There is nothing quite like an 80's horror flick. The decade was a golden age for films that were created to scare and horrify viewers, with creative filmmakers pushing the boundaries of the genre. From slasher flicks finding new and disturbing ways of killing the victims to monster movies coming up with imaginative and shocking creatures to grossout films that were daring you to look away it was a great era for the horror fiend. For those who appreciate that special time, Garagehouse Pictures has put out an amazing collection: Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horror-Thon. After establishing their credentials as a company that really knows how to put out a compilation collection with Trailer Trauma and Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama, they have went above and beyond the call of duty with this third collection. Spread over two Blu-ray discs, this set includes trailers for an astonishing 190 films and clocks in at over seven hours. It's a fantastic collection and limited to only 1500 copies, so grab it while you can.
The trailers in this set are arranged chronologically by year, with each year's offerings presented in alphabetical order. This is a really nice way to arrange them, so you can see the special effects improve over time, and the scares become a bit more polished (in some cases). It also helps put the films in their proper place in cinema history. For example, I hadn't realized that the first Nightmare on Elm Street movie arrived the same year as Friday the 13th Part 4. I would have guessed that the franchises were created a bit closer together. It's also interesting to notice how few of these involve 'classic' horror villains like vampires, werewolves, and mummies. While Universal and Hammer made names for themselves with Dracula and Frankenstein films, the 80's generally shied away from the traditional marquee horror titles and created new creatures to keep viewers awake at night like Freddy and Jason. (Though, to be fair, there are a good number of ghosts, and zombies are well represented.)
The range of these trailers is fairly impressive too. There are a lot of big-name films that are included from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining to Angel Heart with Robert De Niro and Aliens. The major cult-classics are included as well such as Evil Dead 2, American Werewolf in London, and Basket Case. My favorite trailers, however, are from the more obscure and smaller films such as Human Experiments, Humongous, and Rawhead Rex.
This inclusive collection presents trailers for films that: tell you what to do (Don't Answer the Phone, Don't Go in the Basement); cover holidays and special events (Mother's Day, April Fool's Day, Prom Night); are set in interesting places (Blood Beach, Death Valley); and involve various animals (Alligator, The Fly). There are Scanners, Killbots, and Creepers as well as The Stepfather, The Entity, and The Incubus. These take you to school with Final Exam and Graduation Day and scare you with Terror Train, Terror Vision and, Terror in the Aisles. Let not forget the ladies either, we have Lisa, Ms. 45, and Christine (okay, that last one is actually a car). This set even has comedy-horror films including Monster Squad, Little Shop of Horrors, and Saturday the 14th. With well over seven hours' worth of trailers, there's something for everyone.
This collection arrives on two Blu-ray discs housed in a single-width, clear case. The cover art has a list of all 190 trailers on the back. The discs are not region-locked and can be played anywhere in the world. It is limited to only 1500 copies.
These unrestored trailers were scanned and transferred in 4K, and they vary in quality. Being around 30 years old, a fair number are showing their age with scratches, dirt and other common defects. A few are a bit faded, and some are overly dark. In general however these are in decent shape and look fine.
Hailing from the 80's all of these had mono sound and these discs faithfully reproduce that. Like the video, these generally sound fine, though a few are a bit muffled.
Garagehouse really stepped up to the plate for the extras. The trailers all have a commentary track provided by Chris Poggiali, Ted Geoghegan, Michael Gingold, Tim Ferrante, Grady Hendrix, Stephen Romano, Dan Buskirk, James (Doc Terror) Harris and Exhumed Films' Dan Fraga, Harry Guerro and Jesse Nelson. I haven't had time to listen to all of these (though I plan to!) but what I heard was informative and entertaining.
This massive collection of trailers is just plain awesome... it is hours and hours' worth of entertainment. If you're a horror fan you really owe it to yourself to pick one of these, and make it fast, there are only 1500 copies to go around. Highly Recommended.