Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Best of Sex and Violence (1981)

The Best of Sex and Violence has a special place in my heart. It was the first time that I had ever seen any sort of collection of movie trailers. What’s the big deal about that?

Nothing except I love movie trailers. In a weird way I love them more than many movies. When they are done right they convince you that some god awful film about say snakes on a plane is actually gong to be good. A good trailer will get you to go out and see something that reason tells you isn’t very good. A great trailer will haunt you more than the film (the one for Black Belt Jones for example).

Back in the early days of home video you either had to go to the movies to see a trailer, hope that you had some thing like the trailer shows on E or Turner Classic or even HBO, or you had to rent a video tape, where like today’s DVDs the trailers were put on the front of movies. (An aside: back when I managed a video store one of the most rented film wasn’t any of the big films of the day, rather it was Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things directed by Porky’s Bob Clark and written by Alan Omsby. The film wasn’t why people were renting it. It was the trailer for Faces of Death that screened before it that everyone wanted to see.)

Somewhere along the way cable started running something called the BSV and I was in suddenly as happy as a pig in poop. Here was a movie that wasn’t really a movie; rather it was a collection of exploitation trailers all cut together. It was pure exploitation stuff like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Truck Stop Women, The Big Bird Cage and others. Best of all the trailers were introduced by a cranky John Carradine who comments and makes snide asides between the trailers. The film fits very loosely into the documentary category, more so than say It Came From Hollywood or some of the other compilation films which just had clips and the odd remark. (Another aside- it maybe apocryphal but I was once told that this was the only time that John and his two of his three actor sons, David, and Keith appeared in a movie together.)

Originally released in 1981, this had a brief theatrical run in a few theaters before arriving on home video where it developed a cult following which was enhanced by repeated cable screenings.

How good is this collection?

Simply consider that its still in circulation thirty years after it premièred. Yes you can see the trailers on You Tube and elsewhere, but there is something about the packaging, the John Carradine part that has kept the film as something that is still watched today.

If you can track down a copy do yourself a favor and see this.

Fullmoon Just released this on home video. Check Diabolik in the side bar for ordering information


This being New Years Eve we at Unseen are going to give you a treat that ties into BSV and tomorrows Video Nasties The Definitive Guide documentary and trailer compilation. We’re going to present a series of movie trailers one an hour until 2PM EST tomorrow. This is going to be broken up by an intermission at Midnight. When the series finishes tomorrow I’ll have a review of the Video Nasties (which is a look at the panic that resulted when horror films hit home video in the UK). The trailers are some of the best (family appropriate) exploitation trailers out there. So sit back, relax and check back often as Unseen goes Trailer crazy.

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