Hundreds are turned away nightly for The Secret Miracle of Birth? This is in the 1970s! Can I see some sort of documentation? I got to love the seriousness with which the straight laced host of the trailer tries to sell what is probably a pre-WWII piece of birthexploitation in the swinging seventies. This actor who plays the host has a familiar voice that I have heard on other exploitation trailers. He has the perfect tone of authority, reason, and (a touch of) condescension. With this trailer, volume five of Something Weird Video's Dusk to Dawn series ends well.
Unfortunately, I also have to acknowledge that, as a whole, volume five is not as enjoyable as volumes one, three, or four (alas, I still don't have a watchable copy of volume two). I do not blame this fact on the selection since several trailers are for bizarre, obscure movies: a Canadian film about a quirky family involved in a crime (The Rubber Gun), a beautiful looking but hammy Italian homage to/parody of Alfred Hitchcock (Psychosissmo), a South African detective story (Operation Yellow Viper), and a 1960's international thriller with singer Petula Clark playing herself (Daggers Drawn).
The problem, if it is a problem, with these trailers is that many of them are for movies I would never watch. Take for instance the trailer to Andy Milligan's Guru The Mad Monk. I am baffled why anyone would ever want to see the full film after watching this trailer. Further bewilderment is provided by a couple of the other trailers on this collection: The Bang Bang Kid, some European made, comedic western with Tom Bosley, and The Double-Barrelled Detective Story, a film that looks so bad as to send source author Mark Twain back from the dead with vengeance on his rotting brain.
In addition, there are a couple of annoying editorial fumbles on the part of Something Weird Video. The fun trailer for Blood Suckers cuts off mid-way through its disclaimer that the film is not liable for its audience's nightmares. Also, the same trailer for the spaghetti western Find a Place to Die is repeated twice on this disk with only five trailers in between. On a side note, this is the second disk of the series that started skipping on me after an hour of viewing. I cannot say whether that is Something Weird Video's fault or my own.
All of this is not to imply that I had a bad time with volume five, for I did not. This entry delivers some good previews. There are two different, yet equally atmospheric, trailers for the Italian horror film The Embalmer (aka Monster in Venice). The short trailer for Amicus studio's The Vault of Horror made me want to watch that film as soon as I was done with the trailer disk (I did not though). The trailer to Scream - and Die! (aka The House That Vanished) reminded me why I tracked the film down. I was disappointed by the end product, but the trailer is still a good one. The trailer for The Big Gundown (under the title A Juste de Cuentas) features great Ennio Morricone music, and the one for A Sensual Man has a very fetching cast of actresses. Speaking of eye candy, I got to give a shout-out to the trailer to the Italian crime film Rico (aka Mean Machine) for showing off the lovely Barbara Bouchet.
Volume five is fun, just not as fun as the other volumes. Bring on volume six!
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