Once more, Garagehouse Pictures has assembled another magnificent gathering of movie trailers for fans of genre flicks to drool over. This time, however, they have put together something entirely (well, partly) different from previous trailer compilation outings: a Blu-ray devoted entirely to television spots for a variety of exploitation movies released to theaters over the course of several decades.
Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking, "An entire Blu-ray of nothing but TV spots?" Well, yes, dummy, that's exactly what this is! Sure, it may seem like a rather ambitious project to put together, but you have to admit, it's just unusual enough to warrant even the pique the curiosity of even the most exhausted preview purveyor (especially since they truly don't make 'em like they used to). Indeed, the amazing selection of odds and ends Garagehouse mustered up for this 181-minute title is impressive. And while the three-hour runtime may be considerably shorter than the previous Trailer Trauma installment, the fact that TV spots generally ran 15, 30, or 60 seconds in length means you won't be shorted on variety!
While some of the featured previews are presented in seemingly random order, a majority of the TV spots are ‒ awesomely enough ‒ sorted by their distributors. From a historical standpoint, this method of grouping enables the truly dedicated fans of genre films amongst you to compare the particular marketing styles of different companies. The first section of spots hail from Roger Corman's New World Pictures (or some variation thereof), which are highlighted by Ron Gans' delightfully sleazy and alliterate narration. Among these titles are such class-icks are several Women In Prison (WIP) flicks (several of which star the titillating talents of the great Pam Grier), and a wild gathering of biker, horror, and sexploitation titles.
From there, we wander into a casual throng of mostly domestic horror flicks, before transcending into the dazzling world of Italian horror and gialli (including a double-bill of Eyeball and Suspiria I had never seen before). Next up is a trip to Japan for the colossal antics of kaiju monster movies (including several Godzilla-oriented titles) before migrating to Hong Kong for a variety of martial arts mayhem (including a number of flicks released by exploitation distributor World Northal). A look at the amazing world of blaxploitation follows that, before heading back to the horror genre. Incredibly, they made TV spots for T&A-laden sexploitation movies, too (albeit in more family-friendly, nudeless form), which prompted me to wonder at what time of the night those saucy morsels aired!
Trailer Trauma 4: Television Trauma wraps up with more horror flicks, the last of which is a '70s triple-bill re-release of several classic MGM titles from the '30s. But strangely enough, that wasn't the weirdest thing I saw here. For, no matter how many bizarre movie titles may have flashed before my disbelieving (but nevertheless, delighted) eyes, nothing matched the shock and surprise I experienced when a TV spot for well-known movies like The Exorcist, Phantasm, A Nightmare on Elm Street and several John Carpenter films popped up on the roster. After seeing little else but low-budget titles movie history has largely forgotten about, the sudden appearance of a genre-defining classic like Halloween feels kinda weird.
Or maybe that's just the effect of Trailer Trauma in action there.
Preserved in 4K from a variety of scratchy and grainy trailers, Trailer Trauma 4: Television Trauma hits Blu-ray with a DTS-HD MA 1.0 Mono accompanying. Most of the previews are presented in their original cropped (or open matte, depending on the title) 1.33:1 aspect ratio, although there are a few exceptions in size and duration (a few of 'em are in letterboxed widescreen, and I also noticed the odd selection clocking in at standard theatrical trailer length). In keeping up with Trailer Trauma tradition, a bonus, nonstop audio commentary is provided for this Garagehouse offering by super troopers Michael Gingold, Grady Hendrix (Paperbacks from Hell) and Chris Poggiali (Temple of Schlock).
Wrapping up this odyssey of oddities is the usual assortment of trailers (what, more?!) for other Garagehouse Pictures releases, many of which I have had the pleasure of reviewing here. There was certainly no shortage of fun to be had with this release, either, and I dare say I'm intrigued to find out what other compilations the rogue Blu-ray label has in store for us.