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Drafthouse Films to Release Rare 35mm Exploitation Compilation 'Trailer War'

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood September 28, 2012 at 1:43PM

Drafthouse Films is partnering with the American Genre Film Archive to release "Trailer War," a carefully curated feature-length program of rare, 35mm vintage trailers. Alamo Drafthouse programmer Lars Nilsen quips that the selection of 3-minute time capsule genre goodies includes everything from "the explosive metal mayhem of 'Stunt Rock'" to the "disembodied flying head chaos" of "Thundercops." NSFW trailer for the trailers below.
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"Explosive metal mayhem" in  1980's "Stunt Rock"
"Explosive metal mayhem" in 1980's "Stunt Rock"

Drafthouse Films is partnering with the American Genre Film Archive to release "Trailer War," a carefully curated feature-length program of rare, 35mm vintage trailers. Alamo Drafthouse programmer Lars Nilsen quips that the selection of three-minute time capsule genre goodies includes everything from "the explosive metal mayhem of 'Stunt Rock'" to the "disembodied flying head chaos" of "Thundercops." NSFW trailer for the trailers below.

Many of the previews included in the compilation were saved from impending destruction and donated by Drafthouse founder Tim League. A particularly interesting rescue mission found League reaching out to a distant relative in South Africa to investigate a rumored hidden cache of trailers buried deep in a Johannesburg warehouse. Said relative made an illicit cash exchange, and 200 pounds of celluloid were transported from Africa to Austin.

Each of the selections are presented for the first time in high-definition, and a 35mm theatrical tour is planned for December. For the "Trailer War" disc, available December 18 only on the Drafthouse site, "Trailers from Hell" creator Joe Dante gives an extensive interview on his early years as a trailer cutter for low-budget genre maestro Roger Corman.

The American Genre Film Archive prides itself on being the largest "exploitation film" archive, housing more than 3,500 film prints and trailers.

This article is related to: Alamo Drafthouse, Trailers, News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.