Festival of Fright (DVD)

Upon first glance at the cover, it’s pretty obvious “The Monster Club” didn’t just take a bunch of images and pasted them together (seriously, take a look at the cover! It’s like a poster! The horror gods shine on you Kerry Gammill). And “Festival of Fright” is not just a pastiche of trailers to sell DVDs. “Festival of Fright” is in the tradition of trailer compilations of the VHS era that not only help us relive some of the best and worst horror films ever made, but also show us that film can still be fun because it invokes nostalgia, amusement, and lets us marvel at how film has evolved and devolved over decades.

Take compilations like “Horrible Horror” with Zacharly, and “Black Trailers,” which explored black cinema. Even film trailers have the power to invoke emotions. Long ago film trailers were as important as the films they marketed, they were as artful or schlocky as the films themselves… and that was a long time ago, as you can see. Marvel at the giant Cyclops super imposed on a scene of Lon Chaney Jr. on a cliff! Fear the slow moving clunky but immortal Tabanga! Gaze in horror at Gsa Gsa Gabor from Venus! Featured within the compendium are utterly terrible films like “From Hell it Came,” and “The Cyclops,” and some of the best horror films of all time like “Black Sabbath,” and “Carnival of Souls.” But be they horrible pieces of D grade filmmaking, or top notch horror classics, every twist and turn is entertaining for the horror buff. For those who grew up with Paris Hilton on “House of Wax,” they’ll be shocked to discover some of the more tantalizing treasures awaiting them in the genre.

With these utterly fascinating trailers they all end up being much more atmospheric and overall satisfying than the films themselves. Take for instance “Black Sunday” which paints itself as a grim witchcraft installment. And there’s the highlight of the bunch: “Black Sabbath,” probably one of the best horror films ever made with a trailer that’s just as creepy as the final product. “Festival of Fright” allows you to coast through the trailers one by one, or watch them all, and you’ll be compelled to watch it all, because to just glance at a few would be missing out on what value this compilation has to offer. The Monster Club’s “Festival of Fright” is a dazzling and utterly entertaining gallery of some of the best and worst horror films ever made, and I had a damn good time. To quote “Carnival of Souls”: You can’t afford to miss “Festival of Fright”!

To order “Festival of Fright,” and other assorted gear, visit the crew at “The Monster Club.” and purchase this bitch.