Mad Ron's Prevues from Hell (1987)
By: David Michael Brown on April 4, 2011  | 
Virgil Films (USA) | All Regions, NTSC | 4:3 | English DD 2.0 | 83 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Jim Monaco
Starring: Nick Pawlow, Happy Goldsplatt, Ron Roccia
Screenplay: Jim Monaco, James F. Murray Jr, Nick Pawlow, Ron Roccia
Country: USA
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Remember the good old days of VHS? When your average horror fan was at constant loggerheads with the local board of censors? When finding an uncut Italian zombie movie meant trawling through the classified ads of a horror magazine and entering into the dark, seedy world of duped copies and grainy time-codes? Often illegally importing tapes was the only way. The huge array of gruesome delights available in the United States were often only read about in Fangoria, Pyschotronic or one of the many long lost fanzines that were the only source of horror news for the discerning horror fan.

Trailer compilations like Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell were one way to see what was out there – or frustrate yourself with what wasn't available locally. Nowadays, almost every film comes with a trailer as a DVD extra so the appeal is certainly diminished but hey, what better way to watch a collection of trailers from the grindhouse era all at once? Right? Well not quite. About from the atrocious quality of most of the trailers on show, VHS at best, there is also a truly horrific series of vignettes tying the promos together.

Splatstick humour and pitiful gore prevail as psychotic projectionist Mad Ron, chained to his projector to save his punters, shows a cinema full of hungry zombies a wild assortment of horror and exploitation film trailers from his private collection while ventriloquist Nick Pawlow and his foul-mouthed zombie dummy Happy Goldsplatt provide lowbrow comic relief – or a poor excuse for it. Terrible FX, awful acting and a non-existent sense of humour ensure that the moments in-between the trailers are an ordeal to sit through

The trailers are the star of the show. The best include the fabulous teaser for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, the sleazy Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS and a splattering of Hershell Gordon Lewis classics including 2000 Maniacs and The Wizard Of Gore. The rest include The Undertaker and His Pals, Blood and Lace, Lady Frankenstein and I Drink Your Blood / I Eat Your Skin.

Sold as a party tape, sorry disc, ultimately there are bigger and better trailer collections out there that actually look good. Synapse are up to Volume 4 of their 42nd Street Forever collections, while locally Umbrella have 2 collections of trailers, Drive-In Delirium, making up over 24 hours - that's one whole day folks - of trailer goodness and the UK release of Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide all provide lashings of trailers without the puerile zombie filled cinema and a vague attempt has been made to make the trailers look good. Ignore Mad Ron at all costs and go for one of the aforementioned, and vastly superior trailer compilations.
A grim reminder of the halcyon days of VHS, the transfer is terrible; the image is grainy and almost unwatchable. No effort has been made to clean up the trailers and the footage in the cinema looks like it was shot on a Eighties camcorder.
Equally grim. Not worth a listen.
Extra Features
A motley crew extras include a smattering of deleted scenes including a gory trailer for Blood Feast and a short TV spot for Legend of the Wolf Woman and a pretty cool exploitation poster gallery harking back to the days when artwork was groovy. The rest of the bonus material is superfluous. The behind-the-scenes footage is pointless and the on-set hijinx are not funny.
The Verdict
With so many trailer collections out there providing a deluge of bloodthirsty preview thrills, there is no real need for anyone to pick up this lame effort. A few years back this may well have passed for a necessary purchase but now Mad Ron's Prevues From Hell is a dated travesty. Don't go to his cinema.
Movie Score
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