Who else absolutely loves trailers? Arriving at the cinema late just won’t do . . . I don’t mind missing the moronic trivia questions, the overblown in-house “magic of the movies” animations (at least one of these begins with the “magical” revving of a chainsaw – perhaps Leatherface is a minority stockholder), or the lineup of cell phone and car ads, but I definitely like to be planted firmly in my seat for the “coming attractions.” Sometimes, they are works of art in their own right. Here are three of my all-time favorites:
There’s no music or narration, the footage is so rough that you actually hear the floor creaking when Nicholson approaches Jack Palance (1:10), and there seems to be no particular logic to the editing. Still, this has to be one of the greatest trailers ever crafted, probably because it seems so rough and raw. It’s as if the filmmakers are saying, “Our movie is so good, we can just throw an entirely random series of shots at you, and you’ll still want to see it.” They don’t even bother to give you the title!
It’s the oldest trick in the book – hyper-dramatic choral music paired with a slam-bang lineup of the movie’s most arresting visuals. But the concept wasn’t quite so old-hat when this trailer appeared in 1993, and to me, it’s still the grand-daddy of them all. The mixing of Mozart’s “Requiem” with Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana” at the end would probably make both composers squirm, but it’s undeniably effective. “Hang on,” indeed!
Part of that strangely effective breed of teaser trailer that doesn’t actually show any footage from the movie, this preview pulls you in without giving away too many of the film’s secrets (unlike the later theatrical release trailer). The minimalist approach – the rattling of the typewriter, the whistling of the wind – combined with one of the all-time great tag lines (“Paul Sheldon used to write for a living . . . now he’s writing to stay alive”) always whets my appetite for another viewing of the Rob Reiner classic.
Other great ones (inspired by the Batman trailer, I put them in no particular order): The Dark Knight, Watchmen, Psycho, Legends Of The Fall, Dr. Strangelove, Quiz Show, The Exorcist, Alien, In The Line Of Fire, Little Children, The Field, Superman