Best/Worst Promos of the Week: 'Elmo' and 'The Human Centipede' Unite

Best/Worst Promos of the Week: 'Elmo' and 'The Human Centipede' Unite

Sep 29, 2011

Elmo CentipedeWe’ve got a little bit of everything this week – action, comedy, romance and so much more. But, with October on the horizon, it’s the horror material that’s inherently appropriate. The team behind the Paranormal Activity 3 campaign is really ramping things up, letting loose three new clips and a brand new trailer. While the clips themselves aren’t particularly special, the way in which they hit the web is quite fun. Shock Till You Drop, Dread Central and Bloody Disgusting not only received VHS tapes, but VHS players to play them with. An innovative and appropriate way to get the material out to the public, and, thanks to technology, likely quite cheap, too! As for the trailer, I’m sensing this might be a case of showing too much before the release, but at least it shows that there’s really more for this franchise to explore.

If you’re looking for something on the lighter side, there’s quite a bit to check out. In the romantic comedy department, we’ve got new trailers for New Year’s Eve as well as the Katherine Heigl-starrer, One for the Money. For those with a taste for suspense, catch Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell and Elizabeth Banks in the trailer for Man on a Ledge. We’ve also got a batch of clips from Real Steel, which combined, offer an appropriately modest sense of what the film’s got to offer. There’s also a brand new Puss in Boots parody video in which Puss gets his Isaiah Mustafa on.

In the poster department we’ve got three to note. Actually, there’s more than three because Melancholia just racked up six character posters all of which aesthetically foreshadow what’s to come in the feature. The new poster for I Melt With You shows off its main men including Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, and Christian McKay while the first design for The Lorax gives the fans what they want, The Lorax.

While all of the aforementioned promo material is worthy of your time and comes nowhere close to seeping into the demotions department, clearly they weren’t promotions-worthy. What was? Check out the best of the best right here.

Promotions

1. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) Trailer: Why does someone go to see something as sick as The Human Centipede? It’s likely one of two reasons – a person actually enjoys big screen mutilation or the curiosity is overpowering. In a smart marketing move, the full trailer for The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) makes a play for both of those groups, offering up the same appalling material from the first film and leaving you desperate to know more about this twisted man and the fate of his victims. This trailer also makes for a superb character piece. Sure it’s easy to deduce Martin’s an absolute psychopath through that first still image alone, but here he really comes to life and it’s quite disturbing. Does this make me excited for round two? No, but, yet again, I’m far too curious to pass it up. (Extra Credit: The Human Centipede 2 Poster)

2. Being Elmo Trailer: How’s this for a smooth transition? In stark contrast to The Human Centipede, Being Elmo makes a play for your heart via rousing nostalgia. Not only is the subject matter inherently interesting, as who didn’t have a soft spot for Elmo, but the trailer’s format boasts the power to honestly move the viewer, something that’s typically reserved for the film. While this is just an overview of Kevin Clash’s life as Elmo, an incredible amount of information is conveyed in just over two minutes, enough to make you feel as though you’re already acquainted with Clash. Similarly to that warm and fuzzy feeling that makes kids come back for more and more Sesame Street, this trailer for Being Elmo will leave moviegoers of nearly any age itching to see more.

3. John Dies at the End Teaser: If you’re really looking to catch a viewer’s attention, there’s no better way to do it than by opening your trailer with a striking visual. Even after the new teaser of John Dies at the End moves past the bright blue sky and snow white opening image, it continues to highlight the film’s assets, which primarily consist of the elements that make it so strikingly different. The piece is powered by a unique score that not only catches your ear, but works wonders in terms of setting the tone as does the shot composition, which is impressively consistent, yet innovative throughout the entire trailer. Then there’s the story, which, at first, might feel a bit too close to Limitless, but then quickly veers off in a direction we’ve never seen before. It leaves you the slightest bit confused, but in the case of a film like this, that’s what makes you certain that John Dies at the End has something new to offer.

Demotions

1. Jack and Jill Argentinean Poster: It looks like I’ll have to save a spot in the demotions department each week until Jack and Jill opens on November 11th. Does anyone out there actually want to see this? Better yet, does this have any value to Adam Sandler beyond a paycheck? Based on what we’ve seen of Jack and Jill so far, I’m guessing not. While there hasn’t been a single piece of promotion material that stirs any interest in seeing this film, at last they’ve all shown a degree of professionalism. This Argentinean poster, on the other hand, screams Photoshop and is miserably blurry. It also looks like someone took a digital redeye removal tool to this image. There’s nothing natural about demonic black eyes. And is it really necessary to include the title in English? I don’t know a lick of Spanish, but I’m pretty sure a toddler could translate “Jack y Jill.”

Jack and Jill Poster

2. Joyful Noise Trailer: Joyful Noise? More like Sister Act 3: Dolly Parton’s Revenge. Tacky comedies should be banned from using the all-too-familiar trailer voiceover voice. A voiceover in a trailer is somewhat like a copout in itself; you can’t get the point across via the images so you’ve got to take the easy way out.  Sure, sometimes it’s necessary, but here the story is already a familiar situation. Why rub it in our faces twice in the same trailer? The parallels to Sister Act are also a bit of a problem. No, it’s not exactly the same, but it’s hard not to compare the parts that do fall in line and based on this trailer, this is just a second rate Sister Act. Then there’s Dolly Parton. Yes, she pokes fun at her rather plastic appearance in the trailer, but that doesn’t make her any easier to look at for two minutes, let alone an entire feature film.

3. Despicable Me 2 Promo Poster: I was an intense Despicable Me advocate last year. Leading up to that film’s July 9th, 2010 release, the more minions the better! While I maintain hope for the same approach to the sequel, this first poster seems a bit lazy. Initially, I thought it was a mere cut and paste from a design for the first film minus the “2” in the title and the tagline. I actually had to do a double take to realize that little minion was holding up two of his three fingers. The minion? Still cute, but that doesn’t mean the promo team can slack when it comes to putting the gang to use in adorably innovative ways.

Despicable Me 2 Teaser Poster

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