Sunday, August 29, 2010

Review: Prevues From Hell [Reviewed By Kelsey Zukowski]

Prevues From Hell is a collection of classic horror trailers that are funny, exploitative, and gory. The DVD is hosted by ventriloquist, Nick Pawlow, and his zombie doll, “Happy”. The trailers are from Mad Ron’s collection, who is now chained up and fizzing at the mouth. In between trailers we get cheesy jokes and gags between the two. Half the time they’re not actually funny, but they’re goofy and good natured. Plus, the over the top angle works and it’s clear that they’re in on the joke too.

We are shown horror favorites like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Last House on the Left, and Night of the Living Dead. The Last House on the Left’s trailer brings up the advertising campaign that ended up working wonders. In the trailer over and over again we hear, “To avoid fainting keep repeating, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, it’s only a movie…”. Scaring the audiences in to watching worked, but it was also a nod to Hershell Gordon Lewis’ Color Me Blood Red, which plays immediately following The Last House on the Left trailer, claiming it’s a motion picture which you dare not get too involved.

A common theme with the vast majority of the trailers are how completely horrifying and repulsive they are, warning the viewers to leave the theater. The Undertaker and his Pals claim it’s a vicious part of the young, sick generation and if you don’t like scalpel stabbing or ax murdering you should leave. A very similar warning plays before The Wizard of Gore trailer; pausing it to warn those with heart conditions and impressionable young children.

There are also a number that are heavy on the sexploitation mixing with the gore. One of these is Lady Frankenstein. My favorite part of the trailer is how they make out her unreasonable sexual desires being far too strong for any man. Not only that no man could possibly please her, but that they paralyzed by her “strange cravings”. The only creature that can meet these desires is her own creation. The nazisploitation film, Ilsa: She Wolf of the S.S., was another great trailer with the perfect serving of horror both in the form of torture and sex. They blended together to become one; once Ilsa seduced someone they never lived to tell about it. ”Out of all the butchers in the Third Reich none was as brutal as Ilsa, even the S.S. feared her”.

Prevues From Hell doesn’t focus on one type of horror film too much. There are a few popular horror trailers that are more mainstream, or have become so since their original releases. There are bloody B movie trailers, exploitative trailers of many different bizarre sub-genres of horror, and even lesser known obscure trailers. They all have a similar style of being sleazy, horrid, and better not to be viewed in the first place, often encouraging the viewer further.