The often overlooked cousin to the theatrical trailer is the TV spot, that short and sweet mini-promotion for a
film that has to grab a viewer by the throat in 15, 30, or 60 seconds. You'll occasionally see TV spots turn up on special editions of a movie here and there, but for the most part, it's something that rarely gets much attention at all. Fortunately that situation has been corrected with an installment in the astonishing Trailer Trauma series (following volumes one, two, and three), with over three hours of mind-melting, bite-sized promos covering everything from blaxploitation to gialli to slasher films (and even a bit of sexploitation). It's a far cry from the homogenized commercials you see on TV now, and once again, the entertainment value here is so through the roof that the entire running time passes by before you even know it.
From there we go to Japan for a kaiju and sci-fi fest with Terror of Godzilla, Inframan, King Kong Escapes, Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla on Monster Island, Message from Space, Godzilla on Monster Island, a Monster Zero and War of the Gargantuas pairing, Goliathon, and The Green Slime, which of course segues over to Hong Kong for some Shaw Brothers and kung fu mayhem with Black Magic, Killer Snakes, Master Killer, The Chinatown Kid, The Tattoo Connection, Bruce Lee... His Last Days, The Three Avengers, Five Deadly Venoms, Dynamo, Duel of the Iron Fist, The Kid with the Golden Arm, Street Gangs of Hong Kong, The Hammer of God, Fearless Fighters, Godfathers of Hong Kong, Fists of the Double K, and the 3-D epic Dynasty. Then it's a marathon of blaxpoitation tastiness with Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, Stud Brown (a.k.a. Dynamite Brothers), The Candy Tangerine Man, Friday Foster, Blacula, Black Rodeo, The Legend of Nigger Charley, If He Hollers Let Him Go, The Black Six, The Mack, Three the Hard Way, Gordon's War, The Black Gestapo, Black Eye, Trick Baby, Book of Numbers, Come Back Charleston Blue, Superfly, Wattstax, Darktown Strutters, TNT Jackson, The Spook Who Sat by the Door, Solomon King, and Alabama's Ghost. Then it's back to '70s horror with a vengeance with a wild stretch of occult and monster offerings: Mark of the Devil, Night of the Lepus, Race with the Devil, The Hills Have Eyes, Sisters, Mark of the Devil II, The Devil's Rain, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, They Came from Within, Dracula's Dog, Satan's Cheerleaders, The Exorcist, The Fury, Black Christmas, Schizoid, Don't Open the Window, The House That Vanished, The Blood Spattered Bride, Psychic Killer, The Medusa Touch, Drive-In Massacre, Son of Blob, The Devil's Nightmare, Theater of Blood, The Spectre of Edgar Allan Poe, Equinox, Tourist Trap, Phantasm (an '80s reissue one), the crazed combo of Curse of the Headless Horseman and Carnival of Blood, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, The Night Visitor, When the Screaming Starts, End of the World, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Vampyres, Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, Jaws, The Sentinel, Carrie, The Mutations, Son of Dracula (a cool, very rare spot), Dracula Sucks, Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things, Night of the Bloody Apes, Blood Orgy of the She-Devils, The Devils, Don't Look Now, Lord Shango, A Name for Evil, Homebodies, Don't Look in the Basement, Dead of Night, Shanks, Grizzly, Day of the Animals, and Rattlers.
You won't believe it, but there actually were mainstream TV spots for sexploitation films like The Teasers and They Call Her One Eye, with more typical drive-in fare represented by The Big Zapper, Mondo Cane and Mondo Cane 2, Dirty O'Neill, Invasion of the Bee Girls, Girls Are For Loving, Russ Meyer's Blacksnake, Six-Pack Annie, The Single Girls, Superchick, The Roommates, Room of Chains, The Swappers, Swedish Flygirls, The Sin of Adam and Eve, Beyond Atlantis, Summer Camp, Supervixens (an amazing spot!), Troma's Waitress, Revenge of the Cheerleaders, Massage Parlor Hookers, The Swinging Cheerleaders, The Cheerleaders, How Much Loving Does a Normal Couple Need? (a retitling of Meyer's Common Law Cabin), Incoming Freshmen, Tomcats, Shame of the Jungle, Flesh Gordon, Hustler Squad, Class of 1984, King Frat, The Bod Squad, When Women Had Tails, When Women Lost Their Tails, Tarzana the Wild Girl, Bigfoot, A*P*E, No Mercy Man, and Chain Gang Women. Then guess what? More horror! It's time for The Giant Spider Invasion, The Child, The Redeemer, Blood Demon (the Christopher Lee one),Cannibal Girls, Land of the Minotaur, Massacre at Central High, Death Ship, The Thing, Halloween II, The Awakening, Horror Planet, Bloodeaters, Videodrome, Alone in the Dark, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Xtro, Amityville II: The Possession, The Fog, The Evil Dead, Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th Part 2, Motel Hell, Blind Date, The Unseen, Graduation Day, Death Screams, The Children, Don't Go in the House, Mother's Day, My Bloody Valentine, Screams of a Winter's Night, The Beast Within, Deadly Blessing, He Knows You're Alone, Demon Seed, The Car, Mansion of the Doomed, a great reissue double bill for John Carpenter's Halloween and Assault on Precinct 13, The Tenant, Legend of Boggy Creek, Tintorera, Inseminoid (again under its original title instead of Horror Planet), The Incubus, Frogs, Blue Sunshine, Halloween, Phantasm (for its original release), The Amityville Horror, Killer's Delight, Kiss of the Tarantula, that Embassy two-fer of Phantasm and The Fog, and finally, an MGM triple bill in 1972 for Mark of the Vampire, The Mask of Fu Manchu, and the Fredric March version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
All of the TV spots have been preserved in 4K and are presented here pillarboxed in HD (these were crafted on film designed for standard broadcast, obviously), with quality fluctuating depending on the nature of the source material from one title to the next. Interestingly, some scope titles are presented either with some partial squeezing or slight letterboxing, a reminder of how these used to be presented in the days before wide TVs. The DTS-HD MA English mono audio also varies a bit but generally sounds very clear and accurate throughout. The big extra here is a nonstop audio commentary by Michael Gingold, Grady Hendrix and Chris Poggiali, who somehow manage to plow straight through over three hours without losing their minds. (Some fatigue obviously sets in after the two-hour mark, but they soldier on admirably.) They all have to speak very quickly and succintly about each title, of course, with several anecdotes about the moviegoing experience thrown in and frank comments about their thoughts on some of the films. (A lot of the Corman ones near the beginning aren't personal favorites!) Expect plenty of amusing critiques of the font choices and editing, too. Also included are bonus trailers for The Intruder, The Dismembered, The Satanist, the first two Trailer Trauma volumes, and Ninja Busters.