Scary Trailer ’77

Originally a failure on its initial 1974 release, a new brilliant campaign made this creepy film a box-office hit three years later. These ads terrified me. This is how to sell a horror movie!

18 Responses to “Scary Trailer ’77”

  1. I didn’t know that about It’s Alive. Three years is a long time.

    And I’m embarrassed to admit it, but this scared the living shit out of me and my younger brother:

    Love the film (it’s the best horror movie about cool wallpaper ever made) but that skull is incredibly cheesy. I think it was the scaaaary woman’s voice that did it. We would literally run out of the room when this ad came on TV.

  2. christian Says:

    I only vaguely recall the SUSPIRA ads but boy, it’s a scary ad and soundtrack.

  3. I watched IT’S ALIVE for the first time a few years ago after reading Robin Wood’s brilliant Reagan/Vietnam book. I really wish I saw the movie Wood saw, and I see that intent, but it doesn’t really come together for me until that terrific confrontation at the end between the baby and the father, which is worth seeing the picture for alone.

    Am I the only horror fan who doesn’t think Argento is all that? (Though I dig SUSPIRIA.)

  4. Chuck — I like his early gialli, like Bird With the Crystal Plumage. Deep Red is one of the best slashers ever made. Given the genre, this isn’t saying much, but it’s wonderfully photographed, has a great score, effectively nasty murders and a hall-of-fame “ugly doll” scene.

    I mean, c’mon, does this not creep you out?:

    But I agree that after Suspiria, returns began to diminish precipitously.

    The sad truth is this: most so-called masters of horror (or artists of any kind, for that matter) only have a few great works in them, and these are usually executed during a finite fertile period. Argento’s average is as good as anyone’s.

  5. christian Says:

    And I’ve still never seen IT’S ALIVE! Larry Cohen is always a mixed bag, but I give him mad props for his truly satirical subversive sensibility.

    As fer Argento, I certainly dig his 1970-1977 output, but he can’t touch Mario Bava. But you have to love a guy who co-wrote ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and produced DAWN OF THE DEAD…

  6. Frank, BIRD and DEEP RED left me cold at the time, but, then again, that was a time in my life where several of my opinions were highly suspect. I’ll take another look this month. (Can’t watch that clip here at work, but will watch that soon too.)

    “The sad truth is this: most so-called masters of horror (or artists of any kind, for that matter) only have a few great works in them, and these are usually executed during a finite fertile period. Argento’s average is as good as anyone’s.”

    Hard to dispute that…unfortunately.

  7. christian Says:

    I’ll have to revist DEEP RED. I love 4 FLIES ON GRAY VELVET, crazy plot tho it is.

  8. You should oughta watch It’s Alive for SHOCKTOBER, C.

    I’m finally watching Something Wicked This Way Comes tonight, btw.

    Chuck, I’ve revisited films I disliked that everyone else raved about and been glad that I did. Of course, I’ve also done it and said “Fools! I was right the first time.” In other words, it’s not my fault — unless you like them.

  9. christian Says:

    IT’S ALIVE is due soon….GET IT?

    Honestly, in my life of film viewing, my first impression is usually 99.5 percent accurate. I hated GOONIES opening day and watching it again, still charmless. The only film i can think of that I got wrong on initial viewing was REPO MAN. It’s all in the reflexes.

  10. GOONIES sucks, but I find that my tastes pre- and post- 25 can differ. They don’t always, but there was definitely some sort of change that took place during that time.

  11. I’ve never seen Goonies. I’m happy to take your word on that one.

    Lousy format or a bad theater experience can make a difference. I’ve had to reassess a number of movies I first saw during the VHS era.

    I found The Passenger dull as hell in the Nineties; I more recently saw it at The Castro and loved it. I liked Performance a LOT better upon a recent re-viewing, maybe because the image was restored and not pan-and-scan, maybe because I wasn’t completely plastered this time around. (Hard to form an opinion of something when you can’t remember it.) I was also able to see it for what it was rather than expecting it to be the most shocking thing ever. That kind of hype can hurt a film.

    Ever see a movie you’ve read or heard about for years and disliked it because you had created your own superior mental version of it?



    Check, please.

  14. christian Says:

    That’s what I said while watching this dull, silly porn “classic.”

  15. Yeah, that one was pretty lame.

    So what was your version like?

  16. christian Says:

    My version was good. Or at least erotic. I still read glowing revoews of CAFE FLESH to this day, and Danny Peary included it in his classic “Cult Movies” series, but gag me with latex.

  17. Christian, when this movie came out, you saw it and told me how terrifying it was and i’ve never seen it since. I think it’s time to man-up.

  18. christian Says:

    Er, uh…it was terrifying. Post-nuclear holocaust mutant sex!

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