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Reviews » Blu-ray Reviews » Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama (Blu-ray)
Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama (Blu-ray)
Garagehouse Pictures // Unrated // May 3, 2016 // Region Free
List Price: $27.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Adam Tyner | posted May 14, 2016 | E-mail the Author
When something on the drive-in circuit is a smash hit, you've gotta move fast with a sequel; if you don't ride the wave of your own success, someone else sure will. That's why something like Scream, Blacula, Scream was splashed across drive-in screens ten short months after the original. While the other cult cinema trailer comp series on Blu-ray have stalled, Garagehouse Pictures has Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama on store shelves four months after releasing their first volume. ...and unlike Scream, Blacula, Scream, this followup gets it right. Let's take a minute and recap the rules of a good sequel.

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Bigger.

The original Trailer Trauma strung together 64 vintage trailers and clocked in at two hours and seventeen minutes, all told. Trailer Trauma 2 ups the ante with nearly a hundred trailers -- right at 50% more! -- and a runtime approaching three and a half hours.

Better.

When you're talking about a trailer comp, "better" is awfully subjective. As far as production values go, though, there's no comparison, as quite a few of these flicks have studio backing behind 'em. There are stacks of Hammer and Amicus releases in here. If you're not familiar with the jazzy hi-hat that used to ring in Paramount's trailers, that will definitely change after a trip through Trailer Trauma 2. Hell, this collection features every single movie that Twentieth Century Fox produced in 1970 (a list that, okay, begins and ends with The Mephisto Waltz; it was a tough year).

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Marquee Value.

If you're looking for star power, Trailer Trauma 2 showcases performances by the likes of Orson Welles, Burgess Meredith, Russ Tamblyn, Ernest Borgnine, Vincent Price, Jack Palance, Keir Dullea, John Huston, Christopher Walken, Anne Francis, Joseph Cotten, Shirley MacLaine, Alan Alda, Bette Davis, Oliver Reed, Udo Kier, Klaus Kinski (despite being credited as "Klaus Kinsky"), Ray Milland, Karen Black, Joan Collins, and Kim Novak. You can't swing a dead cat in this comp without whacking Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee. Sometimes both.

Don't forget the talent behind this collection either. Garagehouse Pictures was founded by Exhumed Films' Harry Guerro, someone who's no stranger to screening the strange, wonderful, and obscure. This collection gets its title (subtitle? whatever) from the drive-in festival founded by George Reis, who contributes audio commentary and a massive stack of the trailers in his collection. Not that anyone reading this review needs an introduction to Reis, seeing as how you have his site, DVD Drive-In, bookmarked and all. Reis is joined in the commentary by Keith J. Crocker, a filmmaker who would've been a drive-in cinema staple if only he'd been born a decade or two earlier. Crocker has also made a mark with Cinefear Video.

Stay Faithful.

Trailer Trauma 2 doesn't lose sight of what I loved so much about the first collection. The sequencing in particular remains brilliant. I love the connective tissue bridging trailers: Banana Monster and Gorilla Gang both revolve around schlubs in gorilla suits, that cuts to the onslaught of killer kitties in Eye of the Cat, followed by the original Willard, then by the misfit-with-a-murderous-thrall-over-animals Kiss of the Tarantula, which is capped off by Cathy's Curse, another flick anchored around a seemingly innocent, little blonde girl. There are enough similarities that it makes sense that one trailer would follow another -- that there's never really any genre whiplash -- but they're different enough to never feel like more of the same. I understand why Synapse's 42nd St. Forever Blu-ray collection grouped its trailers together by subgenre, but that's also why I've never been able to watch it from start to finish. Sometimes seeing so much of the same kind of thing can get exhausting, but that's never a concern here. It's even smart enough to keep Eyes Without a FaceThe Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus and the might-as-well-be-a-remake The Blood Rose far enough apart so that you don't do an immediate double-take.

There is admittedly some overlap with other trailer comps this time around. This is the same trailer for Terror in the Wax Museum you know and love from the fifth volume of 42nd St. Forever, and the trailers for Werewolves on Wheels, Mark of the Witch, and the Women & Bloody Terror / Night of Bloody Horror double feature look to be the same as what's on Synapse's 42nd St. best-of on Blu-ray. (Synapse's Mark of the Witch doesn't lose the first couple words of the trailer either.) Some of the same films are featured on other trailer comps -- say, Devil's Nightmare on 42nd St. Forever and Andy Warhol's Frankenstein on the first Trailer Trauma -- but appear in very different forms here.

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Okay, Enough of That.

Below is a full list of the 95 trailers (plus some bookending goodies) on Trailer Trauma 2. The same as I did last time, I'll also point out which of this films you can watch in some feature-length form on Blu-ray.

  1. Title / GMRX / Monsters Do Have Their Place
  2. Superbeast / Daughters of Satan
  3. The Boy Who Cried Werewolf
    (arriving on Blu-ray in July from Scream Factory)
  4. Werewolves on Wheels
  5. Count Dracula & His Vampire Bride
    (better known as The Satanic Rites of Dracula)
  6. Dracula's Great Love
    (a.k.a. Cemetery Girls and Dracula's Virgin Lovers; coming soon to Blu-ray courtesy of Vinegar Syndrome)
  7. War of the Gargantuas
    (available on Blu-ray in Japan)
  8. Latitude Zero
  9. Frankenstein's Bloody Terror
  10. The Vampire-Beast Craves Blood
    (better known as The Blood Beast Terror; on Blu-ray courtesy of Redemption Films)
  11. Bloodsuckers / Blood Thirst
    (alas, Something Weird's DVD double feature never made it to high-def; you may know the former as Incense for the Damned)
  12. The Folks at Red Wolf Inn
    (a.k.a. Terror House; Code Red has the rights, although they haven't been able to get their hands on quality elements yet)
  13. The Mad Butcher
    (a.k.a. Meat Is Meat)
  14. Carnivorous
    (best known as Jungle Holocaust, among other titles)
  15. Island of the Damned
    (a.k.a. Who Can Kill a Child?; available on Blu-ray in Spain courtesy of Divis)
  16. Island of the Fishmen
    (a.k.a. Something Waits in the Dark and Screamers; on Blu-ray under that last title courtesy of Scorpion Releasing)
  17. Frankenstein Island
  18. Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell
    (available on Blu-ray in the UK from Icon)
  19. Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter
    (available on Blu-ray in the UK and Australia)
  20. The Black Belly of the Tarantula / The Weekend Murders
    (Weekend Murders is on Blu-ray thanks to Code Red)
  21. The Murder Clinic
    (available on Blu-ray in Germany from FilmArt)
  22. Schizoid
    (better known as A Lizard in a Woman's Skin; on Blu-ray courtesy of Mondo Macabro)
  23. The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave
    (part of Arrow Video's Killer Dames: Two Gothic Chillers Blu-ray set later this month)
  24. Baron Blood
    (available on Blu-ray domestically from Kino; Arrow Video has a more lavish special edition in the UK)
  25. Dorian Gray
    (a.k.a The Sins of Dorian Gray and The Secret of Dorian Gray; announced for a Blu-ray release by Raro, but there's no sign of it yet)
  26. The Mephisto Waltz
  27. The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
  28. The Possession of Joel Delaney
  29. The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus / The Manster
    (you know Faustus as Eyes Without a Face, which Criterion added to their collection in 2013; no such luck for The Manster)
  30. Banana Monster
    (better known as Schlock)
  31. Gorilla Gang
  32. Eye of the Cat
  33. Willard
    (the 1971 original, of course, although neither version of Willard is on Blu-ray)
  34. Kiss of the Tarantula
  35. Cathy's Curse
  36. The Demons
    (we're talking Jess Franco here; on Blu-ray courtesy of Redemption Films)
  37. Mark of the Witch
  38. Terror
  39. Terror in the Wax Museum
  40. Nightmare in Wax
  41. Blood of Dracula's Castle
  42. Castle of Evil
  43. The Terror
    (on Blu-ray courtesy of Film Chest)
  44. Tower of Screaming Virgins
    (a.k.a. She Lost Her...You Know What)
  45. Scream of the Demon Lover
  46. And Now the Screaming Starts!
  47. The House That Screamed
  48. Hell House Girls
    (a.k.a. The Smashing Bird I Used to Know and School for Unclaimed Girls)
  49. House of 1,000 Dolls
    (on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Classics)
  50. House of Psychotic Women
    (a.k.a. Blue Eyes of the Broken Doll and House of Doom)
  51. House of Seven Corpses
    (on Blu-ray courtesy of Severin Films)
  1. The House by the Lake
    (a.k.a Death Weekend)
  2. Burnt Offerings
    (on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Classics)
  3. Horror House
    (a.k.a. The Haunted House of Horror and The Dark)
  4. The Beast in the Cellar
  5. The Blood on Satan's Claw
    (on Blu-ray in the UK from Odeon Entertainment)
  6. Silent Night, Bloody Night
  7. Women & Bloody Terror / Night of Bloody Horror
  8. Blood from the Mummy's Tomb / Night of the Blood Monster
    (you may know the latter as The Bloody Judge)
  9. The Blood Rose
  10. Blood Demon
    (a.k.a. The Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism, The Snake Pit and the Pendulum, and Castle of the Walking Dead)
  11. Brides of Blood
    (or, as Cinematic Titanic fans know it, Danger on Tiki Island)
  12. Brain of Blood
    (or, continuing the whole Cinematic Titanic thing, The Oozing Skull)
  13. The Vampire People
    (a.k.a. Blood Is the Color of Night and The Blood Drinkers)
  14. Curse of the Vampires
    (a.k.a. Whisper to the Wind; riffed by Cinematic Titanic as Blood of the Vampires)
  15. Guess What Happened to Count Dracula?
  16. Andy Warhol's Dracula
    (a.k.a Blood for Dracula; Cinema Cult's interlaced Australian BD is readily available in the U.S.; apparently the Japanese release is superior, though it's out of print)
  17. Andy Warhol's Frankenstein
    (a.k.a Flesh for Frankenstein; again, there are Blu-ray releases of varying quality across the globe)
  18. The Embalmer
    (a.k.a. Monster of Venice)
  19. The Deathmaster
  20. The Thing with Two Heads
    (on Blu-ray courtesy of Olive Films)
  21. Creature with the Blue Hand
    (a.k.a. The Bloody Dead)
  22. The Psychopath
  23. Tales That Witness Madness
    (on Blu-ray courtesy of Olive Films)
  24. Kiss and Kill
    (a.k.a. The Blood of Fu Manchu, Fu Manchu and the Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death, and Against All Odds)
  25. De Sade
  26. Computer Killers
    (a.k.a. Horror Hospital; on Blu-ray in the UK from Odeon Entertainment)
  27. The Mind Snatchers
    (a.k.a. The Happiness Cage)
  28. Brainstorm / The Woman Who Wouldn't Die
    (the latter is also known as Catacombs)
  29. Let's Scare Jessica to Death
  30. Necromancy
    (a.k.a. The Witching)
  31. Night of the Eagle
    (a.k.a. Burn, Witch, Burn; on Blu-ray courtesy of Kino Classics)
  32. The Brotherhood of Satan
    (on Blu-ray in a double feature with Mr. Sardonicus, courtesy of Mill Creek)
  33. Beware My Brethren
    (a.k.a. The Fiend)
  34. Land of the Minotaur
    (a.k.a. The Devil's Men)
  35. The Lost Continent
    (this Hammer Films release is not to be confused with the numerous other films sharing its title)
  36. Island of Terror / The Projected Man
    (the former is on Blu-ray in the UK courtesy of Odeon)
  37. The Shuttered Room
    (a.k.a. Blood Island)
  38. Torture Garden
  39. In the Devil's Garden
    (a.k.a. Assault, Satan's Playthings, and Tower of Terror)
  40. Devil's Nightmare
    (a.k.a. Vampire Playgirls and Castle of Death)
  41. Devils of Darkness
  42. The Devil Within Her
    (a.k.a. I Don't Want to Be Born, The Monster, and Sharon's Baby)
  43. The Gorgon / The Curse of the Mummy's Tomb
  44. Maniac / The Old Dark House
    (the former is the 1963 Hammer film)
  45. Zombie
    (a.k.a. Zombie Flesh Eaters and Zombi 2; on Blu-ray courtesy of Blue Underground, and Arrow's UK release shouldn't be overlooked)
  46. Good Night!



Video
Just shy of a hundred trailers have been piled onto Trailer Trauma 2, and every last one of 'em has been newly-transferred in 4K from 35mm elements. My kneejerk reaction was that this is a better looking collection overall than the original Trailer Trauma, with The War of the Gargantuas, Frankenstein Island, Banana Monster, Kiss of the Tarantula, and Cathy's Curse standing out as particularly impressive. It really ought to go without saying that the quality can be all over the place, seeing as how this compilation leaps between films of greatly varying budgets, more than a couple of continents, a decade or two, and on and on and on. The flat trailers for Techniscope productions in particular take a hit. These trailers have been culled from private collections and have seen their shares of screenings -- if you don't show 'em off, what's the point? -- so some wear, tear, and fading are unavoidable. To say that they're all in perfectly watchable condition is putting it lightly, though. I definitely walked in here with a certain set of expectations, and Trailer Trauma 2 easily exceeded them.

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Clocking in at three and a half hours in length, Trailer Trauma 2 devours just about every available byte on this BD-50 disc. This compilation has been encoded with AVC, and the majority of these trailers have been lightly letterboxed to an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. There's some scope, 1.66:1, and even a smattering of 1.37:1 material in there too for good measure.


Audio
Presented in uncompressed, 16-bit mono, the audio on Trailer Trauma 2 hits or surpasses all the marks I'd hoped it would as well. Again, the quality can be erratic, although some of that dates back to the way these trailers were produced in the first place. It's not uncommon to hear narration that's clear as a bell while the movie's actual dialogue and effects sound more muffled. There are a couple of dropouts (most punishingly during Carnivorous), some taglines wind up getting clipped, and there'll be an abrupt jump every once in a while, but there's not a whole lot of getting around that on a drive-in trailer comp like this. I repeatedly found myself impressed, particularly by the after-the-fact voiceover work, leaving me with the sense that every micron of clarity and fidelity there was to unearth has been reproduced here. This LPCM soundtrack delivers exactly what it oughtta.

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All of these trailers are presented in English, aside from the German promo for Island of the Fishmen. None of it's subtitled, not that anyone would really expect otherwise.


Extras
  • Audio Commentary: Having been spoiled by the commentaries on Synapse Films' 42nd St. Forever series and Drafthouse Films' Trailer War, I was a little disappointed that the first volume of Trailer Trauma didn't offer those sorts of bells or whistles. This second installment corrects that by bringing in DVD Drive-In's George Reis and filmmaker Keith J. Crocker (The Bloody Ape). Garagehouse Pictures couldn't have found a better authority to speak about these trailers, seeing as how so much of Trailer Trauma 2 is sourced from Reis' own collection. (Garagehouse founder Harry Guerro supplied the rest.) Crocker and Reis have plenty to say about all 95 of the films in this compilation, taking particular care to note which ones are the most obscure, how many of these movies crept onto local television or gray market videos, and what sets these specific trailers apart from the versions you may have seen elsewhere. There are a slew of other terrific notes as well: the murmurs that Guess What Happened to Count Dracula? is a comedic cut of a gay porn flick, Latitude Zero originally being written with American television in mind before being handed off to Toho, how woefully miscast Keir Dullea was as a too-likeable De Sade, and how The Old Dark House was originally shot in color despite being released domestically in black-and-white, among many, many other highlights.
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  • Trailers: Of course a trailer comp would have another trailer or two as bonus features! Rounding out the extras are trailers for Garagehouse Pictures' two other releases: Ninja Busters and the original Trailer Trauma.

A full list of the trailers in Trailer Trauma 2 is revealed after cracking open this transparent case, along with a brief set of liner notes by Ian Zapczynski. This is an all-region Blu-ray release, by the way.


The Final Word
Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama is the best type of sequel, delivering everything I dug so much about the original, only bigger and better all around. Highly Recommended.
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