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C'MON HOLLYWOOD: Don't take away our red-band trailers!


...don't take away our red-band trailers!
by J.A. Hamilton

Okay, so Iíve tackled the idea of trailers giving away far too much but that doesnít mean I want to see the best kind of trailer (THE RED-BAND TRAILER) simply disappear. I remember the first time I watched a red band trailer, though for the life of me I canít remember what movie it was for as Iíve watched so damn many of them, but I remember seeing the red preview screen vs the green one with a big, fat ďRĒ and thinking ďoh man, this is gonna be good.Ē Since then, Iíve grown to love red-band trailers quite a bit and one of the best examples I can give for how it helped sell the movie was with THE HANGOVER. That flick came out of nowhere and the ordinary trailer didnít sell the movie nearly as well as the red-band.

One of the funniest red-band trailers I've seen.

The most appalling thing about this new scandal is one of the marketing tools their using as a mode of attack: ďIs the red-band trailer the new Joe Camel?Ē What the hell sort of bullshit is that? For those of you who donít know who Joe Camel is, he was an advertizing mascot for cigarettes (a dude with a camel head puffing on a smoke). This was long before those atrocious warning labels hit cigarettes and I canít say Iím surprised they banned old Joe. That said, the FAMILY GUY episode where Stewie starts smoking, featuring the doll that says cigarettes ďtaste like happyĒ was far more scandalous than old Joe ever was. Either way, comparing cigarette advertizing to red-band trailer advertizing is pretty dirty.

Looks like a MIAMI VICE poster with a camel instead of Don Johnson.

Now letís talk content for a moment, as thatís the real poison their trying to slip into our kool aid. Yes, red-band trailers feature excessive violence mixed with blood, gore, nudity and language but hereís what I donít understand. We live in a day and age where PG-13 has been kicking ass and taking names (much to my personal dismay), the powers that be in Hollywood have been pushing for this since the late eighties and lo and behold they won the battle and got exactly what they wanted. Theyíve been treating the R rated movie like a ravenous dog and pushing it into a corner, so what did they expect to would happen? The red-band trailer is one of few lifelines working to save and promote R rated flicks, which was never really needed until now.

Nearly every second of SPARTACUS is red-ban and I love it.

Of course the biggest complaint stems from underage kids getting a peek at these trailers and or the films they promote. Seriously? I watched COBRA when I was ten, before internet, and that wasnít the only R rated flick I watched. You canít stop this process, and thereís no point in blaming the internet (or red-band trailers). Furthermore, Iíve become a big fan of TV over the past couple years and among my guilty pleasures are shows like SUPERNATURAL which just last week featured headshots to zombies, blood spatters and all, and that showís not even on satellite channels, itís on regular cable. Add to that the fact that nearly EVERY family has satellite channels which leaves shows like DEXTER, TRUE BLOOD and my personal favourite SPARTACUS: BLOOD AND SAND all too accessible. And they want to beat up on red-band trailers? Come on!

The idea of losing these trailers is making me see red.

Lately everyone in Hollywood or otherwise want to point the ugly finger of blame somewhere for all the violence and craziness in the world, I donít want to tip the scales into that argument, but this is where situations like this stem from. If itís not video games, itís movies. If itís not the R rated flicks, it becomes the R rated trailers. Movies, games and especially trailers are forms of entertainment, nothing more. As far as I know, red-band trailers arenít rigged with subliminal imagery targeted at our youths to brainwash them into doing bad things. Red band trailers donít show anything that the movie itself doesnít contain, and thereís no stopping underage kids or anyone else from watching them if they decide to do so, but to punish us all (as well R rated movie marketing) by taking the red-band trailers away is just wrong and I pray it doesnít happen.
Extra Tidbit: They sure are pissed about the KICK-ASS red-band trailer, and how our young Hit Girl is talkin serious smack...god bless her black little heart.



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