Garagehouse Pictures made an impressive showing with their first Trailer Trauma blu-ray: not only did it boast a barrage of quality exploitation and horror trailers, it also featured smart sequencing that gave it the feel of a perfect party disc. They’ve returned to the well to produce a sequel in Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama, which takes its title from a popular revival screening series in the Northeast. Thankfully, the results don’t feel like a rerun. Instead, they play like an ambitious expansion of the trailer curating approach we saw in the first volume.
Trailer Trauma 2 dishes out nearly three and a half hours’ worth of vintage trailers. The horror genre is the focus, with a heavy emphasis on monster fare. Everyone from Dracula and Frankenstein to monsters of the gigantic Japanese variety pop up here. Schlockmania was particularly enthused to see a block of trailers where ordinary animals get the monster treatment: Eye Of The Cat, Willard and Kiss Of The Tarantula all flow one after another, offering a creepy-crawly triptych of revenge psycho-thrillers jazzed up with distinctly 1970’s “revenge of nature” thrills.
As with the prior disc, the sequencing is impressive. In this volume, the programming of trailers not only takes into account pace and variety but also brings in a thematic focus. You might have a couple of trailers that involve the word “garden” like Torture Garden and In The Devil’s Garden and that will shift to another trailer module which takes the word “devil” and run with it to bring in trailers like The Devil’s Nightmare, Devils Of Darkness and The Devil Within Her. This stream of consciousness approach to organization emulates the way a horror fan’s mind works, finding links both literal and subconscious between movies as it jumps from title to title.
As for the individual trailers themselves, it’s an embarrassment of riches. They’re all taken from 35mm sources and scanned in 4K so they’re as high-quality in appearance as the source material will allow. There are some scratches and dents here and there but that just enhances the set’s “at the drive-in” mood.
The set’s producers also have an eye for touches that fans will appreciate: for example, there are longer versions of familiar spots like Scream Of The Demon Lover and Night Of Bloody Horror and they take pains to get less familiar titles from the usual sources. A good example of the latter is how the Hammer trailers utilized here focus on interesting picks like Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter and Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb. Better yet, there are plenty of double bill trailers, including a fun double-giallo lineup of Black Belly Of The Tarantula and The Weekend Murders.
It is interesting to note that the producers have added a commentary track for this go-round, provided by George Reis of DVD Drive-In (who organizes the festival that gave Trailer Trauma 2 its subtitle) and indie horror/exploitation filmmaker Keith Crocker. The two take on their task from a fan’s-eye perspective: not only do they trade bits of trivia about the films but they also talk about the adventure of discovering these movies as monster kids. The latter part will be educational for younger fans as Reis and Crocker go into intriguing details about experiencing these films at theaters under retitlings, on television, via bootleg VHS and even learning about certain films from books.
In short, this is another gem for trailer comp collectors. Trailer Trauma 2 brings all the color and shocks you could want from this kind of set and the clever programming ensures it is as enjoyable as it is epic.