Home Entertainment Top List Thursday – 10 Great trailers for 10 bad films

Top List Thursday – 10 Great trailers for 10 bad films

4 min read

These last couple of weeks have seen our bodily fluids reduced to dust as we geekgasmed over amazing trailer after amazing trailer. RushMan of Steel, Elysium, Star Trek Into Darkness, R.I.P.D, Only God Forgives, Thor: The Dark World… I’m all aquiver betwixt my nethers again just thinking about them. But the fact is that great trailers are not always indicative of great movies, as marketing magicians cut and frame scenes in trailers to make craptastic movies look a gajillion times better than they actually are.

So with that in mind, here are 10 of them that pulled the wool over our eyes.

Jaws 3D

I rewatched Steven Spielberg’s Jaws two weeks ago, and it truly was (and still is) one of the best suspense films ever made. Jaws 2 though, not so much. So when it was announced that a third mandible monikered movie was on the way, most folks weren’t exactly… ahem… chomping at the bit to watch it. But then this rather basic and clever little teaser was released, promising a sort of return to the simple scares of the first film. The only thing the movie ended up scaring though, was audiences away.

Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy

Confession time. I have never finished watching Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy and I really don’t feel any compulsion to either. Garth Jennings’ adaptation of Douglas Adams’ classic book was a misstep in many regards, often completely lacking the wit of its literature roots. But it was this trailer that got me to actually start watching. Should rather have just sat around in my bathrobe all day and drank tea while studying my towel collection. In other words, be Darryn.

Maximum Risk

In 1996 I was 15 years old and just starting to realize that Jean Claude Van Damme was actually not quite as amazing as my pre-adolescent self thought he was. This movie thoroughly proved that. But damn (pardon the pun), when I first saw this trailer, and especially after I heard that Prodigy soundtrack, I was just about roundhouse kicking my way into the cinemas.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

A remake of a classic horror starring Jessica Biel and produced by Michael Bay sounds amazing! – said no one ever. And yet, you wouldn’t have been alone if you were eager to watch Marcus Nispel’s 2003 remake of Tobe Hooper’s classic slasher film after seeing this chilling trailer.


Thomas Jane, Damian Lewis, Jason Lee, Timothy Olyphant, Tom Sizemore and even President God himself, Morgan Freeman, all together in an adaptation of a great Stephen King novel. How could this go wrong? Well, apparently many ways, with “overly long”, “incoherent” and “tonally uneven” just being some of them. But bloody hell, what an intriguing trailer!


If only Roland Emmerich had allowed whomever cut together this trailer for his monster movie to cut together the actual film, maybe it wouldn’t feel like a giant lizard had just taken a 10-storey poop on our brains.

The Matrix Revolutions

Say what you want, but The Matrix Reloaded was an incredible middle chapter, set-up movie, and backed by this trailer for the trilogy’s final installment, The Matrix Revolutions, it looked like it was setting us up for greatness. Oh how wrong we were. Not only does Neo know kung fu, but he apparently also knows how to do bad Dragonball Z impersonations.

Superman Returns

Has there ever been a better, more geektastic teaser than this? Unfortunately, Superman Returns ended up being a premature ejaculator of a film, blowing its load in the film’s opening action scene before rolling over and crying itself to sleep.

Max Payne

F&%k you, Max Payne. Seriously, f&$k you. I was (and still am) physically angry at just how much they messed up this videogame adaptation, especially due to the fact this fantastic Marilyn Manson scored trailer was actually the only one I watched before going to see the movie, which meant that I spent 100 minutes in that cinema grimacing as director John Moore urinated in bullet time all over one of my favourite video games.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Michael Bay’s entire career consists of nothing but trailers. Some may be two minutes long, while others are two and a half hours long, but they’re all just trailers for something: New ways to explode things, Megan Fox’s amazingly resistant make-up, the masturbatory properties of the US army, etc. And never has his trailer making skills been in finer form than for the last Transformers film.

Despite the fact that I hated, yes hated, Transformers 2, with its racist characters, robot fart jokes and logic gaps big enough to fly an Optimus Prime with a jetpack through, I could not wait to see the ridiculously titled Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon, all because of this trailer. It had it all: hot women, Optimus being a badass, the best use of that stupid foghorn sound effect, Optimus being a badass, buildings being destroyed in the coolest way possible, and did I mention Optimus being a badass?!

Last Updated: April 25, 2013


  1. Wayne Bossenger

    April 25, 2013 at 13:47

    i really enjoyed hitchhickers, but then again, I’ve never read the books so that might be why… cannot agree more from the other films ive seen (below half afterand including godzilla…)
    why oh why did they f up max payne so badly….


    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      April 25, 2013 at 15:08

      I’m with you man, ALL they had to do was take Max Payne’s story from the game, and just MAKE THE MOVIE. It had everything. Heck, they could even have done it with just the comic strips!


      • Kervyn Cloete

        April 25, 2013 at 16:35

        It really says something about Max Payne, when the best compliment I can give it, is that Nelly Furtado acted pretty decently for a first timer.


  2. Admiral Chief Erwin

    April 25, 2013 at 15:07

    Max Payne was CRAP


  3. Admiral Chief Erwin

    April 25, 2013 at 15:07



    • Kervyn Cloete

      April 25, 2013 at 16:34

      One day…. One day, I will finish watching it. Today is not that day. Tomorrow doesn’t look good either.


  4. Lourens Corleone

    April 25, 2013 at 17:10

    All I remember from Maximum Risk is Natasha Henstridge’s boobs. Sue me!


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