Drive-In Delirium: Maximum '80s Overdrive [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (28th March 2017).
The Film

“Drive-In Delirium: Maximum ‘80s Overdrive”

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: Maximum ‘80s Overdrive” provides the following collection of over 100 movie trailers:

Trailers (with Play All) (227:05)
- PART ONE "The Crackdown" (51 trailers) (114:24)
-- Pre show
-- Shogun Assassin
-- Raw Force
-- Chained Heat
-- 9 Deaths of the Ninja
-- Stripped to Kill
-- To Live and Die In L.A.
-- Code of Silence
-- Invasion USA
-- Black Moon Rising
-- Biggles
-- Used Cars
-- Wacko
-- Up the Creek
-- Dressed to Kill
-- Roadgames
-- Blowout
-- Blood Simple
-- 52 Pick-Up
-- Crimes of Passion
-- The Exterminator
-- Ms .45
-- Death Wish II
-- Class of 1984
-- Vigilante
-- Escape from the Bronx
-- The New Barbarians
-- Dead End Drive-In
-- Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn
-- Dungeonmaster
-- Zone Troopers
-- Eliminators
-- Sorceress
-- Saturn 3
-- The Thing
-- Space Raiders
-- The Terminator
-- Ice Pirates
-- Robocop
-- Miracle Mile
-- They Live
-- Gnaw: Food of the Gods 2
-- Breakin’
-- Zombi Holocaust
-- Nightmare City
-- Cannibal Holocaust
-- Contamination
-- The Beyond
-- The Black Cat
-- The New York Ripper
-- Demons / Demons 2
-- Intermission
- PART TWO "Stalk N Slash" (65 trailers) (112:40)
-- Pre show
-- Maniac
-- The Children
-- Friday the 13th + Part 2 + Part 3 3D
-- King Cobra (Jaws of Satan)
-- Prom Night
-- Terror Train
-- To All a Goodnight
-- Christmas Evil
-- Don’t Answer the Phone
-- Don’t Go in the Woods
-- Just Before Dawn
-- Schizoid
-- Mother’s Day
-- Graduation Day
-- My Bloody Valentine
-- Halloween II
-- Nightmare
-- The Burning
-- Madman
-- Pieces
-- The Final Terror
-- Curtains
-- Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2
-- Sorority House Massacre
-- Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
-- Nightmare Weekend
-- Chopping Mall
-- Blood Diner
-- The Stepfather
-- Venom
-- Macabra (Demonoid)
-- Mutant
-- Creepshow 2
-- Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
-- The Blob
-- Day of the Dead
-- The Monster Club
-- Fright Night
-- Return of the Living Dead
-- Night of the Creeps
-- Night of the Demons
-- Monster Squad
-- Bride of Re-Animator
-- Death Ship
-- The Fog
-- The Nesting
-- Deadly Blessing
-- Scanners
-- Halloween III: Season of the Witch
-- Christine
-- The Horror Star
-- Amityville 3-D
-- Children of the Corn
-- Cat’s Eye
-- Night Train to Terror
-- Nomads
-- Prison
-- Bad Dreams
-- Child’s Play
-- Phantasm II
-- Waxwork
-- Death Spa
-- Shocker
-- Post Show
Poster Gallery (5:18)
Trailer (1:18)


More than 3.5 hours of trailers plus commercials are included in this set, broken into two parts. The first part, “The Crackdown” is a focus on action films in various subgenres. The second part “Stalk N Slash” is a focus on slasher films and horror films. There are Japanese samurai/ninja films, vengeance films, apocalyptic near future films, medieval sci-fi, wacky comedies, zombie and cannibal films, and lots more that can be classified. The 70s had an increase in violence, sex, and language and the 80s continued the tradition even further in the exploitation trailers, almost a slap in the face to the fairly conservative Reagan/Thatcher era of western culture. 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.

The previous “Drive In Delirium: ‘60s and ‘70s Savagery” had some issues with the order and presentation of the trailers, but this collection is a bit more consistent. Not only are the trailers divided into two parts but the order of the trailers is better planned out. The set groups subgenres together, such as placing the vengeance films back to back, the sci-fi films together, and the cannibals films as well. There are the one off trailers that are lonely such as the music film “Breakin’” placed between horror films, but overall it is a much more consistent set. Chuck Norris features are covered, R-rated crossover to the mainstream classics like “The Terminator” and “RoboCop” as well, John Carpenter features like “The Thing” and “They Live” are featured, and even some surprises like the art house classic debut from the Coen Brothers “Blood Simple”. One issue about the trailers is that Australia is not represented well. “Roadgames” and “Dead End Drive In” 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: Maximum ‘80s Overdrive” 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, but there are ones that stand a bit on the weaker side. Trailers such as “Chained Heat”, “Miracle Mile”, “Don’t Answer the Phone” are slightly faded, “The Children”, “Space Raiders” are scratchy, “Zombi Holocaust” and “Gnaw: Food of the Gods 2” have soft picture. Some trailers such as “Black Moon Rising”, “Shocker”, and “Vigilante” have pretty dark transfers, and “Black Moon Rising” especially has a very waxy appearance with the grain removed. 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.

Some of the trailers are an "A" in image. Some are "D" grade for scratches - though authentic. With more better-looking transfers than bad, it averages out to a “B” grade.

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. Nothing sounds especially bad and luckily for the trailer for “The Blob”, the audio is in sync with the picture, unlike the Umbrella Entertainment Blu-ray of the film which the trailer had a significant sync issue. 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. Some trailers such as “Blood Simple” have no dialogue at all.

Extras

Poster Gallery (5:18)
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: Maximum ‘80s Overdrive” certainly delivers goods with 3.5 hours of insanity. 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: B Audio: B Extras: C- Overall: B-

 


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