(2009)Donald GuariscoThis DVD companion to a popular book of the same name is a generously-stacked affair for b-movie enthusiasts. Stephen Romano Presents: Shock Cinema offers a series of trailer reels designed to bury the viewer in a barrage of garish imagery and crazed exploitation-film hyperbole. The first set of trailers were done by modern filmmakers for fictional films, intending to evoke the style and mood of the real trailers elsewhere on this set. Sadly, most of these do not work as well as their inspirations because they are too postmodern in style and frequently lack the intensity and style of the films they are imitating. Thankfully, things improve with epic reels of exploitation and horror trailers that deliver the old school, visceral goods in abundance. Each of these reels boasts the occasional dud but there's such an embarrassment of riches on display in each - everything from Vice Squad and Treasure Of The Four Crowns to Raw Force and House By The Cemetery - that any quibbles seem minor in comparison. Elsewhere, there are shorter reels devoted to t.v. spots and Sam Sherman releases that add extra fun into the mix. If that wasn't enough, this set offers an additional MP3 disc containing three hours' worth of vintage radio spots for exploitation and horror films plus short instrumentals composed by Romano himself(!). In short, Stephen Romano Presents: Shock Cinema is a veritable smorgasbord of grindhouse entertainment in bite-size form and its extreme generosity balances out any occasional rough spots. It's a solid primer on the joys of this cinematic style for veteran fans and newbies alike.
Stephen Romano Presents: Shock Festival on AllMovie