Saturday, January 17, 2009

Trailer Trash XXX: Magic (Richard Attenborough, Anthony Hopkins - 1978)

"A terrifying love story."

I usually reserve this feature to look at trailers for bad, awful, terrible, or otherwise z-grade movies. The trailers are usually equally stupid - that's why it's fun. This week, though, I'm trying something different. I'm going to look at a good trailer.

Our subject this week is for the movie Magic. Yes, it's directed by Richard Attenborough. And yes, it stars Ann-Margaret and Anthony Hopkins. It's written by William Goldman, who also brought us Butch Cassidy and All the President's Men. It's certainly got Grade-A pedigree. The movie itself isn't bad at all, but holy shit, the trailer is scary as hell.

Ack. I don't even like TYPING about the trailer because it reminds me of how scary it is.


Well, we've all got to face our fears at some point:


Two deep breaths.

Alright, I think I'm okay.

Talking about playing towards mankind's natural fear of ventriloquist dummies. I mean, all it does is recite a bit of beat poetry and move its eyes and it's still terrifying. This particular trailer was actually pulled from television because parents claimed it was giving their children nightmares. (My guess is that it was actually giving the adults nightmares and they were using their children as a cover-up.)

The extended (and far more humane) trailer:

What is it about ventriloquist dummies that's so inherently squirm-inducing? There are so many evil dummies in pop culture... from Devil Doll and the Saw movies, to The Twilight Zone and The Simpsons. Heck, even Family Matters did not one but TWO evil dummy episodes:

Ah, Family Matters... how I love thee!

"Abracadabra, I sit on his knee.
Presto, change-o, and now he is me!
Hocus Pocus, we take her to bed,
Magic is fun...we're dead."

Trailer Trash is a weekly tribute to oddball, cheesy and often just plain terrible movie trailers. Writers: These movies got made... so can yours! You can read through our archive by clicking here.