Someone sent me an Email recently saying they enjoyed one of the videos on this site, and they wanted to know "where I stole it." Umm....the truth is, very rarely do I ever swipe something from another site without permission. I made the majority of the video downloads around here myself, from tapes I own. Or rather in this case, tapes my dad made and I borrowed. All these trailers are shown exactly as they were on television in 1981...and if you've seen them anywhere else, they were here first.
TARZAN THE APE MAN: Every few years, someone's always gotta make another Tarzan movie. This one stars Bo Derek, was produced by Bo Derek, and directed by John Derek (who has to be her husband). The trailer flashes the words "EXOTIC! EROTIC! ELECTRIC!" at you while showing 20 pictures of her, but you can only be so attractive when you're a woman named "Bo."
WATCH THE "TARZAN" TRAILERS
BLOW OUT: Disco king John Travolta still had the commercial clout to be in typical thriller movies like this one. Note that it "also stars" John Lithgow and Dennis Franz, who would have better luck on TV than in movies. Trailers for this type of film haven't changed much in 25 years.
One thing you'll pick up on real quick is how most of these trailers have a voice-over near the end that quickly tries to recite all the theaters in town playing the movie at the moment. This was back when even big cities like Portland only had a few to select from, and several were drive-ins.
WATCH "BLOW OUT"
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK: Three--count 'em--THREE TV ads for the original release of Raiders! None of them are on the DVD set; you'll only see 'em here! I couldn't bear to run them through the usual wringer of video compression to save on traffic use. You'll get a 6-meg package with crisp audio. You're welcome!
The announcer spends half of the first ad reciting every hit film under the Spielberg and Lucas banner to date, then promises this is their next hit. Spielberg's last film before this was the box-office flop 1941, and people had to be made to forget that fact and believe 'Berg was untouchable yet again.
The second ad is a lot like the first, only with a couple of lines changed and different scenes shown.
The third ad is decidedly different; it focuses on the relationship between Indy and Marion and calls the film a "modern romance." This version of the ad was for shows with a heavy female audience that wouldn't be sold on the mere fact that a guy's head explodes in the film.
WATCH THE "RAIDERS" TRAILERS
UNDER THE RAINBOW: Ummmmm....wow. I couldn't do this one justice. You've gotta see this to believe it, so do the clicking.
WATCH "UNDER THE RAINBOW"
I will say this: it's one of the extremely rare non-Star Wars films that has Carrie Fisher in it. Other than this there's been When Harry Met Sally, and Undiscovered which just came out last weekend. Good luck finding a theater independent enough to be playing Undiscovered, though.
VICTORY: I don't know what it is, because the credits screen is all that was recorded. No download for this one.
STUDENT BODIES is billed as the "world's first comedy-horror film." I do know somebody who saw this movie, and she says it's absolutely terrible, but in a good way. She also mentioned Tarzan the Ape Man was equally bad, but that didn't mean good.
WATCH "STUDENT BODIES"
CLASH OF THE TITANS: Blech. Yes, you heard me, the phonetic spelling of a barf noise. I know plenty of people like Clash of the Titans, but I thought it was extremely boring for what it was promising, and had wayyyy too much use of stop-motion clay. Even the blood is clay in this film. It's cheesy, fake and a waste of time. Don't bother with it.
WATCH "CLASH OF THE TITANS"
"Looker" is slang that old people used to call pretty bodies. This is one of those trailers that does little more than confuse the viewer, but from what it lets me know, it's about a computer that makes perfect-looking women and then destroys them.
This is true: Looker was the very first movie to ever show a computer-generated human character. You only get one glimpse of her in the trailer, and boy is she blocky--not exactly perfectly pretty. Michael Chricton is writer and director of this one, so the "technology kills" theme is naturally present.
THE FOX AND THE HOUND: The Fox and the Hound was one of the last films of the Ron Miller era. Ron Miller became CEO of Disney in the early 70's by marrying into the family, and until then he had been a football player. Understandably, he had his share of critics, and the quiet way Ron conducted business didn't shut them up. Ron's idea was to leave the Disney company exactly as Walt had left it, forever. That might sound noble, but it meant no adult-skewing films, no radical new ideas, and only one new animated movie every four years. Instead, Walt's old creations were pushed....Snow White and Pinocchio would rotate in theaters instead of new material.
The Ron Miller animated films were Robin Hood(1974), The Rescuers(1977) and The Fox and the Hound(1981). All debuted with little fanfare or advertising, and they were all promoted the same way: by mentioning all of Disney's classics again, then showing clips from a NEW one. In those days, if you were a kid and you didn't like the one new Disney film you got, you'd have to wait until past puberty to get another. The lukewarm way Miller conducted business drove much of the current talent there to flee to other companies. Nevertheless, "Fox and the Hound" has its charm, though it's no Lion King.
WATCH "THE FOX AND THE HOUND"
ST. HELENS: Hoo wow! I have saved the arguable best for last. "St. Helens" was even cheesier than Clash of the Titans, and for good reason. After Mt. St. Helens exploded in 1980, a Hollywood producer and film crew (though not a top-rate bunch) rushed down to the area to quickly film a cash-in fictional movie based on the event. Its only star was Art Carney, who here played the famous Harry Truman--the man who refused to leave his log cabin even when he was fully aware what was coming. He didn't survive, and neither did the career of anybody else involved in this movie.
The film occurs within the days leading up to the eruption, and features several stereotypes: the hero who warns everybody not to go near the mountain, the greedy land developer who orders his employees to stay (including the hero), the semi-pretty widow who gets into a relationship with the hero, and the token black guy that appears in the middle without warning and gets about 20 minutes to himself, in a scene where he constantly fends off rabid rednecks (no joke). The special effects consist of footage shot by local news crews blown up to a blurry size, and a scene where some guy runs around flapping his arms and screaming while TNT charges are set off around him. There are several attempts to "recreate" explosions and avalanches in that scene, using the magic of flour and rocks tipped over a table. One "crater scene" is actually a landfill from elsewhere in the state.
The conversations are equally
horrible. One of the best pieces of dialogue is in the trailer,
where the hero tries to once again warn everybody by describing
the consequences of being in the path of an eruption. "You'd
melt," he says. Keep in mind that's supposed to sound
threatening. That's why it was put into the trailer, alongside
the film's tagline: "ST. HELENS. THE ULTIMATE TIME
Anyway, it goes without saying that you've gotta download this one.