I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Gods and monsters, witches and queens

Join us every week for a trip into the weird and wonderful world of trailers. Whether it’s the first teaser for the latest instalment in your favourite franchise, an obscure preview for a strange indie darling, whether it’s good, bad, ugly or just plain weird – your favourite pop culture baristas are there to tell you what they think.

Julie: You may have heard of Pastafarians before (and may you be touched by His Noodly Appendage), but you may not have heard of the Church of the SubGenius: part performance art, part satire and possibly -well, probably- part religion. Founded as early as the 70’s, in our present-day this movement seems amazingly current, in its send-up of organized religion, consumerism and conspiracy. J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs & The Church of the SubGenius (Dobbs-approved), looks to be a wonderful deep-dive into how the Church was founded, and what kind of a movement lay beneath its success; for good or possibly for ill. Look it up: and may Bob give you Slack.

Sam: What appears to be another pointless remake of a great classic 1990’s The Witches by cult director Nicolas Roeg based on Roald Dahl’s childhood classic, with a delicious performance by Anjelica Houston as the chief witch), turns out to be quite a clever re-imagining by Hollywood’s most reliable director, Robert Zemeckis. Most notably, the remake grants Oscar winner Octavia Spencer a much larger role as the main character’s poor grandmother with a big heart, who sees her grandson and all the children at a hotel turned into mice by children-hating witches, who look like the annual meeting of (white) Republican women for Trump. Anne Hathaway seems to have a ball in Houston’s role and the special effects have come a long way of course since 1990 (even though spectacular in the Roeg orginal, too!). The trailer looks rather like a remake of Ratatouille, but at least HBO/Netflix have stepped in for a truly eye-popping rehash to be delivered in time for the holiday season.

Eric: One of my favourite kinds of story is the horror story, and when I tell my friends about the people living inside the walls of my flat, reactions range from bug-eyed incredulousness to admonitions to pleas to stop and could I please talk about something else. What no one has done, though, is ask me who these people were. His House, while seemingly cut from the same rough cloth as a random things-that-go-bump-in-the-night story constructed to troll the unwary, is interested in answering the question of where our wall-ghosts really come from and, very cleverly, sews it into the fabric of its allegory for what people in dire situations do to escape and survive. Wunmi Mosaku, fresh in our minds from her turn in Lovecraft Country, gives His House both its edge and its heart.

Matt: Frankly, I’ve had very little interest in Netflix’ The Crown so far. I don’t much care about the British royal family and I doubly don’t care about the obsession some people have with royals. But I have to confess that this has me interested. I mean, look at it: Olivia Colman (who has a great track record of getting me interested in royalty), Gillian “Dana Scully” Anderson herself as Margaret Thatcher, and I remember the images and iconography from my childhood. But then, would I have to watch seasons 1-3 before this one? … well, give this pandemic another six to twelve months and who knows what I will be watching?

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