Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Ghostbuster Trailer Tuesday: 'Ghostbusters' (1984)

Teaser trailer Tuesday has been given a break for 30 Days of Ghostbusters. In its place we will be looking at trailer associated with...can you guess?

Yep, unless you only visit the site on Tuesdays you probably know that all month we will be talking about 'Ghostbusters' (1984) and TTT is no different. So let's get right into it and watch the trailer to 'Ghostbusters'.

Well, how can we talk about such a iconic trailer? Let's try. First off, the narration. The voiceover for this trailer is by the voice of trailers himself Don Lafontaine. The man has spoken over more trailers than that snarky guy behind you in the theater (if you don't have a snarky guy in your theater then YOU are the snarky guy in the theater).
Don Lafontaine, all that is masculine.
His work in this trailer is top-notch, making it feel both suspenseful and action oriented. The first half of the trailer has the moody feel of a thriller, which is pretty legitimate if you consider it's duel mood, that gives way to an action comedy. In fact, the only comedy that comes through in the trailer is by way of the actor's scenes only. Nothing in the voiceover makes you think this will be one of the funniest films of all time. It let's the scenes speak for the film.

We also get the first strings of the amazing score by Elmer Bernstein. Who ever cut this trailer knew enough to use the Bernstein's 'Main Theme' track during the introduction of the comedic moments with the guys. This score track has gone on to be as popular as the Ray Parker theme song, which also gets featured in a truncated version. As for the rest of Bernstein's score, it goes largely untapped. This is true to both it here in the trailer and in the film itself (but that's another story).

Finally, the editing in this trailer is pretty successful. It flows smoothly. The duality of tones is represented. In the end what we are presented with is a montage of the film in a pretty liner fashion. The big positive is that the trailer does not give away the biggest secret; Stay-Puft. They made a good choice by keeping the giant marshmallow man a secret until audiences were inside the theater. I'm sure the producers really pushed to have Stay-Puft, the big heavy, shown to engage moviegoers but cooler heads knew that this was their strongest finish and it need to be seen in the theater. I now wonder if showing Stay-Puft would of drawn or turned off audiences? "What the hell is that? I got to see this movie!" or "What the hell is this? Screw this noise, I'm seeing 'Temple of Doom' again". Either way the trailer ends with that awesome cross cut of the crowd yelling "Ghostbusters!" while the guys get ready to save the world. We must remember that the first poster for this film, as seen above, didn't feature the title of the film. This was a time before the phrase Ghostbusters entered the lexicon (as long as you didn't watch Filmmation live-action children programming). The title, now part of our dialect, is pretty silly. "Ghost-Busters". They bust ghost. They are the busters of ghosts. Not "Paranormal Eliminators" but officially "Ghostbusters". In the film the name works as they are meant to be kind of like plumbers, there is humor in the name. As a title, it could of really worked against them. This trailer helps warm the masses up to using the name without giggling.

To that end, 'Ghostbusters' (1984) has one of the most memorable trailers to come from the 80's. It didn't brake new ground in the art of previews but it does its job nicely. I love this trailer and so should you.

A "honest" trailer for 'Ghostbusters'. Pretty truthful actually.

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