DVD Release: August 12, 2014
Review by James Klein
By now, most people have gotten the idea of what a “grindhouse” picture is/was. Low budget, often B-grade exploitation film that would play at old run-down movie theaters where the establishments themselves were part of the “fun” as sex, drugs, and violence would occupy not just on the screen but at the theater as well. Often times these theaters would be located in some of the worst neighborhoods. NYC had a vast variety of Grindhouse theaters on 42nd Street back in the 70’s and 80’s before the area was “Disneyfied”.
The folks at Intervision has put together a compilation of trailers (55 to be exact) of blaxploitation, chop socky, horror, Naziploitation, and sexploitation films to satisfy any fan of the grindhouse era.
The problem I have with this DVD compilation is that many of these trailers have already been put out by the good people of Synapse with their 42nd Street Forever trailer compilations. Many of these trailers have been repeated so if you own the 42nd Street DVD’s / blu rays, then you will be getting some repeated trailers. Grindhouse Trailer Classics is actually a re-release as this was originally put out by the British company Nucleus back in 2007. There were several compilations so one can only hope or anticipate that the other volumes will be coming to the U.S. eventually. Maybe the other volumes will have more obscure titles. I can now do without the trailers of I Spit On Your Grave and Last House on the House as they have now been shown countless times on numerous compilation discs as well as their own DVD / blu ray releases.
That is not to say Grindhouse Trailer Classics is a dud. There are some trailers here that I really enjoyed that I may or may not have seen before such as British slasher film Eyeball or the werewolf movie Legend of the Wolf Woman. But perhaps my favorite trailer is the Chesty Morgan starring film Deadly Weapons about a woman who kills with her enormous ta ta’s. I also don’t think I have ever seen the trailer for Shogun Assassin either. Two of my favorite trailers also make an appearance: Sonny Chiba’s The Streetfighter and the ultra-racist Fight For Your Life.
There isn’t much to say about the DVD picture and sound quality. The trailers picture and sound quality vary as several of the sources are now from old and decayed prints while others look amazingly clear. The special features section is also lacking as there is just a small featurette called Bump N Grind, hosted by Emily Booth who tells the viewer absolutely nothing about the heyday of Grindhouse Pictures. The back of the DVD has more information than what this woman tells you, not to mention she comes off as a poor man’s (or woman’s) Elvira. The only other feature on the DVD is a poster art gallery.
For those who don’t have the 42nd Street Forever DVD’s or just can’t get enough of their compilation discs (they do make for a good party viewing) than I guess Grindhouse Trailer Classics is worth checking out.