It’s time for another edition of Grindhouse Trailers! Cut your teeth on these while Bill is writing up his next review (it’s sleazy and from the 70s, like some of the movies here).
Grindhouse Trailers Vol 2
Hobo With a Shotgun
Made as part of a “Grindhouse Trailer” contest, it won and was shown in front of Grindhouse at Canadian theaters.
Perfect recreation of drive-in/grindhouse theater fare, right down to the grainy film stock.
In that spirit, let’s look at some trailers for films set in the “gritty city”
These trailers are real coming attractions from the grindhouse era.
We’ll start off with two winners from Duke Mitchell. Duke Mitchell was one half of a comedy team (the other being Sammy Petrillo) that were imitators of Martin and Lewis. In 1952 they did a movie called “Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla”. (Mitchell being the “Dean Martin” type). That combination was short-lived, but Duke Mitchell would later surface in 1978 with the mafia cult item Massacre Mafia Style. I finally got my hands on a VHS copy of the film (retitled The Executioner). It’s a low-budget gritty mafia-type flick and it’s not very good, but the beginning sequence where two Mafia guys (one played by Mitchell) proceed to wipe out an entire office building is some kind of masterpiece. Fortunately, most of it shows up in the trailer:
Love that song!
Apparently, Mitchell was working on another film called “Gone With the Pope”, which was unfinished when Mitchell died of cancer in 1981. Fortunately, Grindhouse Releasing is reediting it. It’s got great music, it’s offensive, and it involves Catholicism. Unmistakably Duke Mitchell.
Here’s an infamous 70s slasher flick called The Toolbox Murders. A psycho in a ski mask kills off people living in an apartment complex with the contents of his toolbox. This is apparently based off of real life events that took place in 1967. Cameron Mitchell’s in it and it has a very Los Angeles gritty quality to it. It’s nasty, misogynistic, and exploitative – there’s one scene with a girl masturbating in the tub before getting nail gunned to death. But enough praises. Check the trailer:
If you like that kind of stuff, check out movies like Maniac (1980) (with the late Joe Spinell) and the late Lucio Fulci’s New York Ripper (1982).
You may or may not know Robert Ginty. The Mystery Science Theater guys referred to him as the “Paper Chase” guy. He also did a horrible (horribly funny) movie with Donald Pleasence called Warrior of the Lost World (worth seeing for the post-apocalyptic cheese). Well it so happens that Ginty did another movie called The Exterminator, which came out in 1980. Kind of a Death-Wish type flick where Ginty plays a Vietnam vet turned vigilante who goes to war against New York punks. Well, for some reason they decided to do a sequel four years later aptly named Exterminator 2. Brought to you by the Cannon Group, naturally!
yes, that’s Mario Van Peebles you saw in there.
Since we’re staying gritty in New York, here’s a winner for ya. It’s by Frank Henenlotter and it came out in 1982. A deranged dude carries his deformed twin brother around in a straw basket. And his brother is pissed! Techno artist Eon did a song about it. I remember seeing it advertised at some NYC theaters for the midnight showing. Rex Reed called it “The sickest movie I have ever seen”. Sounds like a recommendation to me! Check out Basket Case:
I hate to return to the whole “Death Wish” and Cannon Group film-making style, but… who am I kidding? I love to return to it! In 1985 the Cannon Group released possibly the greatest cheese action movie of the 1980s (and trust me, there are a lot of contenders) – Charles Bronson in Death Wish 3 !!
Reader, I do not lie – Death Wish 3 is wondrous. I would be here all day telling you all the ways DW3 entertains, from the ridiculous dialogue to the amusing gang members to the guns to the outrageous neighborhood gun battles. But you must discover these for yourself.
Our last item for today is a film that lives in infamy. Extremely controversial, it had a well-remembered tagline (“Keep repeating… it’s only a movie…”). Sean Cunningham (the guy behind Friday the 13th) produced it and Wes Craven (the guy behind Nightmare on Elm Street) directed it. When The Last House on the Left came out in ’72, Ebert raved about it (one of Ebert’s many displays of inconsistency) – the first time I saw it I had a hard time getting through the thing because it was so difficult to watch. Even Craven says the material is too grim for him today. This movie inspired a lot of “Last house…” imitators, at least in titling of movies (for example, Last House on Dead End Street was originally titled “Cuckoo Clocks of Hell” but they changed it, also see House on the Edge of the Park). Anyway, here it is: