Perhaps no other form of cinema -- or storytelling in general -- enjoys such a wide array of themes, story patterns, or images to choose from than Science Fiction. Whether you believe the genre began in ancient mythology with tales of men in flight and preternatural Gods and Goddesses or didn't appear properly until tales of speculation found their way in print, Sci-fi as a genre has been responsible for our species' most powerful entertainments. Coming into its own with the emergence of such classical authors as Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, and Jack London, early Science fiction explored such motifs as technological wonders, alien invasion, and extrapolated world crises with varying degrees of maturity and camp. Cinematic sci-fi often merged both approaches, examining earnest possibilities with equal degrees of tragedy and parody. It wasn't until the 1950s that Forrest Ackerman coined the phrase 'sci-fi,' and it was during that same period that the classic science fiction film saw an explosion of creativity. As two world governments underwent a space race, atomic power threatened to annihilate the very world, and advances in science often turned out just as often horrible as they were beneficial, sci-fi films -- both straight faced and pulp -- served as releases for our increasing cultural, political, and individual anxieties. Cheezy Sci-Fi Trailers volumes, vols 1 and 2, serve as wonderful introductions into the diversity and depth of this field.

Produced by Cheezy Flicks Entertainment, a relatively new source for brazenly eccentric b-picture rarities, each of the Cheezy Sci-Fi Trailer collections celebrate the dramatic sincerity and impulsive lunacy of science fiction cinema, making for a wonderful evening of adventure. These trailers -- and the films which they represent -- run the gamut from powerful emotional dramas to pot-boilers once seen in the Saturday Matinee. These previews, while not in the best shape, capture all that was fun and exploitative in the genre. Each collection packs a generous number of previews together from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. Silly and nostalgic, these spots retain their ability to frighten evoking enjoyable shudders, laughter, and, in several cases, a special kind of longing. These discs are a history of the genre, examining several of the genre's key themes, approaches, and moods. In addition, some of these previews are rare, seeing very little (if any) play since the early years of the VHS.

Representing the more serious, philosophical approach are "The First Men In The Moon," one of the earlier films to intelligently explore space travel and its intricacies. Also of note is the highly influential "War Of The Worlds," from George Pal, which won an award for its effects. This theme of invading alien visitors and space conspiracies -- a personal favorite! -- finds itself further reflection in the marvellously sinister, criminally under appreciated "Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers," with superlative effects, and "Five Million Years to Earth." Of course Cheezy Sci-Fi doesn't neglect that other great genre archetype, the mad scientist. He is represented by "Konga," "Te Incredible Melting Man," and "The Green Slime." You like BIG monsters, pal? Course you do! Well feast on "Gorgo" and his fellows for some city-bashing fun! From the philosophical complexity of Richard Matheson's "The Incredible Shrinking Man" to the absurdities (and laughably bad dialogue) of "The Phantom Planet" and "The Green Slime," there is truly something for any serious fan.'

Of course one of the chief pleasures of trailers is their ability to tell a large story without the padding, cleaving action to the bone. Cheezy's previews are like a best-of catalogue, offering all the excitement with little of the boring lapses, meandering plots, or filler of the films themselves. As with their horror trailer compilations, quality ranges from fair to poor, but all are clear enough to watch. While grain, skips, and lines mar many of the older, more obscure trailers, this adds to their 'feel.' It is quite easy to believe, if for just a moment, that you are seeing them on a big screen in a field someplace, popcorn in your lap and a girl beside you. Movie geek bliss!

Review by William P. Simmons

Released by Cheezy Flicks
Region 1 - NTSC
Not Rated
Extras :
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