There are some movie titles that come into my life, burrow a hole in my brain and take up permanent residence in my conciseness. Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell is one of those titles. It was the summer of 1988 and one of the local drug stores (People’s Drug I do believe) started to share its space with an Erol’s Video rental chain. I was very excited to say the least. After badgering my mom to join as I was only 16 and not old enough to open an account, she gave in. As I perused the horror section, my eyes landed on what looked like a comic book cover. The cover art grabbed my attention and then I flipped the box over and realized it was a collection of trailers! As I read the list of movies on the back cover I realized that about 95% of them I had never heard of! Jackpot!
Mad Ron’s Prevues from Hell starts out with a couple of zombies making their way into a movie theater. After picking up some tasty snacks at the concession stand, they make their way into the theater. They are soon joined by a crowd of zombies who have come to enjoy the cavalcade of trailers. The hosts of the show are a zombie (puppet) named Happy Goldsplatt and his friend (ventriloquist) Nick (Nick Pawlow). There is also Mad Ron who is the deranged film projectionist chained up in the projection room. What follows is a mind blowing collection of some of the greatest grindhouse trailers ever assembled. I knew I was in for a ride after the wisecracking Happy and Nick kick things off with the uncut trailer for I Drink Your Blood (1970).
It’s kind of hard to really “review” this video because there is no plot, just an hour and a half of blood soaked, carnage infested trailers. There is some lowbrow, corny jokes in between some of the trailers by Happy and Nick and a nifty ending that preaches the consequences of video piracy. Other than that, it’s pretty self explanatory. So let’s get to the importance of this little VHS gem.
As a fan of the horror genre and fledgling collector at the time, this video was like a checklist of movies I needed to see and add to my ever growing collection. The video presents some classics that roll of the tongue with ease such as Night of the Living Dead (1968), Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974), Tales from the Crypt (1972) and Vault of Horror (1973). It also showcases some of the greatest B-Z grade horror films as well. Films not only from the U.S. but many from Spain, Italy even Mexico and the Philippines. I was introduced to such titles as The Blood Spattered Bride (1972), Mad Doctor of Blood Island (1968), Night of the Bloody Apes (1969), Three on a Meathook (1975), Cannibal Girls (1973), Deep Red (1975) and a 3-D T&A film entitled Wildcat Women (1975). This trailer is even presented in anaglyphic 3-D format!
There are plenty of other titles on this compilation as well but I think this gives you an idea of what you are in for when you take a peek at this piece of video history. This video really is the epitome of 60's and 70's splatter, grindhouse, exploitaion cinema. I highly recommend spending the time to google the title as it is available on a quality DVD as an “Extra Mad Edition”. This is one DVD that I need to pick up so that I can lay my old VHS to rest on the shelf. If you are on Facebook you can find Mad Ron as well as some of the cast and crew!