Drive-in Delirium: Dead by Dawn [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (8th September 2019).
The Film

"Drive-in Delirium: Dead by Dawn"

While talking about an upcoming movie, when someone asks "Have you seen the new trailer?", you will immediately look it up on your phone or computer at that moment and see it on the little screen. The luxury of having the ability to see it quickly and to the masses means that the marketing, the editing, and how much is shown in the trailers are quite different to that of yesteryear. Way before the iPhone, before Quicktime downloads, before annoyingly unskippable start-up trailers on DVDs, the only way to see theatrical trailers were, well... at the theater. When comparing trailers from differing decades and now different centuries, it's interesting to see how different marketing was for various genres, with different trends coming and going. Looking at trailers in the modern day, narration is gone, large text covering the image is gone, sometimes dialogue is not even in the trailer. No matter if it's an A list film or a B grade film, there is a specific formula and as enticing as they are, modern movie trailers have become a formulaic marketing tool. There are exceptions of course, but to reach the masses, it's best not to disrupt what works and what the YouTube comments say.

Back in the days when drive-in movie theaters were prevalent, the films and trailers shown there were not A list roadshow productions. They were cheapies, genre films, and indies that could make easy money from the teens to twenties crowds of drivers. There are very few drive-in movie theaters left in the world and many movie fans these days may never get to experience driving to a theater, setting up speakers in the car or sometimes sitting on the car itself to watch a movie. Umbrella Entertainment's "Drive-in Delirium" series of DVDs and Blu-rays are not meant to recreate the experience, but it is meant to collect what was a fun way to start the movie. While finding a parking space, while getting food and drinks at the concession stand, trailers for new and upcoming films would play on the screen as a way to entice viewers to return and to excite them for the next drive. Rather than just the usual 15 to 20 minute experience, this set along with the previous Blu-ray releases ("Drive-In Delirium: '60s and '70s Savagery", "Drive-In Delirium: Maximum '80s Overdrive", "Drive-In Delirium: The New Batch") present a compilation of hours and hours of movie trailers from way back when. "Dead by Dawn" promises "167 horror & T&A trailers" and the list is as follows:

Trailers (with "Play All" option) (378:46)
- Part 1: "The Final Chapter" (184:08)
-- Preshow
-- "It Came from Beneath the Sea"
-- "The Monster That Challenged the World"
-- "20 Million Miles to Earth"
-- "The Black Scorpion"
-- "Zaat"
-- "Night of the LEpus"
-- "Willard" and "Ben" combo
-- "Food of the Gods"
-- "King Kong"
-- "The Swarm"
-- "Jaws 2"
-- "Something Waits in the Dark (Screamers)"
-- "Spasms"
-- "Slugs"
-- "Maniac"
-- "The Old Dark House (1963)"
-- "Curse of the Mummy's Tomb"
-- "The Gorgon"
-- "The Deadly Bees"
-- "The Mind of Mr. Soames"
-- "See No Evil"
-- "Assault"
-- "Asylum"
-- "Virgin Witch"
-- "Horror of Snape Island (Tower of Evil)"
-- "Dracula A.D. 1972"
-- "The Satanic Rites of Dracula"
-- "The Legend of Hell House"
-- "The Cars That Ate Paris"
-- "And Then There Were None (1974)"
-- "The Devil Within Her (Monster)"
-- "Prey"
-- "The Last Wave"
-- "The Shout"
-- "Killer's Moon"
-- "Terror"
-- "The Medusa Touch"
-- "Next of Kin"
-- "Rawhead Rex"
-- "Gothic"
-- "Lair of the White Worm"
-- "Black Sabbath"
-- "Death Laid an Egg"
-- "The Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion"
-- "Five Dolls For An August Moon"
-- "Four Flies on Grey Velvet"
-- "The Fifth Cord"
-- "Short Night of the Glass Dolls"
-- "The Bloodstained Butterfly"
-- "Seven Blood-Stained Orchids"
-- "The Case of the Bloody Iris"
-- "The Blood Spattered Bride"
-- "Death Smiles on a Murderer"
-- "What Have You Done to Our Daughters?"
-- "The Night Train Murders"
-- "The Pyjama Girl Case"
-- "Watch Me When I Kill"
-- "Suspiria"
-- "The Bloodstained Shadow"
-- "Absurd"
-- "Madhouse"
-- "Blind Date"
-- "Stage Fright"
-- "Opera"
-- "Nightmare Beach"
-- "Beyond the Door"
-- "The Night Child"
-- "The Other Hell"
-- "The Nights of Terror (Burial Ground)"
-- "The Man from Deep River"
-- "Eaten Alive"
-- "Massacre in Dinosaur Valley"
-- "Cut and Run"
-- "Survive!"
-- "SS Experiment Love Camp"
-- Intermission
- Part 2: "A New Beginning" (194:41)
-- Pre Show
-- "The Maze"
-- "13 Ghosts"
-- "Psycho"
-- "Homicidal"
-- "The Premature Burial"
-- "Strait-Jacket"
-- "Wait Until Dark"
-- "Games"
-- "Night of the Living Dead"
-- "Play Misty for Me"
-- "Images"
-- "Black Christmas"
-- "It's Alive"
-- "It Lives Again"
-- "Drive-in Massacre"
-- "Hex Massacre (Who Can Kill a Child?) + Lucifer's Curse (Holocaust 2000)"
-- "Rituals"
-- "Scalpel"
-- "The Changeling"
-- "New Year's Evil"
-- "Motel Hell"
-- "Night Warning"
-- "Hell Night"
-- "One Dark Night"
-- "Psycho II"
-- "Creepshow"
-- "Evil Dead"
-- "The Incubus"
-- "The Dorm That Dripped Blood"
-- "Blood Beat"
-- "Of Unknown Origin"
-- "Silent Night Deadly Night"
-- "Scream for Help"
-- "Special Effects"
-- "The Stuff"
-- "Silver Bullet"
-- "Crawlspace"
-- "Maximum Overdrive"
-- "Neon Maniacs"
-- "The Majorettes"
-- "From a Whisper to a Scream"
-- "The Believers"
-- "American Gothic"
-- "Scarecrows"
-- "The Return of the Living Dead Part II"
-- "Nightmare at Noon"
-- "Cutting Class"
-- "After Midnight"
-- "Intruder"
-- "Luther the Geek"
-- "Deadly Games (Wanted Mr. Christmas)"
-- "Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III"
-- "Blow-Up"
-- "Candy"
-- "Eugenie"
-- "Deep End"
-- "Ciao! Manhattan"
-- "Immoral Tales"
-- "Pets"
-- "The Working Girls"
-- "The Kidnap Lover"
-- "CB Hustlers"
-- "The Pom Pom Girls"
-- "Vampire Hookers"
-- "Malibu High"
-- "Centrespread"
-- "The Devil's Honey"
-- "9 1/2 Weeks"
-- "Dr. Strangelove"
-- "Casino Royale"
-- "Bananas"
-- "Love Thy Neighbour"
-- "Man About the House"
-- "Young Frankenstein"
-- "Silent Movie"
-- "Jabberwocky"
-- "The End"
-- "Caddyshack"
-- "Airplane"
-- "S.O.B."
-- "Zapped!"
-- "Eating Raoul"
-- "Strange Brew"
-- "Valley Girl"
-- "Better Off Dead"
-- "Clue"
-- "Teen Wolf"
-- "My Chauffeur"
-- "Back to School"
-- "The Princess Bride"
-- "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure"
-- Post Show
-- Also Available


Without including the "Preshow", "Postshow" there are 76 trailers in "Part 1" and 91 in "Part 2" so the math is correct, with more than six hours of non-stop content. But that is not all. Like the previous installment "Drive-In Delirium: The New Batch", there is a section titled "VHS Delirium" which is over an hour and a half of vintage VHS start-up trailers, and the following are offered:

"Bride of VHS Delirium" (96:21)
- "The Beyond"
- "Cannibal Apocalypse"
- "Creepers (Phenomena)"
- "The Dark"
- "Epitaph"
- "The Evictors"
- "The House on Sorority Row"
- "I Spit on Your Grave"
- "L.A. Crack Down"
- "Madman"
- "The Mutilator"
- "Night of the Zombies (Hell of the Living Dead)"
- "Rape Squad (Act of Vengeance)"
- "Savage Man, Savage Beast"
- "The Slayer"
- "Splatter University"
- "Squirm"
- "Trapped"
- "Dario Argento's World of Horror"
- "Bloody New Year"
- "Blood Theatre"
- "Silent Night, Deadly Night"
- "Silent Night, Deadly Night 2"
- "The Initiation"
- "Spookies"
- "The Return of Count Yorga"
- "Tenebrae"
- "Demons 2"
- "Reborn"
- "Sole Survivor"
- "Android"
- "The Lost Empire"
- "Prisoners of the Lost Universe"
- "Battle for the Lost Planet"
- "The Brother from Another Planet"
- "Hamburger: The Motion Picture"
- "Pinball Summer"
- "Stitches"
- "Hot Dog: The Movie"
- "Waitress!"
- "Stuck on You!"
- "the First Turn-On!!"
- "Feelin' Up"
- "The Princess and the Call Girl"
- "Blackout"
- "The Guardian"
- "Family and Honor"
- "The Professor"
- "Golden Needles"
- "Diva"
- "Rape Squad (MS. 45)"
- "Pray for Death"
- "Rage of Honor"
- "The Retaliator"
- "Feel the Heat"
- "Survival Game"
- "Commando Squad"
- "Double Revenge"
- "Rage to Kill"
- "Snake Eater"
- Palace Films Promo


For the main theatrical trailers part one, it starts off with a few commercials for concession stand drinks and snacks, as well as toy commercials and even a cigarette commercial which would never run in a theater in the modern age. At first there are a series of monster movie trailers, with "It Came from Beneath the Sea", "20 Million Miles to Earth" for some enticing 1950s science fiction terror. Next are some animal terror film with "Jaws 2", "Willard", and such which was an odd but enticing genre craze in the 1970s. Things cross over to the United Kingdom for some Hammer films with "The Gorgon" and "Curse of the Mummy's Tomb" and more featuring maniacal characters as well as classic monsters with lots of bloody terror. A series of evil spirits are seen in trailers for "The Devil Within Her" and "The Cars That Ate Paris" which is the first Australian film trailer seen in the set. Weird oddities with "Rawhead Rex" and "Lhe lair of the White Worm" are also seen, but the lengthiest section comes from the Italian films filled with horror, giallo, cannibals, and sexiness. "TheForbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion", Four Flies on Grey Velvet", "Supiria", "The Bloodstained Butterfly", "Eaten Alive!" are but a few to be mentioned.

For the second part of theatrical trailers, another series of commercials including G.I. Joe toys and a Kool Aid commercial starring The Monkees are shown for fun, followed by the main trailers. Two directors that frequently appearing in front of the camera for their movie trailers were Alfred Hitchcock and William Castle. Hitchcock appears for the classic trailer for "Psycho" which features no footage from the actual film. A few of Castle's films appear such as "13 Ghosts" and "Strait-Jacket" for some gimmicky yet fun horror films. Some other major directors' works appear with Terence Young's "Wait Until Dark" and Robert Altman's "Images" with some of their terror classics. 1980s horror classics such as "Creepshow", "The Evil Dead" kick off a bunch of well known classics, with zombie films, high school terror, and Stephen King adaptations along the way. After the trailer for "Leatherface", things suddenly turn back to the swinging styles of 1960s London with "Blow-Up" which is a bit jarring, From there the trailers go toward the T&A direction, with "The Pom Pom Girls", "Centrespread", "9 1/2 Weeks", and others. Finally, comedies make the final round with "Airplane!", "Silent Movie", "Caddyshack", "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure" and more.

With a range between the 1950s and early 1990s, this is the most diverse of the "Drive-In Delirium" series, but also one that has the most commercial releases, with many coming from major studios rather than the independents. The order is quite good overall and not as random as some of their previous releases were. Plenty of fun for everyone here, and it's certain to make audiences want to memo and check out some of the films themselves after seeing the trailers. But there is more, with the VHS trailers. The VHS trailers are another series of horror, comedies, sex films, and a few oddities here and there. As expected, these are non remastered but are transferred from old VHS tapes (many from Australia's Palace Films) with tape defects, giving an even more nostalgic vibe in comparison to the HD remastered trailers in the main show. Seeing more than seven hours of trailers can be quite daunting, but there is a great sense of looking into the past and seeing films in a slightly different light with this set along with the others in the series. There are still many more vintage trailers from around the world, and here's to saying, bring more!

Note this is a region ALL Blu-ray

Video

Umbrella Entertainment presents the main trailers in parts 1 and 2 in 1080p in the AVC MPEG-4 codec. Aspect ratios range from Cinemascope for some and standard 4:3 size for others, with most of them being framed at the HD standard of 1.78:1. With each trailer being remastered in high definition, there are a lot of positives to be said but again, the quality is inconsistent since each trailer comes from a different source. Black and white trailers look crisp with nice grey levels, color trailers can look anything between vibrant to washed out. There is a bit of scratchy picture for the trailers of "The Monster That Challenged the World", "Horror of Snape Island", "The Devil Within Her", W"hat Have They Done to Your Daughters?", and "The Deep End" for example. "Killerís Moon", "The Lair of the White Worm", and "Drive In Massacre" have faded colors (not to mention "Drive In Massacre" spells Massacre wrong in their own trailer...!), and each have their own minor flaws. Some trailers look absolutely fantastic, and even the worst looking ones look fair for the most part. A minor complaint as stated on reviews of the previous volumes is that the trailers look TOO good, and most likely would not have looked this nice if played at a drive-in.

The VHS trailers are presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio in 720p AVC MPEG-4. These are upscaled from PAL VHS tape sources so their quality is much lower, with blurry details, low contrast, muddy colors, and other defects here and there. All films are cropped to fit the 4:3 ratio as expected and as said these may look worse, but gives a bit more on the nostalgia factor.

Audio

English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
The trailers are in mono or stereo in lossy Dolby Digital. The previous release in the "Drive-In Delirium" series featured a lossless audio track, so it's a little sad to see the audio revert back to lossy. Fortunately the audio is quite good, with the remasters extending to the sound. There are some with issues such as "Horror of Snape Island" and "The Deep End" sounding crackly, but overall, the audio for the narration, music, and film dialogue are well balanced and well transferred. The VHS trailer for "Diva" is the only non-English trailer, being in French with burned-in English subtitles. All the Italian trailers are dubbed into English.

There are no subtitles offered for the trailers, except the one mention above.

Extras

Technically, the VHS Delirium selection of trailers as well as the promo for other volumes included in "Part 2" can be considered extras, but other than that there are no others. The trailer for this collection has been embedded below, courtesy of Umbrella Entertainment:


Packaging

As stated the inner inlay has a list of the trailers from parts one and two listed as well as an ad for the four other Blu-ray releases in the series.

Overall

"Drive-In Delirium: Dead by Dawn" is another excellent collection of old school trailers that bring blood, tits, terror, and fun all together in a single package. Like the last volume, it tends to lean more towards the mainstream, but is still a fun and worthy experience coming in as recommended.

The Film: B+ Video: B+ Audio: B Extras: C Overall: B

 


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