I love movie trailers. I think there’s a very real skill and art to them and, though most of them now give away way too much, trailers once were meant to simply excite and entice. This is why I was so thrilled last year when I found out about the website Trailers From Hell. It’s an immensely fun and informative tri-weekly blog that entertains and educates about classic, obscure, or otherwise bonkers cinema via commentary over the movie’s trailer.
Started by filmmaker Joe Dante (he of Gremlins, Matinee, and The Howling fame), the website offers three new vintage trailers a week introduced by one of dozens of filmmakers, including Edgar Wright, Eli Roth, Guillermo del Toro, John Landis, Mick Garris, etc. etc. etc. After introducing the film, we get a 2-4 minute commentary about the history of the movie, the silliness of the trailer, the impact the movie had on them, or just a recommendation for new viewers. It’s a mini-film class, three times a week.
The trailers tend to horror or science fiction, but no genre is off-limits as long as it’s a movie worth talking about. One day it might be Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, another it might be Disney’s The Black Hole, and another it might be the ridiculous Three On a Meathook.
I can’t tell you how invaluable this has been to me and my Netflix queue. There are currently 728 trailers on the site and new ones come out every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When I first discovered it, I spent close to two days straight just devouring all the trailers and quick movie knowledge as possible. Would you like a taste? Here’s last Friday’s entry from the man himself, Joe Dante, discussing a Roger Corman film taken from an H.P. Lovecraft story, entitled The Haunted Palace.
See? I bet you didn’t know ANY of that. I cannot tell you enough how much I enjoy this website and I needed to share it with you, my Nerdist brethren and sestren. It’s important to preserve these film oddities, and one way to do that is to know about them and watch them. Trailers From Hell is doing all of us an enormous cinematic favor. Now, do yourself a favor: check out the list of trailers, watch all, and enjoy!