The trailer compilation has gone in and out of vogue over the history of home video, but Blu-ray has been giving it a major shot in the arm with a slew of elusive and forgotten previews getting the HD treatment even when the disc releases of the actual films manage to ignore them. The strongest example running now is the Trailer Trauma series, which launched in 2015 with the first Trailer Trauma Blu-ray and continued with Trailer Trauma 2: Drive-In Monsterama in 2016, the mammoth Trailer Trauma 3: 80s Horrorthon in 2017, and Trailer Trauma 4: Television Trauma later that same year. After a long hiatus, the series came back with guns blazing in 2020 with Trailer Trauma V: 70s Action Attack!, which delivers exactly what it promises: over three hours of skull-cracking, bare-knuckle, rubber-burning mayhem from the Me Decade.
First up you get a double dose of Warren Oates with Born to Kill, a retitling of the Monte Hellman's Roger Corman-funded drive-in staple from 1974, and Sam Peckinpah's gloriously gritty and grotesque Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia from the same year. Peckinpah strikes again with The Getaway from 1972, and it's off to Germany for the 1972 Rolf Olsen and Lee Payant robbery classic, Black Friday. Don Siegel's Charley Varrick from 1973 gave Walter Matthau one of his best (and most atypical) roles in a twisty caper film for Universal, while Three Tough Guys a year later featured a funky team-up for Isaac Hayes, Fred Williamson, and, uh, Lino Ventura because... it was the '70s. Another trio explodes with Jim Kelly, Jim Brown, and Fred Williamson in Three the Hard Way from 1974, followed by Sidney J. Furie's epic 1973 Panavision spectacle Hit! with Billy Dee Williams (a really rare trailer with the priceless promise of "a hooker from Vassar!"), the inner city payback brutality of Gordon's War from 1973, and Ralph Nelson's sweaty racial tension melodrama from 1970, tick... tick... tick..., which features some dialogue you'd never hear in a trailer today. Daryl Duke's very under-seen Payday from 1973 offers a solid early starring vehicle for Rip Torn, 1974's now obscure Buster and Billie broke taboos with its cross between young love story and crime drama, Joseph Ruben's Joyride from 1977 offered a mix of car chase thrills and a hot young cast including Melanie Griffith with a killer pop soundtrack, and John Hough's Dirty Mary Crazy Larry from 1974 remains one of the very best lovers on the run car chase movies from the decade.
Audiences were thrown by the sunny tone of Return to Macon County in 1975 after the very hard-edge original film but it's worth a look for a young Don Johnson and Nick Nolte in action, 1970's Angels Die Hard from Richard Compton gives you a dose of biker thrills ("Kill the pigs!"), Gordon Douglas' Viva Knievel! is one of the nuttiest fake biopics in movie history with the daredevil himself embarking on an adventure you'll never believe, and Joe Namath and Ann-Margret get down and dirty in 1970's C.C. and Company(a trailer featured prominently in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). Not enough bikers for you? There's also The Loners from 1972, The Losers from 1970, Run, Angel, Run from 1969, and the accidental video nasty Cain's Way from 1970, also known as Cain's Cutthroats. Clint Eastwood stars in one of the most mean-spirited and haunting westerns of the era, 1973's High Plains Drifter, followed by one of the most heartfelt westerns with more Peckinpah courtesy of The Ballad of Cable Hogue from 1970 with Jason Robards. And hey, it's even more Peckinpah with the strangely neglected Junior Bonner from 1972 with Steve McQueen, while 1973's Camper John got reissued over and over throughout the decade under such titles as Gentle Savage, Once Upon a Tribe, and Prologue to Wounded Knee. The early Cannon actioner The No Mercy Man from 1973 (a.k.a. Trained to Kill) is another dusty small town revenge film, and then it's back to blaxploitation fun with the immortal Black Shampoo from 1976 ("This stud is no dud!"), 1972's awesome Trouble Man featuring a classic Marvin Gaye soundtrack, and the Warner Bros. favorites Cleopatra Jones (1973) and Cleopatra Jones and the Casino of Gold (1975) feature Tamara Dobson rocking some of the wildest fashions in action movie history while facing off against Shelley Winters and Stella Stevens. More all-American violence and evil cops await in the great Small Town in Texas from 1976 and Jack Starrett's The Gravy Train from 1974, while Peter Collinson's spectacular survival gem Open Season from 1974 may be the most in-demand rarity on this disc. (If Sony still owns this, it's a travesty they're still sitting on it.) More very un-PC sex and violence await n 1977's trashy Tomcats (a trailer bound to make jaws drop), and then it's a slew of urban cop thrillers with The Super Cops (1974), Cops and Robbers (1973), Dirty O'Neil: The Love Life of a Cop (1974), Busting (1974), and Law and Disorder (1974). Of course, this wouldn't be an action comp without classic 'Nam revenge classic Rolling Thunder from '77, not to mention the Charles Bronson favorite Mr. Majestyk (1974), and then it's a lot of Jan-Michael Vincent with the homegrown warfare of Vigilante Force (1976) opposite Kris Kristofferson and Bernadette Peters, John Milius' surfing ode Big Wednesday (1978), and the fast-packed trucker action of White Line Fever (1975). More truckers await in High Ballin' (1978) and Peckinpah's troubled Convoy (1978), while William Friedkin turns the formula into a work of art with the cult classic Sorcerer (1977). Car racing takes center stage with David Cronenberg's atypical Fast Company from 1979, everything smashes up real good in the original Gone in 60 Seconds (1974), Robert Blake tears up in Atlanta in 1972's Corky, and Walter Hill does his best stab at Euro-cool crime with The Driver (1978). That's the perfect segue to Hill's stylish 1979 gang war masterpiece The Warriors (using the exact same music from Sorcerer), which in turn is no segue at all to the Robert Culp and Bill Cosby bullet-riddled classic Hickey and Boggs from 1972. There had to be some Terence Hill and Bud Spencer in here somewhere, and that's what you get with the very rare United Artists trailer for Crime Busters, one of their goofball action comedies shot around Miami. Continuing the Euro action vibe, Alain Delon slips on a mask and goes swashbuckling in 1975's Zorro from Duccio Tessari.
Of course there has to be a section devoted to martial arts, so then it's time for 1971's Triple Irons (National General's retitling of Chang Cheh's The New One-Armed Swordsman), the World Northal U.S. trailer for Cheh's Five Masters of Death (1974), the surprise South African smash Kill or Be Killed (1976) with James Ryan, the Kelly/Jordan Enterprises trailer for Hideo Ghosa's Toho epic Steel Edge of Revenge (1969) (a.k.a. Goyokin), the Jimmy Wang Yu vehicle Blood of the Dragon (1971), Mid-America Releasing's goofy Bruce Leesploitation offering, The Young Dragon (1971), and the fun Angela Mao antics of Deadly China Doll (1971). Things get much, much trashier as we hit the homegrown American drive-in circuit with the 3-D insanity of Wildcat Women (1975), Cheri Caffaro in the middle of her "Ginger" sexploitation action cycle with The Abductors (1972), Crown International's much-reissued Hustler Squad (1975), New World's women-in-prison programmer The Hot Box (1972) and Claudia Jennings showcase The Great Texas Dynamite Chase (1976), and General Film Corp.'s gloriously tawdry Bonnie's Kids (1972) with Tiffany Bolling. The odd fad of Doberman Pinscher mania that swept '70s cinema reached its apex with a series of nutty crime films, two of them represented here with The Daring Dobermans (1973) and The Doberman Gang (1972); then you get Al Adamson's literally explosive The Murder Gang (1976) and two very different slices of Canadian thrills with the faux NYC pandemonium of Blackout and the superb The Silent Partner, both from 1978. Finally we wrap up with the Ben Gazzara U.S.-FIlipino oddity High Velocity (1976) and a huge helping of mostly Charles Bronson (the only way to end this, really) with The Mechanic (1972), a retitling of Sergio Sollima's Violent City as The Family (1970), and Walter Hill's excellent Hard Times (975), though these are interspersed with the great AIP trailer for Fernando Di Leo's Bronson-free The Italian Connection a.k.a. Man Hunt, Michael Ritchie's outrageously grotesque Prime Cut (1972), and Robert Aldrich's tough as nails Emperor of the North (1973).
As with past releases, most of the trailers are presented around 1.78:1 or 1.85:1 with the usual age-related factors like fading or scratching varying from one to the next depending on the source. It's great to have all of these in HD of course, particularly considering the rarity of many of the titles included. The DTS-HD MA English mono audio is fine for all of them without any significant damage to get in the way. A new audio commentary is also provided but can't be assessed here since it's by yours truly and Howard S. Berger, though it will hopefully enjoyment for the three-hour ride. Listening tip: be sure to check out what happens during the two Doberman trailers. A bonus reel of Grindhouse Pictures previews is included featuring Foes, The Intruder, The Dismembered, The Satanist, Trailer Trauma, Trailer Trauma 2, and Ninja Busters.