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Grindhouse Universe (Ban 1 Productions) DVD Review

    Ian Jane

  • Grindhouse Universe (Ban 1 Productions) DVD Review

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    Released by: Ban 1 Productions
    Released on: Winter, 2007.
    Director: Various
    Cast: Various
    Year: Various
    Purchase From Amazon

    Grindhouse Universe - Movie Review:

    The fine folks at Ban 1 Productions, who previously unleashed 42nd St. Forever - Horror On 42nd St. and Smut Palace Insanity upon the world, are back with their latest trailer compilation, Grindhouse Universe. Once again, it proves to be an enjoyable trip through trailerville even if some of the selections are a little scattered. Here’s what to look for once we get past the opening ‘this film is restricted’ bumper in which a cute little kitty cat bats a ball of yarn:

    -Horror House – a British horror film starring none other than Frankie Avalon!

    -Curse Of The Crimson Alter – Christopher Lee, Barbara Steele and Boris Karloff. Based on a story by H.P. Lovecraft!

    -The Crimson Cult – the trailer for AIP’s North American release of Curse Of The Crimson Alter.

    -Night After Night After Night (He Kills) – Justine Lord and Jack May star in this English Jack The Ripper inspired slasher film.

    -Camille 2000 – a trippy trailer of stills set to music to promote Radley Metzger’s film starring Danielle Gilbert.

    -Little Mother – a second Metzger film which loosely adapts the story of Argentina’s Eva Paron!

    -Slave Trade In The World Today – Maleno and Roberto Malenotti’s ‘shocking look’ at the reality of modern day slave trading in Africa.

    -Taboos Of The World – a mondo film narrated by Vincent Price of all people that cashes in on the Mondo Cane formula of showcasing random strange events and practices from around the globe. Alternately known as I Tabu.

    -Macabro – The sequel to Taboos Of The World. Both films were directed by Romolo Marcellini. This one is alternately known as I Tabu n. 2 and it’s more of the same worldwide craziness.

    -Pornography In Denmark – This one is presented unsubbed in German but it’s not too hard to get the geist of what Michael Miller’s supposed documentary from 1970 is all about – the title spells it out!

    -Female Animal – Arlene Tiger (Arlene Farber) stars in this fake European Import that was distributed by directed by produced by Farber’s husband, Jerry Gross and later re-released by Independent International.

    -The Tale Of The Dean’s Wife – Christine Murray plays the titular female lead in this film about a slightly older woman who takes advantage of the young male students on campus.

    -The Minx – The late Jan Sterling of Woman’s Prison stars in this film about blackmail and adulterous affairs directed by Raymond Jacobs of The Woody Woodpecker Show!

    -You All Come! – Also known as All The Young Wives this one stars Linda Cook who went on to voice the Leech Woman in the Puppet Master films in a tale of love gone wrong in the deep south.

    -Kama Sutra – A German sexploitation ‘documentary,’ this trailer promotes the film re-cut and re-released in the US dubbed and with inserts.

    -Kamasutra – a trailer for the British cut of the same film which, for some reason, is in black and white.

    -Sexcapade In Mexico – The only known directorial effort of William James, this one promotes a film where a couple vacationing in Mexico get into trouble with local thugs!

    -The Dirty Mind Of Young Sally – Harry Novak’s sexploitation film starring Sharon Kelly as a randy radio talk show host.

    -The Doberman Gang – a trailer promoting a film about a gang of bank robbers… made up entirely of dogs! These dogs are unstoppable! Director Byron Chudnow worked on the old Batman TV show.

    -Evil In The Deep – Charyl Ladd and Rosey Grier show up in this spot for a seventies treasure hunt film.

    -The Dog – A big scary German shepherd tracks down a wanted criminal and gets into some fights along the way.

    -The Pack – Joe Don Baker takes on a pack of abandoned dogs determined to wreak havoc on a small town and it’s populace.

    -Barracuda – This looks like Jaws, except with Barracuda in it instead of a big shark.

    -Survive! – A Rene Cardona Jr. film about a rugby team who get lost in the mountains and resort to cannibalism to survive.

    -Tintorera – More Cardona craziness, this time ripping on Jaws and cashing in on the giant shark craze of the seventies, albeit very, very poorly.

    -The Black Angels – Touted as the most violent biker film ever made, this trailer is packed full of beat downs, racing and motorcycle action.

    -Devil Rider – From the man who brought you Blood Freak! Looks like fairly typical biker fare though this time the head rider is a chick.

    -Outlaw Riders – Another biker film packed with fights, burns outs and leather!

    -Road Of Death – More biker trash madness shot somewhere in the dirty south. Thora Birch’s porn star mom and pop show up in this one.

    -Triple Terror Treat – a trailer advertising a triple feature consisting of Mark Of The Vampire, The Mask of Fu Manchu and the original Dr. Jekyll And Mister Hyde feels a little out of place among the sleaze compiled here but is entertaining regardless.

    -The Frozen Dead/It – A double feature trailer featuring Dana Andrews and Roddy McDowell taking on a mad scientist and a killer statue respectively.

    -Frankenstein Meets The Space Monster/The Curse Of Voodoo – This is an odd double feature teaming the notorious Frankenstein And The Monster From Space with the Dennis Price starring voodoo picture from the UK.

    -American Fever – An Italian Saturday Night Fever knock off starring Zora Kerova of Cannibal Ferox featuring lots of wicked cool Euro disco!

    -Record City – Ruth Buzzi, Rick Dees, Kinky Friedman and Harold Sakata of all people show up in this ‘feel good’ seventies cornball comedy.

    -Good Little Girls – Presented in French sans subs as Les Petites Filles Modeles about three foxy gals who get up to no good and make out with each other a fair bit. Huzzah!

    -Sweet Jesus Preacher Man – Roger Mosley (TC from Magnum P.I.) plays a crook hiding from the law disguised as a preacher to take control of the local underworld and fight the man!

    -Honky – Brenda Sykes and John Nielson star in this film about interracial love and the controversy that it can bring to the narrow minded. William Marshall shows up in this one too.

    -The Blood Rose – A classy French gothic horror film starring Howard Vernon as a doctor who will go to unspeakable lengths to save his daughter.

    -Fright – A young woman takes a job as a babysitter only to find out the hard way that the boys’ father is definitely a little off kilter.

    -Superchick – Tara B. True is a stewardess who also happens to be a secret agent. Uschi Digard shows up in this one which was directed by Ed Forsyth.

    -Deep Throat Part II – Joe Sarno’s R-rated follow up to Damiano’s classic X-Rated film finds Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems back at it again. Jamie Gillis and a zillion other adult film stars of the era pop up here and there.

    -Little Laura And Big John – Fabian Forte and Karen Black play the title characters who go on the run from the law.

    -The Creeper – Better known as Rituals, possibly the most famous Canadian slasher film after Black Christmas.

    -Rituals – The same film promoted here under it’s better known title.

    -The Teasers Go To Paris – A gang of teenage hotties head to Paris to get it on with the local male populace – hijinks ensue!

    -H.O.T.S. – Danny Bonaduce shows up here and sings in this film about what can happen when hot girls wear tight white t-shirts.

    -Cinderella – Cheryl Rainbeaux Smith plays the lead role in this odd mature audiences take on the classic fairy tale.

    -The Student Body – Three foxy gals get involved in a school experiment involving... drugs!!!

    -Commuter Husbands – A British sex film where a few business men make time with lovely lasses unbeknownst to their wives back home.

    -Sixteen – Tells the tale of a sixteen year old southern girl who 'learned everything the hard way.' Simone Griffeth of Death Race 2000 shows up here.

    -Invasion Of The Bee Girls – Anitra Ford is a mad scientist who creates a race of bee girls who wreak havoc with the men in the area.

    -The Town That Dreaded Sundown – Charles B. Pierce's 1976 thriller about a killer operating in Texarkana, stars Ben Johnson.

    -The Diamond Mercenaries – Val Guest directs Christopher Lee, Telly Savalas, Peter Fonda and OJ Simpson in a film about a diamond mine heist.

    -Dr. Butcher, M. D. – The infamous Aquarius films re-cut version of Zombie Holocaust starring Ian McCulloch and Donald O'Brien.

    -Emanuelle And Francoise – Joe D'Amato's story of love, suicide and revenge, co-written by Bruno Mattei! Stars George Eastman.

    -Emanuelle And The Last Cannibals – One Laura Gemser and Joe D'Amato's finest moments finds everyone's favorite horny photo journalist dealing with flesh eating cannibals and a smoking monkey!

    -The Grim Reaper - D'Amato may be gone but he's not forgotten as the disc finishes off with the trailer for this notorious George Eastman vehicle.

    In between trailers, Ban 1 Productions have thrown in a few other oddities – look for a pair of German beer commercials, and a promo spot singing the praises of tourism in New York City. All in all it's a pretty eclectic mix of trailers and promo spots but it works and there are some really fun bits contained in this compilation.

    Grindhouse Universe - DVD Review:

    Everything on this disc has been framed at 1.78.1 anamorphic widescreen and for the most part, things look reasonably accurate in that aspect ratio. There are a few trailers that look a little tight up top that were probably matted but aside from that there aren’t any serious framing issues and the ones that are noticeable are minor. Unfortunately, the disc hasn’t been flagged for progressive scan playback so you may or may not see some fairly heavy combing depending on your setup and its configuration. The quality of the picture varies from one trailer to the next and the trailers range from merely watchable to pretty decent. Expect to see some grain and print damage as well as some color fading but none of it renders anything unwatchable at all, it’s just that the material here doesn’t look great.

    Dolby Digital Mono through and through, baby. Most of the trailers here are in English though one or two are in a foreign language. No subtitles are provided (unless you count the burned in Greek subtitles on Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals!) but that’s no surprise nor does the content really warrant their inclusion. As far as the quality of the audio goes, it’s on part with the video in that it varies from trailer to trailer. You are going to hear the occasional pop and there’s some background hiss here and there but there aren’t any serious issues here. You’ll have no problem making out the narration or the dialogue and the levels have all been properly balanced.

    Extras include a commentary from film journalist David Hayes. Unfortunately there’s a bit of background noise audible in the recording. Hayes relays some trivia and tells a few related stories as the trailers play out in front of us. There’s nothing here that’s going to come as a revelation to anyone steeped in the history of any of the specific films that this compilation covers. Some basic animated menus are included and the trailers are available to watch either individually or by way of a ‘play all’ button.

    Grindhouse Universe - The Final Word:

    Over two hours of quality trash film trailers make Grindhouse Universe a whole lot of good, dirty fun even if the presentation left some noticeable room for improvement.

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