One of my favorite sites on the whole entire internet is Trailers From Hell, the brainchild of the one and only Joe Dante. Director of such classic films as Gremlins, Piranha, The Howling, Matinee and even was a creative consultant on one of the great underrated kid’s TV shows Eerie, Indiana. In 2007 he started the site Trailers From Hell, a venue not only for Dante to showcase his love and knowledge of film by showing trailers and giving short commentaries detailing his love for film itself. It makes sense, considering he’s a lifelong cinema fan and started his film making career by cutting trailers for Roger Corman himself.
Better still, he has gotten other film fanatics such as Jon Landis, Allan Arkush, Edgar Wright, Guillermo Del Toro, Larry Cohen, Eli Roth, Allison Anders, Brian Trenchard-Smith and many others to show their love and appreciation for films, sometimes with theme weeks and sometimes just random trailers that the main thread through them all is the knowledge these filmmakers all have for the films they’re speaking about. And did I mention the site is totally free, now with a huge archive of hundreds of trailers to choose from? Well, it’s a film fan’s dream site, one that I share a love for and can’t help but lose a few hours once in awhile delving deeper and deeper through the trailers, films that I know like the back of my hand and others that are new to me and want to devour as soon as I can after seeing them speak about it.
And right now, Dante and company need the funds to keep the site running without any lag and they’ve jumped on Kickstarter to get it going. It’s also to expand the site, spread the word and make sure they’re not the ‘best kept secret in Hollywood’ anymore. They need $30,000, which sounds like a lot but with the amount of videos and need to stream and the bandwidth it’s probably taking up, that amount seems small in comparison. And they’ve come up with some stellar incentives to give money for the cause. To give a few examples, they had Criterion copies of Border Radio signed by Ms. Allison Anders herself (sadly, I missed out on that one… sold out!), Joe Dante has signed copies of Gremlins films, the soundtrack to Innerspace and even a poster for Mant, the film playing in Matinee (also just sold out). Most of the ones I was eyeballing were in the $50 range, which I think is quite a bargain for signed merchandise but there are some higher end incentives as well. For $3,500 you get to present Trailers From Hell for a week or for $10,000 you get to do it for an entire month. And my favorite one that hopefully won’t anger the fantastic Josh Olson too much is for $5,000, where he will read the script of that person who has paid for that chance. If you don’t get why that’s so funny, look up ‘Josh Olson’ and ‘Reading Scripts’. He wrote a great piece about it in The Village Voice.
So let’s continue this fantastic treasure trove of a site and not let it fade into obscurity like some of the films Dante and company give their undivided attention to. You’ll also laugh every time John Landis introduces a trailer because… well, I’d rather you find out without spoiling it.