanish) is also an absolute treat and Corman’s recollections of the production of Ski Troop Attack and Premature Burial are also both amusing and insightful.
The disc allows the viewer the option of either watching the trailers with the commentaries/talking heads included or on their own and the option to play all or jump to a particular trailer. The play all function with the commentaries switched on is the way to go as they are incredibly moreish and like the famous BBC mission statement they constantly inform, educate and entertain.
Perhaps appropriately the extra feature on this disc of what could be considered a compilation of extra features is an actual feature film. Presented in a new anamorphic widescreen transfer, the original Little Shop of Horrors is included as a bonus on the disc. This early feature from Corman is a lot of fun and features a particularly memorable performance from a young Jack Nicholson. The print is the best I’ve seen the film look and it’s surprising how enduringly entertaining the film is. A great addition to an already hugely entertaining release.
Trailers From Hell Volume Two is available to buy on DVD from Shout! Factory on the 5th of July and will hopefully be followed by a Volume Three very very soon.
Please note that this disc is Region 1.
A full list of the guests and the trailers can be found below,
Roger Corman on trailers for Ski Troop Attack and Premature Burial.
Joe Dante on Donovan’s Brain and The Invisible Ghost.
Guillermo Del Toro on Deep Red and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Ernest Dickerson on The Creeping Unknown.
Mick Garris on Fire Maidens from Outer Space and Flesh Gordon.
Jack Hill on Pit Stop.
Larry Karaszewski on Last Summer and The Tenant.
Lloyd Kaufman on Terror Firmer.
Mary Lambert on Godzilla vs. Mothra.
John Landis on Gorgo.
Josh Olson on Jaws and The Lineup.
Michael Peyser on Seven Days in May.
Brian Trenchard-Smith on Devil Ship Pirates and Stranglers of Bombay.