Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: 'Vamps' Shows Its Fangs For The Win

Best/Worst Movie Promos of the Week: 'Vamps' Shows Its Fangs For The Win

Sep 08, 2011

Real Steel RobotIt’s been a bit of a disappointing week in new promotion material. While it was tough to narrow down the options for the demotions section, it was even tougher to fill up the promotion slots and therefore, one film wound up with an easy pass into the top tier.

As for other new marketing items to note, we’ve got two trailers that manage to build a bit of intrigue. The Big Year trailer gets its power from its cast alone, as none of the footage included is all that funny. As for Retreat, it’s just too bad Contagion is hitting theaters this weekend. While Steven Soderbergh’s latest certainly steals some of Retreat’s thunder, the thriller’s trailer does pose an interesting standoff. Then again, the fact that its poster looks more like straight-to-DVD box art is a bit disconcerting.

The first clip from the Nicolas Cage / Nicole Kidman flick Trespass has arrived and if it had any intention of making the film stand out from other home invasion films, it fails miserably. On the other hand, the new clip from The Thing manages to offer up a good scare and some fun even without stepping outside the confines of the original.

As for posters, we got two big new ones, one for The Rum Diary and one for Young Adult. While The Rum Diary got an amusingly appropriate design, going too close or too far makes it feel a bit like a disorienting optical illusion. As for Young Adult, while it’s a smart look and rocks Charlize Theron, Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody’s names, there seems to be something missing, as it doesn’t leave me dying for more.

Enough with the not good enough and not all that bad; let’s get to this weeks top three and bottom three movie promos.


1. Margin Call Poster: When you’ve got a movie packing as many famous faces as Margin Call, it’s easy to go the Valentine’s Day route and just toss them all onto the poster. Then again, it’s also quite careless to let a prime cast go to waste for the sake of a pretty design. This new poster for Margin Call, however, finds a nice middle ground between the two, squeezing in everybody from Stanley Tucci to Penn Badgley while stylishly hinting at the film’s subject matter. Plus, that tagline will likely strike a chord with many.

Margin Call Poster

2. Vamps Poster: Similarly, when you’ve got a film riding the vampire wave, you better put those fangs to good use. Not only is the title an instant attention-getter, but Vamps’ first poster is as bold as they come in every facet. First off, the bloodsucker trademark is front and center and further highlighted with appropriately bright color choices. I wouldn’t mind seeing a stronger highlight around the film’s title, but, as it stands, it’s bold enough to get the message across. And then that tagline, short, sweet, to the point and the perfect complement to this image.

Vamps Poster

3. Real Steel Robot Banners: It’s Real Steel’s lucky week. These posters aren’t anything that spectacular, but thanks to the lack of competition, the foursome snags the final spot in the promotions section. Sure, Hugh Jackman is the driving force behind the film’s marketing campaign, but the piece has the chance to introduce moviegoers to a whole new breed of characters – or, more importantly, kids to a new collection of toys. Based on what we’ve seen of the film thus far, these robots aren’t mere drones controlled by their master; they’ve got personality. When you’ve got a variety of players competing in a game, it’s instinctual to root for one whether it be because the movie tells you to, you like their colors or fighting style. These banners compel you to identify with a competitor and therefore, you wind up wanting to see them in action. However, it’s a little tough to get behind one of these robots when the posters don’t feature their names.

Real Steel Banner


1. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) Teaser Trailer & Australian Trailer: As hard as it is to say I like The Human Centipede (First Sequence), it is a rather well-made movie, and the scandalous subject matter isn’t merely exploited for its shock value. However, it looks like writer-director Tom Six is trending in that direction for round two based on the film’s new promotional material. First, that Australian trailer with viewers supposedly reacting to the film is absolute nonsense. Plus, if those are real reactions, that’s only going to push people away. As for the more formal trailer, it’s just plain old weak. It’s more of a promotion for the first film than the second. Except for that fact that Martin is incredibly overweight, we learn absolutely nothing about him and what he’s got planned for the Full Sequence.

2. One for the Money Poster: Forget the tagline; the only thing this poster says is “If you don’t like the other Katherine Heigl movies, you won’t like this one.” Even worse, the fact that this image says so little about the film’s plot compels viewers to make that assessment and just file this one away with Heigl’s other romantic comedies.  The actress really has dug herself quite the hole. She needs to step out of this hyper-realism where she gets to prance around with a dashing co-star and pose all model-like on the film’s poster and go for something grittier, or even just the slightest bit more realistic.

One for the Money

3. The Greening of Whitney Brown Poster: I nearly gave this atrocity a pass because I assumed it was going straight to DVD and well, why kick a film when it’s down? But no, The Greening of Whitney Brown is really hitting theaters on November 11th. The tackiness of the film’s trailer is passable, as it’s geared towards younger audiences, but even an infant knows horses don’t ride in cars, even if the top does come down. Not only is the design painfully nonsensical, but the rendering is particularly sloppy. I can make out Brooke Shields and have no clue who that little girl is anyway, but is that supposed to be Aidan Quinn in the front seat? He looks like a character straight out of The Sims.

The Greening of Whitney Brown Poster

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