Drive-In Delirium Volume 3: Retro Rampage (2012)
By: Paul Ryan on June 10, 2012  | 
DVD
Umbrella | All Regions, PAL | 1.78:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 720 minutes (Full Specs)
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Having already committed a total of twenty-four hours worth of vintage genre trailers to disc with the previous two volumes of Drive-In Delirium, the tireless folks at Umbrella Entertainment have gone for a trifecta with Volume 3, subtitled Retro Rampage.

If like me, your personal experience of drive-ins comes from the 1980s (an era where I got to see a double bill of Superman IV and Masters of the Universe, no less), you may find yourself identifying a little more closely with the selection of trailers on offer here. There's more in the way of colourful Sci-Fi and Fantasy titles - greater mainstream family-friendly fare on the whole. But fear not, sickos. There's still a bloody chunk of icky horror previews, and they certainly justify the R18+ rating for this set.

Things kick off with Have Rocketship, Will Travel, covering vintage Hollywood science fiction cinema. You get the gee-whiz trailers for such films as Forbidden Planet, It! The Terror From Beyond Space, When Worlds Collide and Destination Moon. Oh and Barbarella, rawr. Of special note is the awesomely leering trailer for 1958's Queen of Outer Space. Never mind the setting, this trailer makes the entire fifties seem like an alien landscape!

Alien invasion hi-jinks are next in Annihilation Earth. There's well-mounted studio productions like The War of the Worlds, It Came From Outer Space and This Island Earth, sprinkled amid B-epics like The Man From Planet X, Fiend Without a Face and The Brain Eaters. British Sci-Fi is also represented with inclusions like Day of the Triffids, Devil Girl From Mars and Dr Who and the Daleks.

Where Have All The People Gone? delves into post-apocalyptic cinema from the fifties to the seventies, with titles such as The World, the Flesh, and the Devil, Damnation Alley, Five, Chosen Survivors and The Andromeda Strain.

Do The Stomp! brings you monsters aplenty, from the Ray Harryhausen creations of The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms and It Came From Beneath the Sea, to the big bug shenanigans of Them!, Tarantula, and The Black Scorpion. There's also a good smattering of bargain basement insanity with The Giant Claw, War of the Colossal Beast and Equinox.

Even more Harryhausen beasties can be found in Saturday Matinee Madness, which is dedicated to the the lavish spectacles of producers George Pal, Irwin Allen, and Charles H. Schneer. This section features such classics as Jason and the Argonauts, Mysterious Island, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Time Machine, and many more. The inclusion of two Jules Verne adaptations from oddball Spanish director Juan Piquer Simon (Fabulous Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mystery on Monster Island) add flavour to this section, as does the trailer for stop-motion kiddie pic Mad Monster Party.

Monochrome thrillers get a look-in in Blood In Black & White, from the elegant chills of The Innocents, Village of the Damned, Children of the Damned, and The Haunting, to the indie classics Night if the Living Dead and Carnival of Souls and the catchpenny delights of Frankenstein 1970, The Alligator People, and The Creature With the Atom Brain. Something for everybody, then.

Old School Auteurs: Selected trailers from Alfred Hitchcock, William Castle and Mario Bava. Castle's trailers are great fun, with the genial filmmaker in full-on huckster mode, promoting his lovably silly gimmicks such as Emergo (House in Haunted Hill), Percepto (The Tingler) and Illusion-O (13 Ghosts), among others. The Bava trailers are more traditional overall, covering Black Sunday, Hercules in the Haunted World, Black Sabbath, and others. The colour-coded, dialogue-free trailer for Carnage (aka Twitch of the Death Nerve) is unique and highly memorable, however. A major influence on Castle, Hitchcock's trailers are true classics of the form, with the maestro inserting himself into the previews of Psycho (in which he leads viewers on a tour of the Bates Motel), Frenzy (where he greets us floating in the Thames) and others.

Poe & Co gathers a bunch of Edgar Allan Poe adaptions from the American International Pictures stable. There's the entire Roger Corman Poe cycle (Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tomb of Ligeia, et. al), plus a few ring-ins like Daniel Haller's wacked-out The Dunwich Horror, and Gordon Hessler's The Oblong Box.

Corman At Ya! follows on very nicely from the previous section. There's a good mix of directing (Not of This Earth, X - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes, Bloody Mama, and Frankenstein Unbound, to name four) and producing credits (Deathsport, Forbidden World, Jackson County Jail, among others) on offer here.

As the name suggests, Technicolor Terror serves up a stack of vividly colourful thrillers. Most of these are British, with such titles as Blood of Fu Manchu, Castle of Fu Manchu, Nothing but the Night, Peeping Tom, Horror Express, and more. The original House of Wax trailer is a welcome addition, as are the lurid previews for trash classics The Astro Zombies and Horror High.

One of the highlights of this set, Hammer Time features 54 trailers from the original incarnation of the venerable - and recently-revived - British studio. Covering the expected Dracula/Frankenstein/Mummy/Quatermass bases, this section also demonstrates just how diverse Hammer's output really was. There's martial arts (Shatter), mystery (The Lady Vanishes, The Hound of the Baskervilles), swashbuckling (The Pirates of Blood River, A Challenge For Robin Hood), colonial intrigue (The Stranglers of Bombay - "In Strangloscope!"), stone-age adventure (One Million Years B.C, Prehistoric Women) and plenty of other delights.

Video Nasties is where the set well and truly earns the R18+ classification. Loads of titles from the early 80s British moral panic are featured here. There's the lovably hokey Herschel Gordon Lewis splatter classics Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, and The Wizard of Gore, the still-potent grossness of Faces of Death, Absurd, and the moral no-man's-land of Naziploitation pics Horrifying Experiments of SS Last Days (better known as The Beast in Heat), Love Camp 7 and SS Experiment Love Camp. You also get a few titles that weren't part of the Video Nasties scare - but had their own censorship issues, all the same - like Street Trash, Splatter University, and Fred Olen Ray's Scalps. This section cheekily finishes with an old cinema ad telling people, "see you in church on Sunday".

Trailerpalooza: There's no single theme to this final section, just lots of trailers across various genres. You get seventies Sci-Fi (Westworld, Soylent Green, The Terminal Man), British smut (Can You Keep It Up For a Week?, Au Pair Girls, Games Girls Play), hicksploitation (Macon County Line, The Farmer), horror sequels (Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III, Friday the 13th Parts VII & VIII, Halloween III: Season of the Witch), Stephen King adaptations (Firestarter, Cat's Eye, Cujo and Silver Bullet) and eighties B-horror (Ghoulies, Bloody Pom-Poms, Mountaintop Motel Massacre, The Dead Pit). There's even one Disney film, in the form of 1980's The Watcher in the Woods, but don't tell anyone!

As before, each disc features an intermission in the middle, containing various candy bar ads, plus other oddities like a fire safety public service announcement starring Smokey the Bear, and an anti-crack warning ad hosted by Clint Eastwood!
Video
As with previous volumes, the video is a mix of 16:9 and 4:3 content. A number of trailers are NTSC-to-PAL conversions, but given the diverse source material, this is forgivable. The quality of the trailers themselves is dependent on the source material, with some coming from remastered DVD-quality stock, and others hailing from analogue tape land. As with the other volumes, all 4:3 trailers are presented pillarboxed inside the 16:9 frame. No subtitles are included.
Audio
Like the video, the 2.0 audio is dependent on the quality of the source material, but it's certainly listenable all the way.
Extra Features
Like the other volumes, there are no extra features, though that Eastwood anti-drug ad is pretty damn special, if you ask me!
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
What can you say? If you've checked out the previous volumes of Drive-in Delirium, this set is a no-brainer. If you haven't - and trailer compilations are your thing - then what are you waiting for? Again, Umbrella has done an amazing job in gathering together such a huge bunch of trailers, with barely any repetition from the previous volumes. Go get it!

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