Trailer Roundup (vol. 1): the hollywood apocalypse

I love me some good end-of-the-world movies.

First off, as the few of you left out there reading this know, I’ve been lamenting my current “blah” state with regards to blogging. This “ho-hum” funk cloud has been hanging about for a while. Well I just got an idea for a recurring feature that will, at the very least, keep me posting weekly on one particular subject. It’s a subject that I know very well — movie trailers. I’m a sucker for them. So much so, that it’s not enough to see them in the theater (by the way, always go to a movie early enough to see all the trailers!). Oh no, I have to download trailers to whet my appetite.

And so… here is the first installment of Trailer Friday.

Invasion of the Body SnatchersI vividly remember one of the very first apocalyptic-themed movies I ever saw. It was Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the 1956 black-and-white classic paranoia metaphor for the Red Scare. Absolutely horrifying! It was on one of those Saturday afternoon sci-fi specials. I remember being glued to the TV. The premise: strange giant alien pods wash up on shore and when in contact with humans, they take over the person. The earth’s population quickly gets swapped by these alien doubles. They’re like robots, emotionless. Just a little “off”. And the transformation from pod to person happens when you fall asleep.

The Bravo cable channel has a nice little discussion about the original here:

[youtube mSdtdcQsCQc]

Great, great scary fun! The story has been remade a few times, and a fresh new take is hitting theaters soon. This time around, it’s got Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. Check out its trailer:

I love how they’ve amped up the realism. The original and previous versions had a certain camp to them. I mean, come on… pods?! How silly, right? It appears that this new version has re-imagined the pods into some sort of embryonic clone thing. I’m sold!

Also coming soon is I Am Legend, where Will Smith is the last man on earth. This specific apocalyptic scenario I have daydreamed too many times to count. I suppose it’s pretty revealing of my introversion. But whatever, I can’t wait to see how this film plays with that premise. Here’s the trailer:

I love the post-war, post-Very-Bad-Event look captured in the NYC design. I love seeing the detail of the overgrown weeds, abandoned cars, and big empty buildings. Something about that thought — large buildings completely empty when they shouldn’t be — that alone is a frightening setup to me. I guess because it’s the reverse of the norm. They should be bustling places of commerce, but instead they’re vacant and still. I can’t wait to see how this is used!

That apocalyptic scenario is quite the opposite to last year’s Children of Men. Instead of a world devoid of people, this futuristic Britain was losing its populace by each passing generation, mysteriously no longer capable of reproduction. The streets were filled with desperate people, all going mad with their looming demise. It was a very escapist film, gritty with a war-like reality:

Finally an upcoming film from J.J. Abrams, as of this posting curiously untitled, is about to destroy NYC. Did you see Transformers? If so, you saw J.J.’s sneaky trailer. Here it is on the small screen:

How about that, huh?! What a great reveal at the end of this trailer. You have to hand it to J.J., the guy is New Hollywood. Apparently, the word is that he even cut this trailer himself. The guy really has a knack for the simple hooks that grab us deeply. Case in point: Alias and Lost, both huge blockbuster TV shows. And with Lost, he’s tapped into another hook to keep us all involved on another level: mythos. Lost has such an epic back story that none of us can look away.

With this new film, slated for release on 1-18-08, he’s tapped back into the social networking power of the internet to spread the word (and theories, of which there are many). Just what is the bringer of the film’s doomsday? Is it a re-imagining of Godzilla? Is it a parasite? Voltron? Cthulu? I’m hoping for something completely new and fresh. Knowing J.J., we’ll get that. His apocalypse will be one to remember.

Of course, this crop of apocalypse redux movies started 5 years ago with Danny Boyle’s reinvention of the zombie movie, 28 Days Later:

More than just a zombie movie, 28 Days was an infection movie. It was about contagion run wild, turning people into rage-soaked murderers. Now that’s a recipe for a good scary movie!

And as rare as it is for a sequel to be just as effective as its predecessor, 28 Weeks Later was just such an animal:

This one was mean. It showed no mercy. It was also a thinly veiled parable of humanity waging war on itself in the name of survival.

So that’s it for this week’s movie trailer roundup, both old and new. The theme is apocalypse. Who wants to celebrate the end of the world with me?!





14 responses to “Trailer Roundup (vol. 1): the hollywood apocalypse”

  1. KingFish Avatar

    Hi Rob,
    I will definitely have to pay closer attention to your movie picks – it seems we have the same taste for post-apocalyptic movies. Can’t wait for I Am Legend. Also in the lone survivor vein, I would also recommend The Quiet Earth.

    If you want more there’s also the British TV series, The Day of the Triffids.

    1. Rob Avatar

      That’s it, KingFish, I’ve added Quiet Earth to the top of my Netflix queue, since you’ve mentioned it twice. 😉 Also added the Triffids. I shall report back in due time.

      Hey, have you seen Omega Man? That’s another last-man-alive flick. Very, very 70’s, but fun ideas.

      1. KingFish Avatar

        Oh yes, Omega Man and another fave starring Chuck Heston (though not a last-man-on-earth pic), Soylent Green.

        Look what you’ve done, you’ve got me reminiscing………

    2. Bruce Avatar

      Quiet Earth… a Kiwi flick. It’s a bit low budget with not-so-great acting but worth a watch. There’s one scene filmed in the village of Clevedon, where I grew up. Must rent it again myself.

  2. Nathan Avatar

    I am Legend – Is 6:11…

    1. Rob Avatar

      Ah, nice tie-in, Nate. I guess there’s really nothing new under the sun.

      Just found this info on Wiki… I thought the movie seemed familiar. The novel was adapted before with Charlton Heston in the 70s as Omega Man. That was a campy cool flick.

  3. James Avatar

    You’re back!

    Nice post man. It’s your movie reviews and movie comparisons that I’ve always enjoyed the most. It’s nice to have them back again. 😉

  4. James Avatar

    Hey, Rob, your post really got me into this whole JJ Abrams thing. Check out this site.

    There are some hidden videos and auto responders giving hints about this new movie. It’s pretty cool!

    1. Rob Avatar

      Yeah, that one’s an interesting viral rabbit trail. But JJ says it ain’t so…

  5. James Avatar
    James has that site listed as an official site of the movie along with i believe.

  6. James Avatar

    Hmm, I’m finding reports that this site is one of the official sites.

    I don’t know if that’s true but the reports I’m reading seem to be from legit sites.

  7. Rob Avatar

    I’m not sure what to think about the movie-list linkage, except to say that that site is mostly user contributed. So just because they claim the links are official doesn’t make it so.

    Here’s the best theory I’ve read yet, go check it out! A little mind-blowing.

  8. James Avatar

    Oh wow, that was very well done.

    Thanks for the link!

  9. Rob Avatar

    Could “Monstrous” be the title? Check it out…

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