A trailer for the 1975 Hong Kong monster film "Infra-Man" will likely be included in Trailer Trauma. Credit: Provided
Based on Exhumed Films’ two annual genre film endurance fests — Halloween weekend’s 24 Hour Horror-thon and the summer 12-hour exploitation feast eX-Fest — this Friday’s show might seem like a breeze at only five hours. But Trailer Trauma will be an onslaught of coming attractions designed to induce sensory overload.
“I think in some ways a trailer marathon is going to be even more challenging than the Horror-thon,” says Exhumed co-founder Dan Fraga. “It’s going to be an assault of so much information thrown at you in short bursts for such a long time; I’m curious to see if it’s still fun after hour two or if it just becomes numbing.”
The idea to present a trailer program was a long time in the making before the group decided to produce Trailer Trauma. As Fraga explains, “When we decided to finally do it, we figured we should make it ridiculous, as long and as over-the-top as possible. People generally sit through three or four trailers. Well, try to sit through 200 and see how that goes.”
Even before inaugurating the Horror-thon to celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2007, the four-man group that makes up Exhumed Films was already expert in excess. The movies it's presented on a regular basis in the last 16 years all tend toward the extreme, whether in the horror, sci-fi, action or other exploitation genres. All of those will be represented during the Trailer Trauma show, which boils these films down to their most audacious elements.
“As in any genre, the trailer’s purpose is to sell the movie,” Fraga says. “They’ve got to show the audience that this is something that’s worth their $10. So oftentimes the trailer is more entertaining than the movie itself. Our hope is that this will be five hours of nonstop pleasure, because we’re hitting all of the elements in the films that you really want to see: all the nudity and explosions and guttings and jokes and pratfalls. This program is a complete gluttony of the greatest, most action-packed and ridiculous moments from some of these films without all of that boring, unnecessary exposition and characterization thrown into the mix.”
While the program for Trailer Trauma is still being decided, Fraga has a few favorites he’d like to see make the cut: “Infra-Man,” an action-packed Hong Kong giant-robot-and-monster movie whose trailer includes all of its most bizarre moments; “House by the Cemetery,” a 1981 Italian zombie film whose trailer boasts an eccentric voiceover by comedian and performance artist Brother Theodore; and the minimalist trailer for “The Shining,” which follows the film’s credits with the iconic shot of blood pouring from elevator doors. “It tells you nothing about the movie,” Fraga says, “but it’s a compelling example of teasing the audience with, ‘This is going to terrify you,’ without revealing anything about the plot itself.”