You ever see the trailer from House on Haunted Hill? There’s a few foreboding shots of the house’s exterior after the camera tracks inside, oozing a sense of what, through our present day lens, is kitschy homemade horror. But do you know that the house also appeared in Blade Runner and was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright? American filmmaker and screenwriter Mick Garris does.
The movie aficionado famous for adapting Stephen King to the small screen is one of a select crew of horror and exploitation film directors culled together to comment on classic trailers of…horror and exploitation films.
Distributed over the web and on select mobile devices and headed by director Joe Dante of Gremlins notoriety, Trailers from Hell gives “Grindhouse Gurus” a chance to opine, reminisce, and infotain against the backdrop of film trailers that clearly had an impact on their work. Vareity’s announcement gives a rundown of the lineup; “directors with tracks already recorded include Edgar Wright (Hot Fuzz), who talks about his love of ’60s Eurospy actioner Danger: Diabolik, and Dante, who dishes on Corman shlockfest The Terror. Helmers tapped for future contributions include Mick Garris (The Shining and The Stand TV miniseries) on X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes and Mary Lambert (Pet Semetary) on Village of the Damned.
Like any decent quality DVD extras, the anecdotes are illuminating and entertaining, if for nothing more than the obvious admiration and interest the directors have with the subject. It’s fun to watch movie directors have fun talking about movies.
Still, I don’t see Trailers From Hell gaining much of an audience outside of its established niche of those already engrossed in the pages of Fangoria (Tilzy.TV page). Names like Dante, Landis, and Wright are noticeable, but they don’t illicit fanatical screams like Craven, Raimi, or Romero that would make would be viewers unfamiliar with the genre take notice.
But, they don’t need to. “Trailers from Hell is tailor-made for new media outlets because it targets an easily-identifiable and active niche market of genre movie-lovers who aggressively seek out this type of content,” says its website, and that’s not just PR-speak. Horror has always been a reliable Hollywood moneymaker, and nestled in its own dark corner of the web and mobile networks, Trailers from Hell should be able to attract enough familiar faces to do just fine.
Another indicator that horror is the web’s next video genre, the site’s also a good example of Hollywood investing in niche content distributed openly across multiple platforms. So far, there isn’t anything scary about that.