TERMINATOR 3: RISE OF THE MACHINES
We’re going to take a look at 10 of the best teaser trailers today. And a theme that is going run through this list is a teaser trailer provoking the audience, even if the final product did not deliver.
A good example is the teaser trailer for Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines. It was 12 years since the last Terminator movie was released and when this teaser hit, unsuspecting viewers hankering for the big follow up were pretty ‘teased’ by this simple but effective video.
The trailer’s impact pretty much relies entirely on Terminator 2: Judgement Day motifs and sounds, with unsuspecting viewers being borderline trolled with ideas of more Robert Patrick or James Cameron-quality sequeldom. Perhaps it was too early, or perhaps intelligently, actual footage of one of the most disappointing sequels was left in the can.
BACK TO THE FUTURE
A slice of pure, glorious ’80s here, and a teaser trailer that does everything right. It teases an exotic car, but doesn’t reveal it. It teases the plot but barely suggests it. And it offers flashy style to draw the attention as well.
What happened to bespoke teaser trailers?
THE EXPENDABLES 2
Most of the best teaser trailers are produced for already established brands. This is because they already have the hook, now they can rile people up without having to explain the premise.
I still remember when this trailer hit the internet. To me it is almost the perfect teaser trailer – a hint of story, then rapidly selling the backbone of the franchise (the ensemble cast). With Jean Claude Van Damme introduced and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s old school shooting at the end, it was the ultimate hype video.
At the time, we all loved the first, but with its success, expected even more with a bigger budget.
Alien3 is another good example of not necessarily the best film in a franchise having the most exciting teaser trailer.
This is an interesting teaser that not only does not show any of the movie itself, but hypes an apparently abandoned direction. Alien3’s teaser promises action with Xenomorphs on Earth, which of course did not happen.
To audiences at the time, this must have immediately provoked the idea of Colonial Marines battling an Alien invasion. It must’ve been very exciting.
Before Prometheus was released, I’m not sure how many of us could’ve foreseen the direction Ridley Scott took the franchise in. But after a long gap and the soiling of the franchise with two dud Alien Vs. Predator movies… this trailer sure suggested something.
The theme of the trailer is at home with the movies released 1979-1997. It promises a return to form. While it did return to superior craftmanship, it certainly did not return to Alien. But who was to know from this exciting teaser?
DIE HARD 2
John McTiernan kind of reeled everyone in a little bit with Die Hard, adding an ingredient to already popular pulse-racing 1980’s action – realism. The result was so good that John McClane became a pop culture icon.
So for a sequel, all you have to do is tease a predicament, then simply say McClane is back. Die Hard 2 probably has the best trailer of the whole series. Although mind you, the third film has some brilliant rare VHS trailers.
Rambo 3 may not be the strongest entry in the series (it’s still underrated), but it has the best trailer out of the movies (just slightly better than Rambo 2‘s teaser).
By now established as the king of 1980’s action, Rambo merely had to show up to get people riled up. This teaser trailer must have been quite the exciting snippet by what surely promised to be the biggest action movie of all time.
It was the most expensive, anyway.
ALIEN VS. PREDATOR
Here’s another trailer that promises everything for a movie that delivered almost nothing. Alien Vs. Predator, at this time, was a huge hit in the fledgling online gaming world (popular comic, too). And since it was many years since either franchise dropped a film… this thing was tantalizing.
To the unsuspecting viewer, what they understandably would’ve been expecting would’ve been Aliens battling Predators with Colonial Marines caught in the middle.
What we got was… some shit set in the Arctic, with fat Predators and shitty one liners. I mean fuck you, Paul W.S. Anderson.
Rocky IV has a teaser trailer that does not feature a single frame from the actual movie. The good old days when custom trailers were created for something that the studio knew was going to be a roaring success.
Drago is very talkative in this trailer, too.
In the end we see exploding boxing gloves with the crowd chanting Rocky’s name. How can it get much better than this? Well, the actual film was.
God knows, they could really have made something from the actual film itself, given the quality of the footage and the director involved.
But the greatest teaser trailer of them all had Stan Winston shoot an entirely bespoke scene, with his own budget. The teaser is both original, cashes in on the hype from the first movie to sell the next one and is, in fact, pretty incredibly well shot.
The teaser also sets up a swerve found in the movie – it suggest the return of another murderous Arnold T-800, only to find the amiable cop is actually the villain – something that caught many fans at the time of the film’s release.