Cult cinema enthusiasts and horror fanatics will gladly chat your ear off any chance they can, given an opportunity to enthuse about the movies that made them nuts for celluloid nightmares and low budget thrills. Finding a receptive audience to share one's appreciation for well-executed gore effects, bizarre humor, and sleaze can often prove testing, however – and baffling for non-initiates, often prone to confuse Lucio Fulci with a pasta dish. Fortunately, the team at Trailers From Hell exists, and they're like a best friend to fawn over filmic memories with. The group of cinema savvy experts – led by movie nerd supreme, The Howling and Gremlins director Joe Dante – are your go-to guides on a nostalgic, light-hearted, and insightful tour through the underground film hall of fame.
Their mission is simple: to introduce a movie and its trailer (often a rare, one-of-a-kind version) and kick-start a dialogue around the film, offering acute observations, fun factoids, historical context, and more – personally testifying why you should watch the full feature. The panel is composed of writers, directors, and die-hards who have worked in the film industry, but they're also honest critics who truly know their stuff. It's a great way to get a taste for a film in less than three minutes. Chances are, even the most staunch cult film fan will make a new discovery by checking out Trailers From Hell. Underdog classics are their main emphasis, but as their new Shout Factory DVD – Trailers From Hell! Vol. 2 – proves, even bigger budget, well-known titles deserving of the Hellish treatment are guaranteed to deliver fans a few surprises.
Plunging into the Spielberg summer favorite Jaws, for example, A History of Violence screenwriter Josh Olson relates several fascinating anecdotes. He raps about the movie's script, providing interesting nuggets about Carl Gottlieb's contribution, and an amusing tidbit about the film's score. Advertising Roman Polanski's dark thriller, The Tenant, with a line like, "Nobody does it to you like Roman Polanski," seems like a horrible oversight given the director's controversial history, but as Ed Wood scribe Larry Karaszewski points out in his introduction, the film was made the year before the Polish-French director's sex assault scandal came to light. Continuing along a biographical tangent, Karaszewski reminds us that writer Gérard Brach suffered from agoraphobia – lending another layer of eeriness to this enthralling trailer.
You'll also get to listen to Guillermo del Toro narrate Dario Argento's Deep Red trailer – the film that marks his birth as a visual stylist. The Pan's Labyrinth director clearly has a deep reverence for the Italian auteur's haunting images, which he reassures don't make logical sense, but instead contribute a striking "lyrical sense" to his films. The always comical Lloyd Kaufman shows up to talk about the Troma schlockfest, Terror Firmer, Mick Garris chats up Flesh Gordon's X-rated charms, and Mary Lambert appraises Mothra vs. Godzilla.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, too. There are 20 brand spanking new vintage trailers to watch on the DVD (which you can pick up on July 5), which are separate and exclusive from the award-winning web series. As a bonus, the disc includes a full widescreen cut of Roger Corman's dark comedy, The Little Shop of Horrors. If you order fast, Shout Factory is even willing to toss in a copy of the coveted The Best of Trailers from Hell Volume 1, which features commentary from Edgar Wright and Eli Roth (even this horror geek doesn't own it). Check out the website for more details and happy trail …ers.