Drive-in Delirium: With a Vengeance [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray ALL - Australia - Umbrella Entertainment
Review written by and copyright: James-Masaki Ryan (23rd 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"), "Drive-In Delirium: Dead by Dawn") present a compilation of hours and hours of movie trailers from way back when. "With a Vengeance" promises "157 action & sci-fi trailers" and the list is as follows:

Trailers (with Play All) (388:23)
- Part 1 "Cruise Control" (with Play All) (196:15)
-- Preshow
-- "Shaft"
-- "Super Fly"
-- "Hammer"
-- "Hell Up in Harlem"
-- "Blackenstein"
-- "Coffy"
-- "Foxy Brown"
-- "The Human Tornado"
-- "Drum"
-- "Penitentiary"
-- "Kiss Me Deadly"
-- "Never Take Candy from a Stranger"
-- "Underworld USA"
-- "The Candy Web"
-- "The Killers"
-- "Harper"
-- "Cop-Out"
-- "The High Commissioner"
-- "Bullitt"
-- "Otley"
-- "Get Carter"
-- "Revenge"
-- "Dirty Harry"
-- "Magnum Force"
-- "The French Connection"
-- "French Connection II"
-- "The Seven-Ups"
-- "The New Centurions"
-- "Serpico"
-- "Busting"
-- "The Destructors"
-- "The Gauntlet"
-- "The Sweeney"
-- "Sweeney 2"
-- "The Big Sleep"
-- "Saint Jack"
-- "The Long Good Friday"
-- "The Salamander"
-- "48 Hours"
-- "Deadly Force"
-- "Blue Thunder"
-- "Savage Streets"
-- "Certain Fury"
-- "Naked Vengeance"
-- "Tenement"
-- "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins"
-- "The Park Is Mine"
-- "Cobra"
-- "Best Seller"
-- "Shakedown"
-- "Messenger of Death"
-- "The Presidio"
-- "Blue Steel"
-- "Kinjite: The Forbidden Subjects"
-- "Lock-Up"
-- "Road House"
-- "The Camp on Blood Island"
-- "Ten Seconds to Kill"
-- "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold"
-- "Dark of the Sun"
-- "Ice Station Zebra"
-- "Hornets' Nest"
-- "Three Days of the Condor"
-- "The Eagle Has Landed"
-- "From 10 to Navarone"
-- "Seven"
-- "Firefox"
-- "Wargames"
-- "The Package"
-- "The Italian Job"
-- "The Hot Rock"
-- "White Lightning"
-- "Gator"
-- "The Gumball Rally"
-- "The Blues Brothers"
-- "The Stuntman"
-- Intermission
- Part 2 "The Year We Make Contact" (with Play All) (192:08)
-- Preshow
-- "The Stranglers of Bombay"
-- "The Sword of Sherwood Forest"
-- "The Colossus of Rhodes"
-- "The Pirates of Blood River"
-- "Mozambique"
-- "The Vengeance of Six"
-- "The Million Eyes of Sumaru"
-- "The Castle of Fu Manchu"
-- "Wonder Women"
-- "Terminal Island"
-- "Gold"
-- "The Wilby Conspiracy"
-- "Raise the Titanic"
-- "The Wicked Lady"
-- "Frog Dreaming"
-- "Firewalker"
-- "Flesh+Blood"
-- "River of Death"
-- "The Yakuza"
-- "Force Five"
-- "Kill and Kill Again"
-- "Enter the Ninja"
-- "Revenge of the Ninja"
-- "Comanche Station"
-- "The Magnificent Seven"
-- "A Fistful of Dollars"
-- "For a Few Dollars More"
-- "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"
-- "Navajo Joe"
-- "Django"
-- "Return of the Seven"
-- "Hang 'Em High"
-- "Once Upon a Time in the West"
-- "100 Rifles"
-- "More Dead Than Alive"
-- "Barquero"
-- "Duck You Sucker"
-- "Lawman"
-- "Hannie Caulder"
-- "The Revengers"
-- "The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"
-- "Billy TwoHats"
-- "Get Mean"
-- "Mad Dog Morgan"
-- "Return of a Man Called Horse"
-- "It Came from Outer Space"
-- "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
-- "Village of the Damned"
-- "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver"
-- "GAS-S-S-S"
-- "Beneath the Planet of the Apes"
-- "The Omega Man"
-- "The People That Time Forgot"
-- "Time After Time"
-- "The Chain Reaction"
-- "Alien 2: On Earth"
-- "Battle Beyond the Stars"
-- "Galaxy of Terror"
-- "Forbidden World"
-- "Heavy Metal: The Movie"
-- "Locker"
-- "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan"
-- "Brainstorm"
-- "Strange Invaders"
-- "Yor: The Hunter from the Future"
-- "Dune"
-- "The Last Starfighter"
-- "Supergirl"
-- "Desert Warrior"
-- "The Adventures of Hercules"
-- "Sinbad of the Seven Seas"
-- "Highlander"
-- "Masters of the Universe"
-- "Innerspace"
-- "Killer Klowns from Outer Space"
-- "The Sisterhood"
-- "Leviathan"
-- Postshow
-- Also Available


Without including the "Preshow", "Postshow" there are 79 trailers in "Part 1" and 78 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 installments of "The New Batch" and "Dead by Dawn", 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:

"Son of VHS Delirium" (with Play All) (90:34)
- Video Classics promo
- "Beyond Evil"
- "Superstition"
- "Maniac"
- "Evil Dead"
- "Sweet Sixteen"
- "Mutant"
- "Vampyres"
- "Amityville 3D"
- "The Dead Zone"
- "Tattoo"
- "To Kill a Clown"
- "Fort Apache The Bronx"
- "The Bounty"
- "Caged Heat"
- "The Retrievers"
- "Raw Force"
- "Conan the Destroyer"
- "Loving Couples"
- "Splitz"
- "Hollywood High"
- "Gas Pump Girls"
- "Hot T-Shirts"
- "Gosh!"
- "The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood"
- "Charlotte's Web"
- "Follow the Sun"
- "Master of the Game"
- "Flying High"
- "The Keeper"
- "The Intruder Within"
- Video Classics promo
- "The Secrets of a Super Stud"
- "Sweet Savage"
- "The Yum Yum Girls"
- "Girls at the Gynecologist"
- "Mustang: The House That Joe Built"
- "Incoming Freshman"
- "French Nympho"
- "Spermula"
- "Flesh Gordon"
- "Diary of a Space Virgin"
- "Fairytales"
- "Fantasm"
- "Fantasm Comes Again"
- "Love You"
- Video Classics promo


The pre-show portion includes some vintage commercials including a Kool-Aid ad featuring The Monkees and action figures of the band Kiss which are quite funny to see now. 70s Blaxploitation films start off "Part One" with classics such as "Shaft" and "Super Fly" starting off the program, But things take a sudden step back to the 1950s and 1960s with some noir trailers. "Kiss Me Deadly" suddenly drops in with other gritty films such as "Underworld USA" and "The Killers". From there the program turns to cop films, where classics like "Bullitt", "Dirty Harry", "The French Connection" and more are featured. As the title suggests, vengeance themed films come in with "Savage Streets" and "Naked Vegeance" and others. Tough guys, badass girls, lots of action and sometimes silly dialogue scenes and narration all appear as expected. Things take a more serious turn with war and spy films, with trailers such as "Three Days of the Condor" and "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", and the end of part 1 goes for more comical stylings and car chases with trailers for titles such as "The Blues Brothers" and "The Gumball Rally".

"Part Two" of the program also has its own pre-show and closing, and the trailers start off with classic Hammer titles such as "The Stranglers of Bombay" and "The Pirates of Blood River" as well as other historical set films of the era. Some modern era setting films crop up with "Wonder Women" and "Terminal Island", then some of the films are in seemingly random order. The Australian children's fantasy film "Frog Dreaming", the fairly odd and obviously scientifically inaccurate "Raise the Titanic", the fun martial arts romp "Kill and Kill Again" starring James Ryan (no relation) appear, but then a series of westerns come in for quite some time. Italian made classics such as "Django" and "Navajo Joe" sit alongside American ones like "The Magnificent Seven" and "Comanche Station". In addition, all of Sergio Leone's westerns are featured here. Things turn to the science fiction genre with "It Came from Outer Space", "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", and "Beneath the Planet of the Apes", among others, and the remaining runtime is a group of various trailers in random order. Some superhero trailers like "Supergirl", alien invasion works with "Alien 2: On Earth", the sci-fi comedy "Innerspace" etc. fill the closing.

Like the previous entry "Dead by Dawn", this entry in the "Drive-In Delirium" series has quite a leaning to the mainstream side, with many high profile Hollywood productions and well established cult classics rather than digging into the slightly obscure side of movie trailers. Although "Vengeance" is in the title, not all the titles in here suggest vengeance films, with some being clearly anything but. They are still fun to watch and it shows that they don't make them like they used to, whether the films themselves or the marketing of trailers. The VHS trailers included are a little more on the obscure side, especially with the inclusion of trailers from various 70s sex films (when it was a time that people seemed to not care about body hair grooming below...) and some vintage horror. As they were transferred from VHS, the quality of the presentations are low, but another fascinating look at how some of these films used to be presented for the home market in cropped and very poor transfers. As stated before, there are more trailers out there to be discovered and even with the mainstream ones, they are always highly enjoyable to see. Will people in the future have nostalgia for trailers of movies from the 2000s? Only time will tell.

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, and color trailers actually look surprisingly good in the selection offered on this set. Each have their own minor flaws with speckles, some color fluctuation, minor scratches, or some heavy grain, but overall they look fantastic. "Le Mans" is probably the most faded looking trailer, "Mozambique" seemingly looks like a standard definition upscale, and "100 Rifles" having an odd choppy look, just to name a few of the weaker looking ones. 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, though there are a few that have windowboxed transfers. 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 fairly good, with the remasters extending to the sound for the most part. There are some with issues such as "The New Centurions" and "Alien 2" sounding quite crackly, "Deadly Force" sounding watery, "Raise the Titanc" being hissy, but overall, the audio for the narration, music, and film dialogue are well balanced and well transferred.

There are no subtitles offered for the trailers.

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 older Blu-ray releases in the series.

Overall

"Drive-In Delirium: With a Vengeance" is another excellent collection of old school trailers that bring action, violence, horror, fun all together in a single package. Like the last volumes, 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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