In screening contenders for the Scary Trailer Countdown to Halloween, I came across this trailer for the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Tobe Hooper's disturbing, pioneering slasher-type film from 1974. This particularly trailer is, I feel safe in saying, some messed up shit, and I can't improve on Matt Singer's description from IFC On-line:
Most horror film trailers play coy with details. They know what audiences go to horror movies to see, and they don't give that sort of stuff away for free. Not so for the trailer to the original "Texas Chain Saw Massacre." Where others hint, it wallows, shoving the viewer's face into its gruesome imagery with almost sadistic pleasure, as if Leatherface himself edited the spot.
If anything, it feels more like the famous opening credits to Se7en, and its evocation of a violently disturbed mind, than other film trailers. I strongly discourage you from watching it before bedtime:
As an example of how horror trailers have changed over the years, contrast the one above with this preview for the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, produced by Michael Bay. It uses heartbeat noises and flashbulb effects with reasonable efficiency, but otherwise goes completely by the numbers. It follows after the cut. So to speak.
Many trailers advocate a minimalistic approach, frequently keeping dialogue and story details on the down-low. This teaser for Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaptation of the Stephen King novel doesn't even feature any actors or narrators, just an increasingly unsettling soundtrack drone and scrolling credits that culminate with one of the film's most surreal and iconic images.
Shudder. On a lighter note, you've probably seen or heard of the recut trailer that imagines the film as a romantic comedy. You may not have seen, however, Joe Cornish's "end title song," which sums up The Shining in upbeat, spoiler-filled fashion. Cornish proposed a hilarious title song for the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, and this has a similarly cheeky sense of humor. It follows after the jump.
The Coen Brothers have released a trailer for its latest film, True Grit, which The A.V. Club inevitably nicknames No Country For 14 Year-Old Girls. If you already know that it stars newcomer Hailee Stanfield, Matt Damon, Josh Brolin and Jeff Bridges in John Wayne's Oscar-winning role, it pretty much looks exactly like you imagined it would:
Supposedly the new Grit will be less a remake of the beloved 1969 Western so much as a fresh adaptation of Charles Portis original novel. (Don't filmmakers doing remakes always say that?) Ethan Coen explained some of the differences between the book and the film:
It's partly a question of point-of-view. The book is entirely in the voice of the 14-year-old girl. That sort of tips the feeling of it over a certain way. I think [the book is] much funnier than the movie was so I think, unfortunately, they lost a lot of humor in both the situations and in her voice. It also ends differently than the movie did. You see the main character — the little girl — 25 years later when she's an adult. Another way in which it's a little bit different from the movie — and maybe this is just because of the time the movie was made — is that it's a lot tougher and more violent than the movie reflects. Which is part of what's interesting about it.
It's getting on that time of year again, not only when leaves fall from the trees, but the tone of movie trailers makes a precipitous drop from light to heavy. With the end of summer the Academy Award contenders start coming out in earnest, so it's like the makers of movie trailers crack open paint cans of Patina of Importance. Some of the following are total Oscar bait, while others simply try to steamroll potential audiences with their gravitas - if you don't see these movies, you're clearly a shallow person. (Incidentally, if you can find a trailer for Clint Eastwood's Hereafter, let me know.)
The Town (Sept. 17) Fans of Gone Baby Gone should note that Ben Affleck directs (cool!) and stars in (hmmm...) this action-thriller about a victim of bank robbery (Rebecca Hall) who finds herself torn between a federal agent (Jon Hamm) and a scruffy tough guy (Affleck) with a connection to a string of high-profile robberies. Said connection is spoiled by the trailer. It looks a little too car-crashy to be a big Oscar movie, but it features Best Actor nominee Jeremy Renner in his first high-profile role since The Hurt Locker.
AMC had debuted a stupendous trailer to "The Walking Dead," which airs its first, six-episode season beginning — when else? — on Halloween, Oct. 31. The trailer runs a full four and a half minutes, which reveal that director Frank Darabont presents an extremely faithful adaptation of the original graphic novel. The early scenes are straight from the book, while seeming to offer visual distinction from Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later and other films that present similar scenarios. For Atlantans, the fun part is that the ATL is all over the preview. I think our city should change its slogan to "Military protection, shelter, food... Atlanta seems like a good deal." There's even the ironic/operatic use of a vintage pop song.
Sequels have yet to emerge from such monster-iffic hits as Cloverfield and District 9, but the films have spawned imitators to mess with your heads. Thanks to clever filmmakers and technical advances, awesome creature features can be affordable in one of my favorite cinema trends of our time. These films specialize in enigmatic teaser trailers that only hint at the beasties to come. With three coming up, the stories may be drastically different, but the quasi-documentary vibe and sense of dread are almost identical.
Monsters (Oct. 29, 2010). A photojournalist and his boss's daughter attempt to make their way through part of Mexico quarantined from the United States thanks to an alien infestation. Compared to the $25 million budget for Cloverfield and $30 million for District 9, this British sci-fi film was made for practically nothing ($15,000 in some reports). Expect it to share District 9's political sensibility as well.
Roger Ebert may have said it best in his review of The Human Centipede, which opens this Friday at the Plaza: "You don't want to be part of the Human Centipede at all, but you most certainly don't want to be in the middle."
Simply put, The Human Centipede is the story of mad scientist Dr. Heiter (German, of course) with a dream — to construct a human centipede by connecting victims mouth to anus via one long shared digestive tract. An impossible dream? Apparently not. The film is subtitled "The First Sequence," and only 12 of the 100 promised appendages are made good on here, so more will come from director Tom Six.
This is weird and disturbing and probably NSFW unless you work in Heiter's basement or at CL.
Here's a new red-band trailer for Robert Rodriguez's Machete. Warning: if you hate violence, this clip is practically nothing but. And if you love violence, it appears to be the movie's goriest money shots, so it may spoil the experience for you when it opens Sep. 3. (If the embedded clip disappears, check here.)
Speaking of bladed implements, there's also a trailer for Saw VII, if still anyone cares.
One of Hollywood's first revelations from the annual geekfest of San Diego Comic-Con is the latest trailer for Tron Legacy. Last year Disney unveiled a teaser for the sequel for the 1982 sci-fi thriller Tron. The new trailer articulates the new film's plot, in which the son of Jeff Bridges' character (the first film's hero) searches the digital world for his missing dad. If I understand the trailer correctly, Bridges also plays an evil, younger avatar of himself as the bad guy. Look for a nod to The Black Hole, which Disney apparently plans to reboot as well. Tron Legacy opens in December.
May I confess that I don't really get "Tronmania?" The alternately bold and clunky visual effects of the original film provide its most memorable quality, and it never seemed like a film that needed a sequel. Maybe it's a combination of 1980s nostalgia a la Clash of the Titans or The Goonies, coupled with the intriguing possibility of seeing the film's inside-the-computer setting with a significant CGI upgrade.
An e-mail arrived the other day with a link to the trailer below. The film is Página Perdida ("Lost Page"), a "Brazilian abstract-LSD movie."
The e-mail included only the following info:
Surrounded by an intriguing scenario and inhabited by strange characters, "Lost Page” ("Página Perdida") is an abstract film, the result of a powerfull [sic] visual dimension created by Lucas Moreira added to the experimental electro-acoustic music of Marcelo Armani.
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