Drive-In Delirium Volume 1 (2010)
By: Paul Ryan on December 13, 2010  | 
DVD
Umbrella Entertainment | All Regions, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 703 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
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Over the years, Umbrella Entertainment have put out a few single-disc trailer compilations, such as All Monsters Attack!, Pulp Cinema and The Horror of Hammer. Now, for whatever reason, they've gone all out and crammed twelve hours of trailers into a four-disc set. What's more, this is just the first volume (of two) of Drive-In Delirium! Broken up into thirteen distinct sections, the trailers are categorised by genre, though there is some unavoidable overlap here and there.

Chicks In Chains covers women-in-prison epics, from the sweaty Filipino-made likes of The Big Doll House and Black Mama, White Mama to the jaw-dropping sleaze of Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS, and Human Experiments.

Roger Corman's output is gathered together in New World Nuggets, featuring glimpses of his early seventies "nurse" series (Night Call Nurses, The Young Nurses and Candy Stripe Nurses), alongside other Corman productions from the same era, including Rock 'n' Roll High School, Death Race 2000 and Avalanche.

Psychic Terror is, as you would expect, dedicated to the likes of Patrick, The Fury and Lucio Fulci's The Psychic, among others. The placement of Carrie just a couple of trailers ahead of its rip-off Jennifer makes for an amusing study in cash-ins.

Dead and Loving It features a hefty roster of vampire (Count Yorga, Vampire, Near Dark, Vamp), werewolf (Werewolves on Wheels, The Howling 1&2) and zombie (Dawn of the Dead, Shock Waves, Dead Heat) films.

Blaxploiation gets a sizable look-in with Bad Muthas, with 42 trailers ranging from social commentary (Putney Swope, The Spook Who Sat By The Door) and horror (Blacula, Sugar Hill, Dr Black and Mr Hyde) to more traditional action fare like the Shaft series, Pam Grier flicks (Coffy, Friday Foster, Foxy Brown) and Fred Williamson epics (Hammer, Black Caesar, One Down, Two To Go). Completely oddball obscurities like Black Shampoo, Ebony, Ivory and Jade and JD's Revenge spice up this section nicely.

Read Em' Their Rights compiles a stack of gangster/crime/terrorism titles. There's less of a through-line here, with the trailers ranging from straight-forward actioners like Zebra Force, Code of Silence and The Soldier, to primo (s)exploitation like The Doll Squad, Ginger and Superchick. The sight of Roger Moore as a mob lawyer in Sicilian Cross has to be seen to be believed.

Ninja Fu ranges from Japanese (The Street Fighter) and Hong Kong (Master of the Flying Guillotine) martial arts films to western appropriations of the genre (The Silent Flute, Enter the Ninja). It also includes the trailer for the astonishingly tasteless Crippled Avengers, possibly the first kung fu in which all the heroes are disabled in some way. Oy...

Nature Gone Wild offers up all the out-of-control kitties (Eye of the Cat, The Uncanny), bears (Grizzly), bunnies (Night of the Lepus), bugs (Empire of the Ants, Slugs, The Giant Spider Invasion) and marine life (Tentacles, Killer Crocodile, Jaws 3D) you could ever want. Bonus points for also including the trailer for Enzo G. Castellari's unreleased-in-Australia Jaws knock off, Great White.

Stalk 'n Slash is the largest section in the set, featuring trailers from various entries in the Halloween, Phantasm, Friday The 13th and Psycho series, alongside many other eighties slashers like Maniac, New Year's Evil, The Burning, Pieces and more.

Revenge films come under the umbrella of An Eye For an Eye. Included here are the first three Death Wish films, plus the grim likes of I Spit on Your Grave, MS 45 and The Exterminator and many other vigilante films.

Shaken Not Stirred looks at a wide range of James Bond ripoffs, such as Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, Salt and Pepper, Our Man Flint, the legendary midgetsploitationer For Y'ur Height Only and others. What's immediately noticeable about the sixties-era Bond ripoffs is how they look infinitely more dated than the films they were cashing in on (for better or worse, no Bond film ever featured go-go dancing) and just how forced the humour is, but these trailers are certainly interesting as artefacts of their era. Pop-art oddities Danger: Diabolik and the Joseph Losey adaptation of Modesty Blaise compliment the spy-film trailers nicely. Just what the trailers for The Return of Captain Invincible and The Toxic Avenger are doing here though, is anyone's guess...

Pop the Clutch looks at biker/hot rod/car chase films, and contains vintage high-speed chaos in the form of the original Gone in Sixty Seconds, Vanishing Point and The Gumball Rally, plus some Aussie contributions with Stunt Rock and Midnite Spares. Roger Corman gives us Grand Theft Auto, Eat My Dust and Cannonball, to name but three.

Lastly, Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out takes us through the generation-gap exploitationers of the sixties and seventies. Between the expected films about hippies (The Trip, Psych-Out, Billy Jack), bikies (The Wild Angels, Hells Angels '69) and times-that-were-a-changin' (Alice's Restaurant, Medium Cool, Wild In the Streets), there are a few genuine oddities here, such as the Monkees' sole big-screen outing Head, and the wacked-out sex comedy Candy (which is worth a look just to see Marlon Brando as a sleazy Indian swami).

Each disc is punctuated by vintage drive-in intermission ads from Australia and America, often advertising truly ghastly-looking candy bar food, though being able to get fish and chips in a cup is fairly convenient, I suppose. The ad for a long-defunct Aussie soft drink named Export Cola (featuring the added star power of Skyhooks) is a hoot in its patriotic bluster, though they probably shouldn't have included the name of mega-rival Coca-Cola repeatedly in their jingle. Just sayin'..

Okay, so 350+ trailers is not everyone's idea of a must-own DVD, but the way the previews are grouped together by theme helps to give the set more of a point. Personally, I found this set tremendous fun, and if you're passionate about trash cinema (and if you're reading anything from from this site, I suspect you are), then you may just end up feeling the same way.
Video
The entirety of the content in Drive-In Delirium Volume 1 is presented within a 16:9 frame, even those trailers that are in 4:3. This means all 1.33:1 content is pillarboxed (or, if you're viewing on a ye olde analogue telly, windowboxed) inside a 1:78:1 frame. Expectedly, the video quality of the trailers is quite variable, though the bulk are at the very least anamorphic. Umbrella already distributes many of the films included here, so most of their trailers look as they did on their respective DVDs. While the set is in PAL, there are a number of trailers which are clearly converted from NTSC, while a couple here and there (most noticeably The Toxic Avenger) have been taken from battered old VHS sources. Overall though, the good outweighs the bad in terms of video.
Audio
The 2.0 audio is, like the video, dependent on the quality of the source material. When a trailer is visually spruce, the sound oftentimes follows suit. At the very least all the booming/brassy/growling (delete as applicable) trailer voiceovers are always easy to understand. For the most part, audio is sync is spot on, though dubbed entries like Rats: Night of Terror and They Call Her One-Eye, are an obvious exception.
Extra Features
Given that trailers are usually bonus materials rather than the main feature themselves, it's not surprising that there are no other features on the discs
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
The obvious question with a release like this is, "just who exactly would buy this?" Well I did, and I enjoyed it a helluva lot, but maybe that's just me. You could probably find all of this stuff on Youtube, but if you've got an interest in the art of the movie trailer, this compilation gathers together a ridiculous number of previews in one handy package, so think of all the bandwidth you'll save.

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