AVP:R Video

Yahoo Movies has a five-minute clip of the opening of ALIENS VS. PREDATOR: REQUIEM. It appears to pick up literally right where the previous film left off, with a dead Predator giving birth to an Alien chest-burster. Then the Predator spaceship crash-lands back on Earth; a face-hugger gets out and attacks a human hunter and his son, and a Predator back on his home world sees footage of the Alien killing his comrades aboard the spaceship, and suits up to go avenge them. It looks like an amusing, goof-ball popcorn movie, but no match for the 1979 ALIEN.
Also, here is the TV spot for the film…


Sweeney Todd bait-and-switch?

In response to the SWEENEY TODD trailer, Lewis Lazar of the Chicago Sun-Times works himself up into a state of righteous indignation over the alleged “bait-and-switch” strategy of the marketing campaign:

From what we know about the movie from its marketing strategy to date and from a small body of critics and VIPs who have seen the film (we have not), this “Sweeney Todd” also might be remembered for being the subject of one of the biggest bait-and-switch marketing schemes in movie history — a bait-and-switch that became an imperative to ensure the film generates an opening weekend box office figure substantial enough to suggest “blockbuster” to the movie-going public.
Sondheim’s original Broadway score in almost its entirety is said to be included in the Burton movie. In fact, reports indicate that about 90 percent of the movie is comprised of sung scenes. But curiously, you’d never know that to be the case from watching the official 150-second trailer, which makes the movie seem like a fast-paced bloody period thriller/horror flick about a crazed murderer and his sidekick Mrs. Lovett, played by the lovely Bonham Carter.
Only a few fleeting seconds of the trailer show Depp singing at all, but even that quick bit of vocalizing includes none of the intricate lyrics for which Sondheim is famous and for which Sondheim’s fans love him. But that music, we suspect, could prove quite offputting for those in the general moviegoing audience expecting a fairly straightforward, bloody slasher pic with Depp at its center.

Frankly, I’m not quite sure what has Lazar all lathered up. Yes, the trailer de-emphasizes the musical nature of the film, but the so-called “fleeting seconds” of Depp singing are actually a memorable 20-second clip of a major song; watching it, you will have no doubt that SWEENEY TODD is indeed a movie in which characters belt out Broadway-style show tunes.
As for the contention that trailer makes the film look like a “fast-paced bloody period/thriller/horror flick,” I have one obvious observation to make: That’s exactly what the film is. The fact that there is singing doesn’t change the nature of the story or the visual style one bit.
I am mightily amused that Lazar thinks the marketing people are trying to turn the film into a blockbuster by selling it as a bloody horror film. When I attended an advanced screening in October, the marketing people were scared to death of the horror label, thinking it would scare away audiences who might enjoy the music.
One more thing: Lazar’s “bait-and-switch” metaphor seems a bit strained to me. Used properly, the term refers to using “bait” to lure in a customer, then selling a completely different item (i.e., the car you saw advertised in the newspaper is “already sold” when you reach the lot, but since you’re here, why not check out these other great models?). In the case of SWEENEY TODD, the trailer and the marketing campaign are clearly selling the movie that the audiences will pay to see; Lazar merely seems miffed that Sondheim’s songs are not particularly big selling points to movie-going audiences.

Shroom's Trailer

Despite the inauspicious title, SHROOMS is a pretty good Irish horror film that I saw at Screamfest. Apparently, Destination Films has picked up the U.S. release rights. You can visit the official website here or view the trailer below.

NOTE: The website is not very informative, but if you do visit, by all means make sure to click on the flying cow that occasionally appears. You’ll be taken to a silly but amusing online game that allows you to chainsaw your way through a variety of furniture and victims.

JOE DANTE presents Trailers From Hell!

Joe Dante began his writing career in the sixties for Castle of Frankenstein magazine, and I think it would be safe to say that COF was quite influential on most of the writers who eventually ended up writing at Fred Clarke’s Cinefantastique magazine.   
However, Dante began his actual filmmaking career in the trailer dept. of Roger Corman’s New World Pictures, where, as a trailer editor, he amassed a huge collection of previews from many classic and not so classic horror films.
Joe recently began the fabulous online site, TRAILERS FROM HELL, possibly the first site of it’s kind devoted exclusively to movie trailers, and it features all kinds of rare and unusal trailers from horror and other films, mostly from the fifties and sixties.   

Joe’s latest commentary is for the trailer from The Black Sleep (above), a film that featured the stellar horror film cast of:  Basil RATHBONE, Bela LUGOSI, Lon CHANEY, John CARRADINE,  Akim TAMIFOFF and Tor JOHNSON. 
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Midnight Meat Train arrives on May 16

MIDNIGHT MEAT TRAIN is a filmic adaptation based on the Clive Barker story of the same name (which appears in the first volume of his “Books of Blood” series). Director Ryuhei Kitamaura (who practically exploded with screen with far-out monster action in GODZILLA: FINAL WARS) is the director, so I can only imagine that the film will be one wild ride.

Hopefully, the screenwriters have figured out a good way to develop the short story into a feature. Barker’s tale really just builds up to an awful revelation (the protagonist is forcibly recruited by monstrous cannibals living in the subway) and leaves the reader reeling from the blow. It’s pretty effective, but a film will need a second and a third act that can dramatically resolve the situation without feeling like an anti-climax. Here’s hoping…

Dark Knight trailer

RooTV.Com has the teaser trailer for THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS. It contains no footage from the film, but there are a few lines of dialogue that do a good job of setting up your anticipation: “Starting tonight, people will die,” breathes the Joker, adding with a chuckle, “I’m a man of my word.”

The Mist trailer

The trailer for THE MIST – Frank Darabont’s screen adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, about a group of people trapped in a store surrounded by a mist filled with monsters – is playing before HALLOWEEN. If you don’t want to sit through the whole film just for a chance to see the trailer (and who can blame you, considering the film?), here it is:

Mother of Tears trailer

It has been twenty-seven years since Italian horror director Dario Argento filmed INFERNO (1980), the second of his “Three Mothers” trilogy, which began with SUSPIRIA in 1977. Now, he has completed MOTHER OF TEARS, and you can see the trailer below.

What’s cool about the trailer is that it seems to deliver the goods that fans would expect from the film, yet at the same time it feels quite different from its predecessors.
For those of you unfamiliar with the premise: the films concern three “Mothers of Darkness,” who “rule the world with sorrow, tears, and darkness,” while ensconced in elaborate mansion scattered around the globe: one in Germany, one in Rome, and one in New York.  The “Mother of Sighs” was featured in SUSPIRIA ; the “Mother of Darkness” is the focus of INFERNO ; the the Third Mother – the “most beautiful of the sisters” (who briefly appeared in INFERNO )- returns in MOTHER OF TEARS.
Early reports indicated that the new film would be titled THE THIRD MOTHER. Thankfully, that trailers shows the title as MOTHER OF TEARS, which is much better. The other title would be significant only to hardcore Argento fans; the new title at least has a little poetry to it, enough possibly to get people intrigued (although I’m sure Hollywood – should they deign to even consider releasing the movie – would want a more crude, horrific title).