Sunday, July 13, 2008

Terror in the YouTubes

Terror in the Aisles (1984, Andrew J. Kuehn), a rare example of a studio distributed, theatrically released documentary that consists almost entirely of clips and scenes of other films, think along the lines of Celluloid Closet or Los Angeles Plays Itself only less academic, whose main function is to serve as an advertising tool for the home video sales and rentals unit of it's parent company, Universal Pictures (at the time a subsidary of MCA). To that extent we get scenes from the classic Universal monsters but most notably heavy use of scenes from recent (in 1984) Universal released product such as Jaws II (which gets as much play in Terror as the far far superior original), Halloween II (ditto) and in the most obvious example of corporate cross pollination, the Sylvester Stallone vehicle, Nighthawks, which may feature a great psycho turn by Rutger Hauer, but, and this has rubbed me the wrong way since I saw Terror as a kid, is in no way a "horror" film, but rather an action film with suspenseful moments and a good villain.

In the pre-internet days (set wayback machine to mid-late 1980s), Terror served as a reference guide for this budding horror genre fan. I would often compile lists while watching it which I would take with me to the video store (remember those things, kids?) as a tool for my rental activity, so job well done on that front after all Universal.

Terror intercuts film sequences ranging from the classic, modern and bizarre (I really need to see Alone in the Dark, featuring Martin Landau as an escaped lunatic in the disguise of a milkman) with a discussion lead by co-hosts, Halloween star Donald Pleasence and Carrie's Nancy Allen into the psychology that drives viewers to pay money to get their scare on.

Due to the legal entanglements in clearing the rights of the many featured films and it's relative obscurity, Terror has not, and probably never will be, released on DVD. Although apparently it shows up from time to time on the all-Horror network, Chiller, which I guess is allowed clearance rights since no one actually gets the channel.

Fortunately, some kind soul put Terror in the Aisle on YouTube. Unfortunately, said kind soul decided that instead of cutting it up into approximately eight increments of the maximum allowed 10 minutes intervals to split the film into about 24 three to five minute increments. Further unfortune, of the 24 segments, there are about five missing that were either never embedded or removed from YouTube (those would be segments 19-21 and 23-24).

Here are the first few minutes of Terror, if you enjoy please go here to view the rest of it (or more specifically, most of the rest of it)

1 comment:

Sean said...

whoa they just released a movie that was clips of other movies.

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