The Best Movie Trailers

The best... and the worst movie trailers
March 07, 2011
The Movie Theater.

The movie theater is my home away from home. A place filled with arcade games. A place that has a concession stand filled with any item of your choice. A place where you get to see any film you want.

I have always liked movies. Since I viewed Toy Story for the first time as a baby, I was hooked.

Granted movies are not as good as they were back in the day, I have found myself to prefer more Retro films from the 70's, 80's and 90's then today's films.

If there's one thing that all movies share, whether you go to the theater, watch a DVD or VHS tape, for those who still haven't upgraded, or are simply watching a movie on TV or watching it on your on Demand channel (demanding if you a cable box and who is your supplier), it's that they all contain one thing: a movie trailer.

The trailer is a very important essence in a movie. After all, it shows you footage from the film. You get to learn a little bit about the film, and also get a first look at the film being shown.

What's in the trailer is very important. If they show too much footage, people will think that there isn't any need to see it. If they show too little footage, people will think not know anything about it, will think it isn't interesting and doesn't think it deserves to be viewed by them.

I constantly watch find myself viewing trailers just to see what the film the trailer is about is like. Now I don't always watch trailers for new, upcoming films, I often watch trailers about movies from the past, just to see what it is like. It has become a very big hobby for me.

I decided that for my first article, I need to do something interesting. I figured what better subject then movie trailers.

This article will show you what trailers I think are the best and the worst. I will explain why I think some trailers are the best, and I will explain why I think other trailers are the worse.

In order to keep this retro, no trailers will be shown that are for movies past the year 1999.

Now before we begin, some more information:

1) This is my first article, so bear with me if you don't think it's the absolute best article on here

2) These trailers don't go in any order except for the BEST and the WORST sections. So neither trailer in each section is better or worse then the previous one or the upcoming one

3) I debated heavily whether or not to include pictures in here, and the only reason I did was because half of all the current daily users on here have a fit if they don't see any pictures. So please don't say how bad the pictures are, because I don't have a photo editing system yet

4) This is a long article, so I suggest you get a drink and a snack before you begin reading

Alright! Now if we are all done, let's begin with the best section and kick it off with trailer number one...


Escape from New York (1981)

I always enjoyed the film Escape from New York. It was filled with action, but also showed us a dark and depressing future. What I like about the trailer is what they show and tell us. All it tells us is the year it takes place and one other piece of information: that New York is no longer a city, but a giant prison for criminals to live in. It reveals nothing us but shows us that something big is going to happen, and that "one man is about to go in where no other man has gotten out." So the trailer is one of the best.

Die Hard (1988)

What made Die Hard so great in 1988 was that the character John McClane was so different from previous action heroes. He wasn't the "best of the best" kind of guy that we often got with action stars like Stallone and Schwarzenegger. He was your regular cop, who acted like any cop would if he was trapped with terrorists in a skyscraper. He was scared, confused and bleeding throughout the entire thing. And that's what made the trailer so good. It showed us just that. They set the trailer up with nice music and the right scenes shown, and we got an awesome first look at one of the greatest films ever made.

Die Hard 2 (1990)

I always liked Die Hard 2 more than most fans of the whole series did. In my eyes, I always thought that this film was the best Die Hard movie made, or at least tied with the first. I may get criticized for this, but it's my list so back off. The trailer has all the qualities that should put it into the WORST section of this article. After all, it shows so much footage and tells you so much that you barely need to see the film after seeing it. So why is it in the best section and not the worst section? Well, I always find myself attracted to this trailer due to it being fast paced. So this is good enough to be in the best section.

John Carpenter's The Thing (1982)

My father and I have always enjoyed John Carpenter's The Thing. It has some nice action and also decent graphics for it's time. Who could forgot the scene where the head sprouts spider-like legs and begins to crawl away? The trailer is set up just like Carpenter's other film mentioned earlier on this list, Escape from New York. It tells only about the setting, and tells us something big involving a non-human creature is about to happen. A little bit boring, but a pretty good job overall.

Aliens (1986)

I'm truly obsessed with the film Aliens. I spent my whole 8th grade year trying to view it, but I didn't get the chance until the last day of school of that year. Trying to watch it so much has left a lasting impression on me: I now have to watch it whenever it is on. I already know everything there is to know about this film, but I still watch. The trailer is pretty fast paced. It shows us a lot of action and explosions. But the true thing that makes this trailer great is the ending. It shows us a alien larger then all the others: The Queen Alien. But it doesn't tell us that. It makes us question what it is. If you were to see the original Alien without any knowledge on Aliens and then see the trailer to it, you would question what is that giant alien.

Commando (1985)

The trailer to Commando is the trailer that kicked off my hobby of watching movie trailers. The film is filled with action, and so is the trailer. Like with any other trailer to action film from Arnold Schwarzenegger, we know two things: someone has pissed Arnie off, and now someone is going to die. It's a predictable trailer, but pretty good overall. So it deserves a spot in here.

Cobra (1986)

My aunt, uncle and I have also enjoyed the film Cobra. It showed so much of the 80's culture through music and the clothing style. I do agree that this isn't Stallone's absolute best, but it is pretty good. The trailer itself has the song Feel the Heat from Jean Beauvoir playing in it, and that gives the trailer the feeling of the 80's to it as well. It doesn't show much other then Stallone fighting off murders, but it is a pretty good trailer for an average Stallone film.

Cliffhanger (1993)

Cliffhanger is one of those action films that were a surprise to many. This was the first film of Stallone's to not receive complete negative reviews in a long time. It was a very epic film. It was a little predictable at first, but then it got very epic. And no one ever thought that John Lithgow of all people would nearly kill Stallone on top of a mountain. The trailer to this film has been called one of the best trailers ever. Why? Well, all it shows is Stallone fighting people on top of a mountain, set to classical music. What is so good about? Well, that's just it. It doesn't tell us anything else! The trailer leaves people raising so many questions: Why is Stallone fighting those people? What are those people after? What is Stallone? Is he a cop? A former soldier? Why are they fighting on top of a mountain? There's so many questions raised from the trailer that you have to go out and see it. And the trailer did do it's job, as Cliffhanger went on to make more then $250 million world wide.

Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 is as of right now the only sequel to a Pixar film, unless you count Toy Story 3. The film was everything a sequel could have. The trailer gives you general information about the film. It tells us that Woody has been kidnapped by someone, and now Buzz, Rex, Ham, Mr. Potato Head and Slinky Dog must save him. What I like best though is the ending to the trailer. The song they put in ends the very dramatic theme to the trailer and gives us happiness and joy. Overall, it works out really well.

Heavy Metal (1981)

Heavy Metal is probably the biggest cult film ever made. The film contains profanity, intense nudity, violence and a huge selection of songs. You would think that this film would be horrible, but no. Instead, it's an incredibly fun film to watch. The trailer mash's together all the tales from the film, so you question what exactly this film is about. And of course, this leads people to go out and view it. Just like with Cliffhanger and it's trailer, the trailer to Heavy Metal deserves a spot on here.

Robocop (1987)

I remember first watching the film Robocop when I was only 3 years old. It was on TV, so all the violence was cut out. Robocop has always been known for the fact that it's extremely violent but in a sophisticated manor. Last December I had to do a research paper for school, and two paragraphs I put in it were about how some entertainment companies try to target kids with their violent media. After seeing the trailer for Robocop, I am almost positive that is true. The trailer doesn't show us any violence at all, so I'm sure that hundreds of parents took their kids to see this and were shocked by the gore...

I'm starting to wonder off topic, so let's get back to the trailer. The trailer isn't so bad, it's just that the problem is that it doesn't advertise the violence like it should. Oddly, the song used in the trailer is The Terminator theme song. It's probably the weakest trailer in the best section, but it is an attracting trailer, so it does get a place in here.

Robocop 2 (1990)

I think Robocop 2 it more well liked by fans then the critics and filmmakers. It is often considered to be no where near the greatness of Robocop, but I always liked it. The trailer shows us the general concept of the film: Robocop is nearly destroyed in a battle, and OCP decides to create a new, much more deadlier, Robocop using a criminals body. I think they made the trailer pretty good, and towards the end where you see the battle begin between Robocop and Robocop 2 was really nicely put together, as well as the exploding logo at the end. Most definitely deserves a spot in here.

Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

Nightmare on Elm Street truly is a terrifying film. I have never viewed slasher films as scary. After all, they are all about a maniac just going around and killing people. However, this film does spread fear into people, including me. I don't know why, maybe because it just had a different style then most other slasher films. The trailer itself is pretty good. It doesn't tell us very much, other then something is going around and killing people. But it's killing people in the one place they never expect: there dreams. The trailer has a nice creepy tone to it, and the ending to it leaves you wondering what's going to happen. So automatically you want to go out and see it.

Red Dawn(1984)

I won't go into great detail about the trailer to Red Dawn. The trailer shows us The Russian's invading the United States. Throughout it all your wondering what's going to happen. Then it quickly changes to scenes where the high school students are attacking the Russian forces. The trailer does attract you to the film, so overall it does deserve a spot in the best section.

Hercules (1997)

The trailer I am talking about may or may not be the actual trailer to the Disney animated film Hercules. The trailer I am talking about can be found on the Toy Story VHS tape. In 7th grade I used to watch a film every Friday after school. I sometimes watched Toy Story not for the movie, but for the Hercules trailer. I mainly like it for the music used, as it sounds really cool. I also like when Hydes says "Ah yes! I like it!." Overall, pretty good.

The following video below is of the opening to the tape. You'll have to scan through to find the Hercules trailer.

101 Dalmatians (1996)

Just like with the Hercules trailer, the trailer for 101 Dalmatians may or may not be the actual trailer for the film. Just like with the Hercules trailer, the trailer for 101 Dalmatians can be found on the Toy Story VHS tape. I mainly like the film for it's epic tone, as well as the ending where you see the toy parent dalmatians running in the snow looking for there puppies.

Now that we went over what I consider to be the best movie trailers, let's take a look at what I consider to be the worst movie trailers...


Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)

Die Hard with a Vengeance is well liked by fans of the Die Hard series, but is viewed by critics as the weakest film in the franchise. If you were to view the trailer, you would think they were right. The trailer to Die Hard with a Vengeance isn't so bad, but when compared to the other two trailers mentioned earlier in this article, it just doesn't hold up. It makes the movie seem a little corny by showing so much jokes. If you want to attract the movie goers to an action film, don't show jokes. The trailer is just a little corny to me.

The Demolition Man (1993)

The Demolition Man is a very corny movie with a deep meaning. To keep it short and simple, the trailer emphasis on only the corniness.

Escape from LA (1996)

The trailer to Escape from LA doesn't at all match up with the trailer to Escape from New York, which was mentioned first in here. The movie itself wasn't at all like the first. Snake seemed to be pushing the "bad ass" feeling he had in the first. It was also just stupid. It didn't at all emphasize on the government issues that the first one had, instead it's just has a completely corny government. And the trailer shows all of it! With a trailer like this you can't attract an audience. This trailer even turns me down.

The Abyss (1989)

I have always liked The Abyss because it was such a deep and thought provoking film. The trailer itself is very mysterious, but not the good mysterious like trailers mentioned earlier in this article. It's more of a boring mysterious. After seeing this trailer, if I had no prior knowledge on The Abyss I would of assumed this was the most boring movie ever and would have not seen it.

Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story is one of the greatest movies of all time! It was the first CGI animated film! This film actual brings enjoyment to teenagers and adults! And yet, the trailer sucks! I now wonder how the hell an audience was brought in with this trailer. It's just boring and doesn't emphasis the greatness of this film.

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Just like with Toy Story above, Star Wars: A New Hope is one of the best films ever made and yet suffers from a bad trailer. The trailer is just plain and boring, and it makes you wonder how an audience was brought in on it.

Speed (1994)

One of the many rip offs of Die Hard, Speed was an okay film. I found the trailer, however, to be like many other trailers in the worst section: corny. The trailer ends with a corny line from Keanu Reeves. If it wasn't for that line I maybe would of avoided putting in the worst section, but it just ruins the whole trailer.

Speed 2 Cruise Control (1997)

I'm not even going to go into this crap. Speed 2 Cruise Control just sucked, and the trailer sucks by emphasizing on all the comedy in the film.

Under Siege (1992)

I didn't like Under Siege as much as I thought I would. It didn't have all the exciting moments I was hoping for. As for the trailer, well, I thought that could of been done better. It wasn't so bad, but it wasn't well put together. In some ways this trailer makes Under Siege look like a low budget film, and it doesn't have much fun or excitement in it.

Galaxy of Terror (1981)
No Picture Available

Galaxy of Terror is low budget and corny. It is a cult film because there's a scene where a giant worm rapes a women. Sounds odd, right? The movie is a odd ball movie, and the trailer should of done a better job of masking it. If they wanted to attract theater goers, they should of made the trailer make the film look as scary as possible, but it fails to do that.

Rocky (1976)

Rocky is an all time classic film. The problem with the trailer is it's just too long and boring. After seeing the trailer you barely have to see the movie itself.

Rocky II (1979)

The problem with the trailer of Rocky II is the same as the first: long and boring, and having no need after to see the film itself.

Robocop 3 (1993)

Oh boy. I really wanted to avoid Robocop 3. As a kid I always heard about how bad it was. But after seeing the first two Robocop films, I had to see Robocop 3. It was just an insult. An insult to the whole Robocop series itself. The trailer is just as big of an insult. They showed too much. They showed the new Robocop talking and flying. They should of knew people wouldn't see Robocop 3. They should of tried to hide as much as possible, to make the viewers seem interested and go out and see it. But they didn't, and now the trailer for Robocop 3 is in the worst section of this article.

The Rock (1996)

The trailer for The Rock shows a lot of comedy and corniness. I figured I might as well keep it simple here.

Batman Forever (1995)

After the large amounts of darkness and violence Tim Burton's Batman Returns caused large amounts of controversy, Warner Bros. decided to make the next Batman film family friendly and goofy like the 60's TV series. And that's just how we got Batman Forever. The film was completely corny, and so was the trailer. In order to attract movie goers the trailer should of made it out to be as dark as possible. But instead it shows as much corniness as possible.

Batman and Robin (1997)

Why not make the final trailer in this article the trailer for the worst movie in this article? I don't have to go into great detail about how bad Batman and Robin was. Everyone knows how bad it was. The trailer is the same as Batman Forever: corny. It should of made it out to be as dark, but sadly it emphasized on the corniness instead.

Well, that's it for my first article!

I want to thank YouTube for supplying the videos for the article. I would also like to thank Wikipedia for the photos.

I would like to thank everyone who took their time reading this. I know it was an extremely long article, but I just had to share this hobby with you. Viewing trailers is a very big hobby of mine. So why not share my thoughts and opinions on some of them with my fellow RetroJunk members?

Anyway, good bye for now!

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