1981's Wizard Video release "The Best of Sex and Violence" features 28 trailers from the 1970s, the last decade of drive-in heaven, where it's likely that not one of these titles lost money at the box office. Apart from some bleeped language they're uncensored, with violence and nudity aplenty, exactly what the title promises, and no doubt helping producer Charles Band move quite a few units in his early 80s VHS catalog. 'Special Host' is the legendary scene stealer John Carradine, working with quips written by regular Band screenwriter Frank Ray Perilli, whose career as a forgotten actor included a teaming with Bob Ball in the 1962 Jonathan Haze-scripted AIP cheapie "Invasion of the Star Creatures." Some of these films are known under multiple titles: "Emmanuelle Around the World" aka "Confessions of Emmanuelle," "Sweet Sugar" aka "She Devils in Chains," "Ebony Ivory and Jade" aka "Savage Sisters" (several of the sexy scenes were reused in another Charles Band compilation from director Ken Dixon, "Famous T&A," hosted by Sybil Danning). 1980's "The Boogie Man" is the one John Carradine film included, and many of his comments must have been ad-libbed, discussing some of his earlier features like "The Sign of the Cross," "The Invisible Man," "Bride of Frankenstein," "The Prisoner of Shark Island," "Jesse James," "The Grapes of Wrath," and "The Invisible Man's Revenge," actor friends such as Basil Rathbone and Errol Flynn, and director Cecil B. DeMille (an archival cameo from Angelo Rossitto comes from a newsreel). He frequently references his experience in horror films, lamenting that as Dracula he never got any naked girls, conveniently forgetting 1978's "Vampire Hookers." Five minutes from the end, sons David and Keith show up for some priceless comic banter with their famous father, delightfully off the cuff, with Keith finally convulsed with laughter. We even get a climactic glimpse at the explosion from Band's 1978 "End of the World," a film that had been announced for Carradine, who did not appear (a major reason for star Christopher Lee's disappointment). A ubiquitous presence in video stores of the era, this compilation inexplicably also played occasional drive-ins under the title "Screams of Flesh and Blood," as part of an all night horror show with Paul Naschy's "Night of the Howling Beast," Herschell Gordon Lewis' "The Wizard of Gore" (retitled "House of Torture"), George Romero's "Night of the Living Dead," and Al Adamson's "Dracula vs. Frankenstein" (retitled "They're Coming to Get You"), making for a 1980s John Carradine/Lon Chaney Jr. twin bill. The 2011 DVD release is notably worse than old VHS copies, but is at least inexpensive, a pleasant reminder of a bygone age when cinema was still no-holds-barred, and delightfully politically incorrect.
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