I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Don’t give up the ghost

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.

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Hungover cops can’t jump

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.

1994 saw a great disturbance in computer games, as if thousands of geeks suddenly cried out in disappointment and then fell silent – most likely because their Avatar had just failed to successfully jump from one small rock to another. Back then, reloading a save game wasn’t just a matter of seconds: it was a commitment, and the more time you’d already sunk into a game like Ultima VIII, the less likely you were to stop playing, especially if you’d paid close to a hundred dollars, and doubly so if you were a fan of the Ultima series of computer role-playing games. This week, Eric wrote about his memories of his first big computer game disappointment, and it is a pain that many fellow geeks felt at the time.

This was before computer games received trailers, so instead, let’s start this week’s post with the trailer issued for its sequel, and the final single-player Ultima game – which (wait for it) turned out to be even worse in some ways. But hey, at least it wasn’t quite as much of an active exercise in masochism!

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: In the Heights, everyone can hear you sing

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.

Maybe Matt shouldn’t play games during a pandemic – because it seems that he mostly picks ones that translate this whole ‘social distancing’ thing into a video game format: first Journey, then Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Turns out that the most social contact he’s had in a game recently was in the ultra-Swiss folk horror game Mundaun, a grim little tale about deals with mysterious old men and disembodied goat heads that nonetheless talk fluent Romansh. At least that’s not something that the COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly well known for!

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Do you think death could possibly be a boat?

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.

Last week it finally happened: A Damn Fine Cup of Culture was deemed too raunchy by Facebook. Okay, that may not be quite accurate – truth be told, we will probably never know why Facebook suddenly decided that we’d violated their T&Cs with the name of our page. Was it the “damn”? Was it that we made claims to the extraordinary quality of our cups of culture? Or was it something else entirely, like the wrong number of capitals? Anyway, we are now back on Facebook, complete with what some people might consider naughty words in our name. Let’s see what Mark Z comes up with next, shall we?

All of this happened on the same day that Sam posted another wonderful instalment of Six Damn Fine Degrees, in honour of two of the Grande Dames of dubbing: Marni Nixon, who featured in many a film musical without getting the credit she deserved, and Nikki van der Zyl, the woman who gave a voice to so many Bond girls. We can hear a (sadly, very small) handful of her lines dubbing Ursula Andress in the trailer for the Bond film that started it all, Dr. No.

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Taking the Mickey – right out of the trailer

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.

This was a remarkably busy week at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, starting with three journeys – into pre-history, a Jules Verne-style alternate past, to the moon, and beyond! Matt wrote about his encounters with Karel Zeman’s oeuvre in the beautiful Criterion edition of three of his key films. (We would say that you should Czech this out, but obviously we’re above such cheesy puns.)

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: In Cold Blood, in more ways than one

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.

This has been a relatively quiet week at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, but we did have a tribute to the wonderful Toby Jones in Friday’s instalment of Six Damn Fine Degrees. Jones lost the Battle of the Capotes in the mid-Noughties, and his Infamous was pretty much overshadowed by Capote, which came out the year before, but that’s all the more reason to give Jones his due here.

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Say it with me – “It’s not TV. It’s…”

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.

Remember when every year seemed to see the release of half a dozen adaptations of YA novels, with bonus points if you were 1) starting a trilogy, 2) the final film of that trilogy was to be split into two films and 3) there were still people interested enough to watch the final instalment? For last Friday’s Six Damn Fine Degrees post, Mege took a look back at the YA franchise that probably fared best, apart from the media behemoth that was Harry Potter, and that in no small way because of a cast to die – or kill – for: The Hunger Games.

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Bloody bad-mannered or just half-witted? You decide!

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.

Considering how iconic the film is, it’s sort of amazing that we here at A Damn Fine Cup of Culture haven’t written about David Lean’s epic classic Lawrence of Arabia before – but then Julie more than made up for this with last Friday’s Six Damn Fine Degrees post. Even at a time when most of us cannot go to the cinema because all the movie theatres are closed, it feels good to remember those silver screen classics. Here’s hoping we’ll have a chance to see Lawrence of Arabia as it was meant to be seen, on as big a screen as possible, before long. Though if your favourite way of watching Peter O’Toole’s blue, blue eyes is on a small iPhone screen? No problem, man. You do you, even if that you is puzzling and strange.

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Not that Tom Jones!

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.

How better to celebrate a Sunday than with an acting legend? We already featured Albert Finney last week, in the trailer for Two for the Road – but seeing how the first post of the week was Sam’s Six Damn Fine Degrees entry on Mr Finney, we can’t really end the week without another treat for all the Finney fans out there, can we? So here’s a trailer for his breakout hit, Tony Richardson’s 1963 adaptation of Henry Fielding’s classic novel, Tom Jones.

Continue reading

I’ll be in my trailer… watching trailers: Music and moonlight and love and romance

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.

On A Damn Fine Cup of Culture, this week began and ended with music. Early in the week, Matt explained in a post why he thought the original soundtrack of Netflix’ The Crown, while undoubtedly effective much of the time, acted as something akin to acoustic soy sauce, making everything taste the same.

Continue reading