There are certainly some evenings where I know exactly what I want to watch. The preselected entertainment may be cult, fright, Sci-fi, or chop-socky in nature, but sometimes eighty to one hundred and twenty minutes of low budget ambition is simply too much of a good thing. Very often, my ADD addled brain requires bite sized chunks of retro cheese, strung together in rapid succession. YouTube has my back, granting fee access to any number of monstrous trailer mayhem, and I've cruised it for countless hours. However, no matter how much time I spend, success relies heavily on what I've already seen. If you're looking to be exposed to fresh vintage fare like I am, the best thing you can do is dig into quality retro trailer compilations.
The most interesting, and highest quality coming attraction discs up till now are part of the 42nd Street Forever series from Synapse. There've been six DVD releases in the line and one extended Blu-ray, but even among them the clear standout was volume five: The Alamo Drafthouse Edition. That should come as no surprise, with (Alamo Drafthouse film curator) Tim League's passion for projection behind it. So when I found out about a new trailer compilation flying straight into my frontal lobe from Drafthouse Films, well let's just say that it tickled my curiosity. While I've extolled the many virtues of the 42nd Street Forever series over and over, this new release, Trailer War, is unmatched for it's collection of one hundred and thirteen minutes of incredibly rare vintage kitsch.
Here are a few of my favorites from the bunch (a more extensive list is below).
Dead End Drive-In
Voyage of the Rock Aliens
The Scaremaker aka Girl's Night Out
Sister Street Fighter
Don't Answer the Phone
Eunuch of the Western Palace
The Man From Hong Kong
The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob
Maniac Cop 2
Mr. No Legs
Who Saw Her Die?
World War of Kung Fu
This is just a partial list; there are far more available on the disc, including audio commentary by Alamo Drafthouse programmers Lars Nilson and Zach Carlson and an interview with director Joe Dante (whose YouTube channel Trailers from Hell is must subscribe material). I think of cheesy trailers like hor d'oeuvres: bite size delights that concentrate the best parts. Sometime you don't make it to dinner, filling up solely on these tasty morsels. Trailer War is the best wedding cocktail hour you've ever been to. Don't hold back; dig in!
Saturday Shock-O-Rama Streaming Suggestions
Want to watch something schlocky right now? Try on a few of these suggestions, available right now from the listed service (most of which are FREE!).
Netflix - The Thing with Two Heads - Campy Classic (1972)
Crackle - Outpost - Nazi Zombies! (2008)
And if you simply can't get enough horror happenings here on Mania, might I humbly suggest checking out Tuesday Terrors? It's got all the shocking news to keep you current (and possibly help you survive until the credits roll).
Chuck Francisco is a columnist and critic for Mania, writing Saturday's Shock-O-Rama, the weekly look into classic cult, horror and sci-fi. He is a co-curator of several repertoire film series at the world famous Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, PA. You can hear him drop nerd knowledge on weekly podcast You've Got Geek or think him a fool of a Took on Twitter.