Friday, July 24, 2009

ON THE HORRIZON: "SAW VI" Teaser/traier & Red Band Carousel Clip

In the midst of all the fanboy/fangirl frenzy taking place at this year's Comic Con International (July 23-26, 2009) in Diego, CA., LIONS GATE has officially released the trailer/teaser for the highly anticipated SAW VI (that's "6" for the roman numerically-challenged and franchise deficient).

It has also simultaneously put out an extended and uncut clip from the film that is much more in line with what we've come to expect from the mini-major that helped solidify the horror/splatter subset now referred to - both disparagingly and with affection - as "torture porn."

One obvious faux-pas that I see in LG's marketing strategy of "give them more" is that the message can get lost in the overwhelming nature that is the unsaid hallmark of these events. This is especially true given the current venue: Comic Con International is the largest gathering of it kind in the world, and with the hundreds of so-called groundbreaking announcements being launched in a three-day period, bite-size portions of information are easier to digest than large spoonfuls. Instead, the trailer/teaser should have been released weeks before Comic Con to whip up fan hype (like they really need it) as a setup for the main event: the reveal of the extended "Red Band - Carousel" Clip (which would have been exactly what the demented doctor ordered).

In all fairness to LG, they did attempt (barely) to get some pre-release "buzz" before the convention by releasing a motion poster for the film. But due to the dudish nature and flat design of the motion poster that left a great many scratching their heads and somewhat wanting, that push, needless to say, has worked against them as has been evidenced by the susequent blogaphere backlash. I called it "lame," others have called it worse.

BUT I think the extended clip gives us all hope that the franchise still has some steam left in its engine. The Carousel scene keeps us on the edge our seat and wanting to know who will weasel their way out of getting whacked, hacked, and restacked. Some serious tension here!

I'm still hoping, however, that the suits at LIONS GATE will take the time to throw us another bone or two with some meat on it to help whet our appetites before the film's wide October 23rd release.

BTW: It's worth noting, at least to my warped mind, that given the forward-thinking platitudes spoken by the unseen Jigsaw about healthcare and greed in the Carousel scene, that a new more "humane" hand is at work pulling the strings of the death games from behind the curtian: President Barack Obama. Sorry - I couldn't resist :)

Edwin Pagán, for Latin Horror

SAW VI Onesheet

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The Hollywood marketing machine is always looking for new ways to attract more eyeballs and parley that into bottoms in theater seats. The latest viral gimmick that is rapidly catching on with the studios: MOTION POSTERS.

Motion posters, in essence, are nothing more than FLASH or Activex animations that simply take on the aspect ratio of the traditional movie one sheet (poster / key art), and utilize them in the same manner that early web designers used animated GIFs—and later FLASH—to make images stand out among all the static ones. The more interesting motions posters take advantage of elements that are germane to the film's concept, taking story points or visual cues and integrating them into the overall animation (another way to look at them is as oversized banner ads on speed).

The current trend is to release the motion poster as a prelude to the film's trailer in an effort to generate early buzz and anticipation, and later as a complement to it.

The first "motion posters" I saw were for A HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT, and TERMINATOR SALVATION. As a visual creature myself, I immediately found the numerous creative applications and possibilites exciting.

My personal favorite to date is for THE HAUNTING IN CONNECTICUT. It appears to be in 3D and reminds me of the holographic travel postcards of my youth. The supernatural ectoplasmic chunks seems to be coming right at you (yuck!). The motion poster for TERMINATOR SALVATION is another good example of smart design as explosions give way to a revelation of the grand machine's ominous face emerging from a futuristic armageddon-like metropolis, piercing volcanic eyes continuing to "loop" in trails of smoke and destruction.

LIONS GATE recently released a motion poster for SAW VI. And, to cut straight to the chase: it is rather LAME. LG could have done much more given all the franchise's built-in horror imagery. How could they get it so wrong with SAW when they rocked it with THE HAUNTING? [look for our review of SAW VI's trailer after its release on July 23rd at San Diego's International Comic Con]

Going forward the only thing standing in the way of truly captivating and dynamic motion posters is the imagination of the creative minds working in the studios' art bullpens and marketing departments (if the latter doesn't cancel out the other - think SAW VI).

NOTE: The motion posters shown below contain a mix of samples that automatically "loop" and some that may need for you to refresh your browser in order to replay the animation. Also, move your curser over the images to see if they contain any additional interactive capabilities or links.