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Best Trailers for Bad Movies

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Best Trailers for Bad MoviesFirst impressions are everything, which is why the art of the movie trailer has become the most vital tool in the film industry. A bad trailer can sour you on the best movie, but most of the time it’s the other way around. If Hollywood does anything right, it’s selling us a slow-cooked turd as delicious chocolate.

So here are Dread Central’s picks for great horror movie trailers that overshadowed their lesser films:

The Hills Have Eyes 2
Exciting trailers for bad movies are a dime a dozen, but what about the ones that are shot just for marketing? You won’t find a better example of an ad eclipsing a film than the brilliant teaser for The Hills Have Eyes 2. Completely wordless with only the sounds of dragging bodies and Devendra Banhart’s “Insect Eyes,” the teaser showed more artistry and directorial flare than anything in the actual movie. To this day, I can’t recall a frame of the end product, but this haunting teaser will always stick with me.

Jaws 3-D
Trailer voice-over king Percy Rodriguez gave the kind of iconic narration that could strike fear into a Disney film. The man’s voice could sell you on a movie without ever showing you a frame – and that’s exactly what he did in this minimalist teaser for Jaws 3-D. These 80 seconds contain more dread than all 100 minutes of the actual film, and you can almost hear the excited hush of the audience when this premiered on screens in 1983.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
I’ll never understand why Platinum Dunes’ clichéd remake The Texas Chainsaw Massacre has fans, but I’ll be damned if the film’s trailer didn’t get me pumped up to see it back in the day. From the creepy production design to the haunting soundtrack and use of the original’s iconic flashbulb sound effect, it made the hairs stand up on even the most hardened purist. Unfortunately the actual film was devoid of any soul and set the tone for the rest of the company’s hollow music video remakes.

Hellraiser: Bloodline
Dimension Films loves to acquire properties they have no idea what to do with, and the Hellraiser franchise was one of their earliest and greatest casualties. There’s a good movie buried somewhere in the mess of Hellraiser: Bloodline (and it’s certainly better than the godawful Hellraiser III), but the studio’s notorious meddling more than earned this one its Alan Smithee credit. Slap on Clive Barker’s name and throw a bunch of evocative images together to “Mars, Bringer of War” and you have one epic looking theatrical send-off for the cenobites. The trailer also has two of Pinhead’s all-time best lines – neither of which are in the finished film.

Terminator Salvation
It was a shock to no one when a PG-13 Terminator film directed by McG turned out to be a complete waste of time, but the allure of a future-war movie and an incredibly slick marketing campaign momentarily raised expectations out of the gutter. With broody John Connor voice-over set to Nine Inch Nails’ “The Day the Whole World Went Away,” this trailer could almost convince you that Salvation was a pretty good movie you just happened to sleep through. It’s too bad the leaked audio of Christian Bale’s on-set meltdown proved far more entertaining than the end product.

Aliens vs Predator: Requiem
The most common movie complaint – aside from douchebags on their cellphones – is how today’s ads show only the best parts. Exhibit A: This red-band AVP: Requiem trailer composed entirely of money shots. Knowing full well they had another piece of shit on their hands, the Fox marketing department reacted to the fan backlash over Paul Anderson’s neutered first film by cramming every single kill from AVP-R into a fast-paced montage. And it worked. We all thought we were finally getting the balls-to-the-wall showdown the studio had promised for decades. Unfortunately that’s all we were able to see since the finished film looked like it was lit with a fucking Lite Brite.

Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare
It wasn’t the last and it sure as hell wasn’t the best, but Rachel Talalay’s goofball Nightmare had enough wild imagery to form a memorable trailer. The promise of Freddy’s demise with the 3D gimmick made this film the buzz of every schoolyard in the country when it was released. Say what you will about the results, but event movies like this don’t happen too often.

Godzilla (1998)
Riding high off Stargate and Independence Day, the combo of disaster-king Roland Emmerich and Godzilla seemed like the perfect match. The numerous trailers and genius taglines teased a fun monster rampage through New York City’s many skyscrapers – something that feels downright ominous today. But all that hype and excitement turned into widespread booing when a giant iguana showed up onscreen instead of the Big G himself. In retrospect, the smartest move the studio ever made was to never show the imposter (better known as NotZilla) in its campaign. Here’s hoping the new incarnation won’t wind up on an updated version of this list.

The Village
Long before M. Night Shyamalan fancied himself a prophet, the man gave us a trio of solid films that catapulted him into the limelight and gave our genre a much-needed shot of maturity. The Village had all the makings of a new horror classic: a perfect concept, amazing cast and most of all, one damn foreboding trailer. It’s a shame the film squandered the premise and marked the beginning of Shyamalan’s downward spiral into masturbatory nonsense. I still want to see the movie promised in this teaser.

Maximum Overdrive
I just wanted someone to do Stephen King right.

King had to be coked out of his mind when he threw the gauntlet down in his trailer for Maximum Overdrive and inadvertently snubbed previous directors Brian De Palma, George A. Romero, David Cronenberg and Stanley Kubrick (okay, maybe the last one was on purpose). But it’s hard not to get a kick out of the man’s William Castle-esque theatrics, especially when they’re set to the Halloween III score. Of course, you know he’s lying when he says he “kind of enjoyed” making his self-described moron movie, which stands as an entertaining example of 80’s excess but sure as hell didn’t do any favors for King’s directing career.

Alien 3
To be fair, Alien 3 doesn’t deserve to be on any bad movie list. Time and a superior extended version have been pretty kind to David Fincher’s directorial debut, which fails as a sequel but succeeds as a brilliant and nuanced monster picture in its own right. Yet, for those of us who anticipated the film through the 80’s, it’s still hard not to feel jilted by 20th Century Fox’s original promise – which came in the form of this incredible trailer. The series always teased Earth as the big endgame (until the AVP films rendered it mute), and one can’t help but dream of a perfect trilogy ending with Ripley and her comrades battling it out on our planet.

What are some of your favorite trailers to films that left you cold? Sound off below!

Special thanks to Buz Danger Wallick for inspiring this list.

Best Trailers for Bad Movies

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Before We Vanish Review – A Quirky and Original Take on Alien Invasions

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Starring Masami Nagasawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, Hiroki Hasegawa

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa


During the J-horror rampage of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Kairo (aka Pulse). A dark, depressing, and morose tale of ghosts that use the internet to spread across the world, the film’s almost suffocatingly gloomy atmosphere pervaded across every frame of the film. Because of my love of this film, I was eager to see the director’s upcoming movie Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha (aka Before We Vanish), which follows three aliens who recently arrived on Earth and are preparing to bring about an alien invasion that will wipe humanity from the face of the planet. Imagine my surprise when the film turned out to be barely a horror title but was instead a quirky and surreal dramedy that tugged at my heartstrings.

Admittedly, I was thrown completely for a loop as the film begins with a scene that feels perfectly at home in a horror film. Akira (Tsunematsu), a teenage girl, goes home and we enter moments later to blood splashed on the walls and floor and bodies strewn about. However, the disturbing visuals are spun around as the young girl walks down a highway, her clothes and face streaked with blood, Yusuke Hayashi’s music taking on a lighthearted, almost jaunty attitude. From there, we learn of the other two aliens (yes, she’s an alien and it’s not a secret or a twist, so no spoilers there): Amano (Takasugi), who is a young man that convinces a sleazy reporter, Sakurai (Hasegawa), of his true form and tasks Sakurai with being his guide, and Shinji (Matsuda), the estranged husband of Narumi (Nagasawa).

What sets these aliens, and their mission, apart from other invasion thrillers is their means of gathering information. They’re not interested in meeting leaders nor do they capture people for nefarious experimentations. Rather, they steal “concepts” from the minds of people, such as “family”, “possession”, or “pest”. Once these concepts are taken, the victim no longer has that value in their mind, freed from its constraints.

While this may seem like a form of brainwashing, Kurosawa instead plays with the idea that maybe knowing too much is what holds us back from true happiness. A man obsessed with staking claim to his family home learns to see the world outside of its walls when “possession” is no longer a part of his life. A touchy boss enters a state of child-like glee after “work” has been taken. That being said, there are other victims who are left as little more than husks.

Overly long at 130 minutes, the film does take its time showing the differences between the aliens and their individual behaviors. Amano and Akira are casually ruthless, willing to do whatever it takes to send a beacon to begin the alien invasion, no matter how many must die along the way, while Shinji is the curious and almost open-minded one, whose personal journey finds him at one point asking a priest to envision and describe “love”, a concept that is so individualistic and personal that it can’t be taken, much less fathomed, by this alien being. While many of these scenes are necessary, they could have easily been edited down to shave 10-15 minutes, making the film flow a bit more smoothly.

While the film begins on a dark note, there is a scene in the third act that is so pure and moving that tears immediately filled my eyes and I choked up a little. It’s a moment of both sacrifice and understanding, one that brings a recurring thread in the story full circle.

With every passing minute, Before We Vanish makes it clear that it’s much more horror-adjacent than horror. An alien invasion thriller with ultimate stakes, it will certainly have appeal to genre fans. That being said, those who go in expecting action, violence, and terror will certainly be disappointed. But those whose mind is a bit more open to a wider range of possibilities will find a delightful story that attempts to find out what it means to be human, even if we have to learn the lesson from an alien.

  • Before We Vanish
4.0

Summary

Before We Vanish is a beautiful, wonderful tale that explores what it means to be human when faced with the threat of extinction.

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Director Doug Liman Says Edge of Tomorrow 2 Could Be His Next Film

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I don’t know if you ever bothered to see the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow, but if you missed out, you should make time for the stellar flick.

I kept putting the film off myself, but then when I finally peeped the Groundhog Day-style shenanigans contained within, I was a fan signed, sealed, and delivered D.O.A.

It is with this in mind I’m excited to share the news that Edge of Tomorrow 2 just might be director Doug Liman’s next film! Recently the director spoke with Collider and dropped some new info on the possible sequel.

“We’re just working on the script…,” Liman said. “[We’re no longer working on scheduling issues]; now it’s down to we have a window where we could go do it, and we’re frantically working on the script. It’s one of those movies that we’ll only go make if we love the script. It’s not one of those things where the studio is pushing us to make it and they don’t really care if it’s good or not. If the movie happens, it will be because Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise, and myself are passionate about making it, which is a great place to be. She doesn’t need this movie, he doesn’t need this movie, and I don’t need it. We’re gonna make it if we really believe in it. We have [a] story that the three of us love, so we’re working hard on the script.”

So when he was asked if the film could be his next flick, he said: “It could be. It has the possibility of being my next film.”

Good enough for me!

You can check out the trailer for the original film out again below; and for your own good, if you’ve been passing on the film for the last few years, give it a shot tonight. You will not be disappointed.

Synopsis:
When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj. William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has never seen combat, is assigned to a suicide mission. Killed within moments, Cage finds himself thrown into a time loop, in which he relives the same brutal fight — and his death — over and over again. However, Cage’s fighting skills improve with each encore, bringing him and a comrade (Emily Blunt) ever closer to defeating the aliens.

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Ash Faces His Greatest Challenge Yet in the Ash vs Evil Dead Season 3 Trailer: Parenthood!

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The first trailer for the third season of STARZ’s incredible horror comedy series “Ash vs Evil Dead” has been released and it’s full of balls to the wall Evil Dead goodness! You’ve got creepy dolls, obscene amounts of gore, vicious iPhone cases, and a Deadite that just so happens to be as tall as a building! Oh, and you’re also introduced to Ash’s daughter, Sandy? Mandy? Oh, yeah! Brandy! You can watch the trailer below. Thanks IGN!

“Ash vs Evil Dead” season three premieres on Starz on Sunday, February 25th.

Synopsis:
Ash, having gone from murderous urban legend to humanity-saving hometown hero, discovering that he has a long-lost daughter who’s been entrusted to his care. When Kelly witnesses a televised massacre with Ruby’s fingerprints all over it, she returns with a new friend to warn Ash and Pablo that evil isn’t done with them yet. But evil will learn to never get in between a papa bear and his cub.

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