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.
Do you know how difficult it is to get your hands on trailers for video games before, say, 1995? The short and boring answer is: pretty difficult. If we wanted to present a trailer for one of the Ultima games featuring the Guardian, the series’ long-time antagonist, we’d have to resort to an ultra-low resolution video for Ultima IX, and that’d be in no one’s interest. (Also, we already posted that one last week.) So instead, here’s a very loosely related trailer for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, which didn’t just feature one Dennis Hopper, but also Bill Johnson, who would later voice the Guardian. These days, we get the likes of Willem Dafoe and Liam Neeson in video games, but in 1992 we had to make do with the guy who played Leatherface.
Of course, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre II, as well as the film that preceded it (though in that one, Leatherface was played by a different actor), was directed by Tobe Hooper – not to be confused with Tom Hooper, who directed that other horror classic, Cats – which makes for a perfect segue to this week’s second blog post, which was about the BBC Radio series The Battersea Poltergeist. After launching that most chainsawiest of horror sagas in 1974, Tobe Hooper famously directed (or did he?) the highest-grossing horror film of 1982, Poltergeist – so, in the absence of a trailer for The Battersea Poltergeist, let’s instead enjoy this slice of ’80s ghoulishness.
And finally, to stay with the ghoulish and the ghostly…
Matt: This isn’t so much a proper trailer as a teaser clip for the upcoming Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Can’t say that I’ve been all that interested in the film, even though I loved Ghostbusters as a kid – and perhaps that’s exactly it: Afterlife comes across so much as another exercise in masturbatory nostalgia. While I wasn’t a big fan of the 2016 reboot starring Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones, at least it didn’t feel like its main purpose was to pander to fans of the original, which may be why so many of the loudest fans reacted to that film with entitled rage. In spite of all this, though, my interest in the new Ghostbusters film did rise considerably this week, because I found out that Carrie Coon would be in it – and after The Leftovers I have a lot of time for whatever she chooses to appear in. Even if the teasers and trailers make it look like rather uninspired ’80s nostalgia.