Drive-In Delirium: '60s and '70s Savagery [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (15th March 2017).
The Film

“Drive-In Delirium: '60s and '70s Savagery”

Trailers for films have been around for more than 100 years from the early days of cinema, taking off especially during the Hollywood transition to talkies in the late 1920s. Featuring the faces of the stars, dialogue clips, action heavy scenes, and narration and explanatory text, it became a standard way to market the film along with posters, news ads, merchandising, and radio promotion and still continues to this day with the same principles. Throughout the years the “art” of the trailers changed with the times and over the years there were trends that came and went. Big text was the norm in the early days but small text became standardized in more recent years. Quotations from film critics were rare in the early days but from the 70s onwards they became a commonplace. Narration starting with “In a world….” or any narration at all has died off entirely in the 2010s. There certainly is an art to the movie trailer with various changes over the years and they are a great way to see how marketing and audience expectations changed. In addition there were highly artistic trailers that did not conform to the masses. Sometimes the trailers didn’t feature any footage from the movie and teased the audience such as the first trailer for “Citizen Kane”. The filmmakers stepped out in front of the camera to present their work such as many of Alfred Hitchcock’s movie trailers. Jean-Luc Godard cut many of his own trailers in a way that made it hard to grasp what the movie was about but was an artistically challenging piece itself to compliment the feature film.

With drive-in movie theaters and independent theaters becoming a popular way to market independent and smaller studio pictures from the 1950s onward, the films being shown at the youth oriented crowd was all about what the major studios didn’t offer. Sex, violence, horror, music, youth oriented works. They didn’t have the big budgets or the big stars, but the films packed a punch and it was just what the teens and early twenties crowds wanted. Small budgets with big returns. To sell the films, the trailers had to be just as wild and crazy with scenes of explosions, blood, violence, special effects, and even some nudity if possible. While drive-in cinemas have all but died around the world and Hollywood has gone the exploitive route on many productions following the success of the indies, the youth of the 21st century will never get to experience the drive-in theater experience - drive the car, set up the speakers, order food and drinks and watch a projected movie on a screen in the comfort of your own vehicle with friends or a loved one. Umbrella Entertainment’s line of “Drive-In Delirium” sets may not give a true experience of the drive-in with both presentation or the experience, it still provides a lengthy fun time with a collection of movie trailers that played in the non-mainstream theaters.

“Drive-In Delirium: '60s and '70s Savagery” provides the following collection of nearly 150 movie trailers:

Trailers (with Play All) (366:32)
- PART ONE: 60s Trailers (41 trailers) (111:59)
-- Pre show
-- The Pleasure Girls
-- Peeping Tom
-- House of Usher
-- The Mask
-- Burn Witch, Burn
-- The Brain That Wouldn’t Die
-- The Long Hair of Death
-- Island of Terror
-- Corruption
-- The Conqueror Worm (Witchfinder General)
-- Eye of the Cat
-- Dracula – Prince of Darkness
-- The Plague of Zombies
-- The Devil’s Own (The Witches)
-- Quatermass and the Pit
-- The Mummy’s Shroud
-- The Devil’s Bride (The Devil Rides Out)
-- The Lost Continent
-- Code 7 Victim 5
-- The Quiller Memorandum
-- Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die
-- Five Golden Dragons
-- Deadlier than the Male
-- The File of the Golden Goose
-- The Big Switch
-- Machine Gun McCain
-- The Secret Invasion
-- The Big Gundown
-- Guns of the Magnificent Seven
-- Gorgo
-- Jason and the Argonauts
-- The First Men in the Moon
-- Robinson Crusoe on Mars
-- The Satan Bug
-- Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth (The Bubble)
-- Thunderbird 6
-- Barbarella
-- Latitude Zero
-- The Bedsitting Room
-- Wild in the Streets
-- Head
-- Intermission
- PART TWO: 70s Trailers (105 trailers) (254:33)
-- Pre show
-- Trouble Man
-- Black Caesar
-- Slaughter
-- Scream Blacula Scream
-- Sugar Hill
-- Frogs
-- Wicked Wicked
-- Hannah – Queen of the Vampires
-- Seizure
-- Deranged
-- The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
-- The Town that Dreaded Sundown
-- Death Trap
-- Grizzly + Dogs
-- Rabid
-- Audrey Rose
-- Blue Sunshine
-- Empire of the Ants
-- Shockwaves
-- The Hills Have Eyes
-- Halloween
-- Savage Weekend
-- Salem’s Lot
-- Psychic Killer
-- Carrie
-- Jennifer
-- The Fury
-- Patrick + Long Weekend
-- Hatchet For the Honeymoon
-- Amuck
-- The Night Evelyn Came Out of the Grave
-- Baron Blood
-- The Lady in Red Kills Seven Times
-- Carnal Violence (Torso)
-- Andy Warhol’s Dracula (Blood For Dracula) + Count Dracula’s Great Love
-- Vampyres
-- Strip Nude For Your Killer
-- Zombie
-- Vampire Circus
-- Blood From the Mummy’s Tomb
-- Hands of the Ripper + Twins of Evil
-- Captain Kronos – Vampire Hunter
-- Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell
-- The Man Who Haunted Himself
-- Scream and Scream Again!
-- The Abominable Dr. Phibes + Dr. Phibes Rises Again
-- 10 Rillington Place
-- Horror Express
-- What the Peeper Saw
-- Don’t Look Now
-- Tales that Witness Madness
-- The Mutations
-- Madhouse
-- The Flesh and Blood Show + House of Whipcord
-- Terror
-- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
-- The Lickerish Quartet
-- Salon Kitty
-- Massage Parlor Hookers
-- Sugar Cookies
-- Eskimo Nell
-- Bloody Mama + Boxcar Bertha
-- Act of Vengeance
-- Assault on Precinct 13
-- Moon
-- Live Like a Cop Die Like a Man
-- When Eight Bells Toll
-- Vanishing Point
-- The Mechanic
-- Scorpio
-- McQ
-- The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
-- Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
-- Killer Force
-- Vigilante Force
-- Rolling Thunder
-- Hardcore
-- The Warriors
-- The Man From Hong Kong + Stunt Rock
-- The Boys From Brazil
-- The Magnificent Seven Ride
-- Bite the Bullet
-- Keoma
-- Shoot The Sun Down
-- The Incredible 2-headed Transplant
-- Beware The Blob
-- Sleeper
-- Schlock
-- Futureworld
-- Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
-- The Incredible Melting Man
-- Damnation Alley
-- Mad Max
-- Capricorn One
-- Star Crash
-- Star Trek – The Motion Picture (teaser)
-- Avalanche
-- Post Show


Over 6 hours of trailers plus commercials are included in this set. The 60s trailers offered come from a variety of genres - horror films take up a large amount, with low budget classics from director/producer Roger Corman, the British horror classics from Hammer Studios featuring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing, monster films, science fiction, and westerns. The 70s trailers upped the sex with European imports from directors such as Tinto Brass, Blaxploitation action films, animal and nature inspired horror inspired by the “Jaws” craze, and violent vengeance films in a during and post Vietnam War era. For people that groan at movie theaters who can’t wait for the trailers to finish so the movie can start, this collection is not for you, as the movie never starts! But for people interested in vintage b-movie and exploitation trailers it is a great collection that can be put on even as background for fun. In addition the “Pre Show”, “Post Show”, and Intermission segments include a few vintage commercials for toys and concession snacks for the audience to add a little extra something.

It is a lot of fun but there is some criticism to say about the presentation of the trailers on the set. First off, the trailers are divided between 60s and 70s which is a good thing, but there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for the order of the trailers within. There are times that the Hammer films are played back to back or a few sci-fi films are placed in a row, but on many occasions they are random. Not chronological, not by genre, not by director. Possibly if there were a menu option to play a “play chronological” or “play by genre” options that may have been ideal. Another issue is the presentation quality of the trailers themselves. Many of them look… too clean! With many trailer compilations, the trailers came from archives and theater basements which had dirt, scratches, tears, and a feeling of slight neglect - which was a part of the grindhouse and drive-in experience. But when the trailers look almost brand new from restorations (even one or two have a “copyright 2016” logo added), the authenticity drops. It’s rare to comment and say negatively that the picture quality looks “good”. (There is another issue with the picture quality that will be addressed in the “video” section later.) Another issue about the trailers is that Australia is not represented well. “Patrick”, “The Man from Hong Kong” and “Mad Max” are featured, but almost all the trailers featured here are NOT the Australian trailers but American or British ones. Considering Umbrella Entertainment is an Australian distributor, many might expect exclusive Australian versions of the trailers but they are not to be found. The vast amount of Ozploitation is missing from the set while on the Umbrella DVD set of the documentary “Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation!” had a bonus disc of about 2 hours of Australian trailers, they are not to be found here on this set. If “Drive-In Delirium” continues with a “Ozploitation Classics” Blu-ray, that would be absolutely grand.

Regardless, “Drive-In Delirium: '60s and '70s Savagery” is an absolute blast of fun with high rewatchability and luckily a large handful of the films themselves are currently available on Blu-ray as well in various countries. Viewers will be guaranteed to start memoing the movie titles for their “to watch”, and more people exposed to the cinema of the past is always a good thing.

Note this is a region ALL Blu-ray which can be played back on any Blu-ray player worldwide

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the trailers in 1080p in the AVC MPEG-4 codec in various aspect ratios. Each trailer is different but most are in the 1.78:1 widescreen size, with a handful of others being 1.33:1, 1.85:1, or 2.35:1. As stated before, many of the trailers actually look good, being remastered in HD. The 60s trailers such as “The Pleasure Girls”, “Peeping Tom”, “Witchfinder General”, and “The Devil Rides Out” among others are almost as good as the films themselves in their remastered states with deep colors and only minor instances of scratches or specs. On the other hand there are weaker ones such as “The Plague of the Zombies” with faded colors, “The Lost Continent” coming from a very scratchy print, and “Jason and the Argonauts” having a dark transfer. As for the 70s trailers, “The Hills Have Eyes”, “Blue Sunshine”, “Carrie”, “10 Rillington Place” among many others are from restored sources. But “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud”, “Savage Weekend”, “Psychic Killer” and more have faded colors and damage on the image. Umbrella Entertainment has sourced the trailers from a variety of places including the United States and Europe and since the trailers come from different companies and different sources, the quality of the image will vary from trailer to trailer. As the damage gives it a flavor of age and a feel for the drive-in environment, I prefer the damaged trailers for presentation in this collection rather than the clean restored versions, personally.

Another issue with this set is that quite a few of the trailers seem to have errors in their transfers where the picture gets jittery and choppy suddenly. At first I suspected it was my player, but after testing on two players and also checking the jittery sections frame by frame, it was clear this was a disc issue and not a player issue. The jitter would occur usually after a sharp cut during a trailer playing, and some have it on one occasion while others like “Blood for Dracula” and “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” had it throughout many segments. Umbrella Entertainment has been notified of the issue.

Some of the trailers are an "A" in image. Some are "D" grade for scratches - though authentic. But the jittering issue does take some points off so the score is reluctantly a "C" grade overall.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
The audio like the video will vary in quality depending on the trailer. For the restored trailers, the music sounds very good with little instances of damage. While others such as “Machine Gun McCain” and “Fantastic Invasion of Planet Earth” sound very scratchy with dropouts and bad fidelity. Note that some of the trailers are presented in mono while a few are in stereo. Rather than listing out which is 2.0 mono and which is 2.0 stereo, the set has been simply labeled “2.0 stereo”.

There are no subtitles for the trailers. All the trailers are in English and all the on-screen text is in English, including the European films which have English dubbed trailers.

Extras

Poster Gallery (6:29)
A large gallery of HD trailers in an automatic slideshow and music with most of them being posters of the trailers included in the set, while there were a few exclusives presented only in the poster gallery.
in 1080p AVC MPEG-4, Music Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo

Trailer (1:18)
Here is the trailer for both the “Drive-In Delirium: '60s and '70s Savagery” and the simultaneously released “Drive-In Delirium: Maximum ‘80s Overdrive” Blu-ray sets. The trailer is embedded below.
in 1080p AVC MPEG-4, Music Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo



The posters are a nice touch but there is no audio commentary, interviews, or radio spots that could have been added. Many trailer compilations on DVD or Blu-ray have included audio commentaries in the past with many being quite informative for background on the films themselves, so it is sadly missed here.

Packaging

The cover is reversible, with the inside artwork being identical except that the Australian R18+ rating logo is removed from the front cover.

Overall

Trailer collections are a lot of fun and “Drive-In Delirium: ‘60s and ‘70s Savagery” certainly delivers goods with 6 hours of madness. Of course it would have been better if Umbrella Entertainment to include more Australian trailers and if they could have used “aged” trailers rather than restored trailers, but that is just with personal taste. Still comes very recommended.

The Film: B Video: C Audio: B- Extras: C- Overall: B-

 


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