Trailer Trash Debuts at The Drexel Theater
Bruce Bartoo – longtime employee at the Wexner Center for the Arts, mastermind behind Columbus’s annual SciFi and Horror Marathons, and one of the last projectionists standing in our newly digital cinematic landscape – unleashes his considerable expertise, as well as his garageful of movie trailers, in yet another inspired late-night cinematic program.
Bartoo and the Drexel give you Trailer Trash, a 3-hour program of clips, coming attractions and trailers from the best and the worst in cinema. The show, running this Saturday, January 4th at midnight, is a fundraiser to help the Drexel offset the expense of bringing back their 35mm capabilities. It’s also an excuse for the longtime collector to share his favorite segments and take advantage of the Drexel’s refurbished equipment.
Bartoo says the entire program will run in 35mm, a system Drexel manger Kevin Rouch originally updated for Bartoo’s horror marathon in October.
Says Bartoo, “The projector was still in place, but disconnected from the power and sound system, and those needed to be upgraded. They also had to purchase and reinstall a platter system. In our request to have the equipment resurrected, I offered to help cover the expenses by putting this show together.”
The project is not entirely philanthropic, Bartoo admits. “I’ve been wanting to put these shows together for more than a decade, but family obligations have delayed the onslaught that is about to be unleashed on the unsuspecting public (to engage in a bit of trailer hyperbole).”
Bartoo’s put his collection to use over the years, supplementing the SciFi and horror marathons, adding to the Wexner’s Drive-In shows and summer series. He even programmed a 12-hour marathon of trailers in 2001. He admits that the biggest challenge is actually pruning the content to a manageable running time.
“Keeping this program to a reasonable length, about 3 hours, has been something of a challenge,” he admits. “The first list of ‘oh yeah, have to include that’ titles ran about 7 or 8 hours! It’s essentially making an audio-visual mix tape to entertain and amuse my friends and the strangers who straggle in.”
Expect to see some of the favorites from the marathons, including a possible Werewolves on Wheels sighting, perhaps a peek at the Green Slime. But Bartoo plans to keep viewers guessing.
“There are so many other genres that have been waiting in the wings for attention,” he says. “Rock’n’roll spies, beach parties, sexploitation, blaxploitation, hippies, beatniks, bad girls, biker gangs, mondo trash. The list goes on and on. There’ll be great trailers from cinematic masters high and low – Hitchcock, Kubrick, William Castle, Russ Meyer, the trash- masters at Troma. Rather than announce many of titles to be included, I’m opting for surprise.”
It sounds as if the party could go on and on. Any plans for more little trailerpaloozas? Says Bartoo, yes.
“Unbound by the restrictive need to cancel regular programming on a Saturday, these midnight trailer extravaganzas can spread across the calendar like a plague,” says Bartoo.
“If all goes well, you can expect Best Picture winners of the last 60 years at the end of February, followed by a night of Elvis meets Russ Meyer, plus themes like swingin’ ’60s, sexploitation, mondo shockers, an all-nighter of really bad rock’n’roll features and trailers, an overnight adults-only demented kiddie show, cheerleaders & stewardesses & nurses & teachers & babysitters, on and on,” he promises.
“We’ll have a survey for the crowd at this Trailer Trash show to take the pulse of their wants and desires,” he says. “Like any good trailer, we aim to please!”
The Trailer Trash benefit screening unspools at the Drexel Theatre, 2245 E. Main St., Saturday night, January 4th, at midnight. A $5 donation is suggested. For more information, visit www.drexel.net.