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ThanksgivingGrindhouse--Fake trailerDirected by Eli Roth
Thanksgiving is one of the five fake trailers featured during Tarantino's /Rodriguez's feature exclusively called Grindhouse. The double feature consists of Rodriguez's Planet Terror followed by Tarantino's Death Proof. I have a pretty good feeling most, if not of all of this blog's viewer's have at least heard of this gruesome duo, so I'll restrain from getting into the gory details of either film.
The great part of this nearly 3 hour double feature wasn't the crazy, disgusting, almost vomit inducing special effects, but instead, the advertisements for fake trailers that are featured before each segment. According to Rodriguez, the original plan was to make both films fake trailers reflecting those of the early 1970's, but clearly that didn't happen.
The trailers were all shot in two days, but the short time spent on these films doesn't reflect their quality, whatsoever. (wink)
The trailer I chose was for the fake slasher movie called Thanksgiving, directed by Eli Roth. The trailer was produced in the style of holiday type slasher movies like the well known Halloween.The trailer stars jeff rendell as a killer who stalks and kills people as if he is carving a thanksgiving turkey. Jordan Ladd, Jay Hernandez and Roth himself play Rendell's intended victims.
Not only is the voiceover ( Roth, himself) extremely creepy, but the mere sound that the killer's weapon makes as he kills each of his victims makes me close my eyes in disgust every time. The worst scene, by far is the last scene of the actual thanksgiving meal where all the family is gathered around the table and..well.. you'll see when you watch the trailer yourself.Austinpussy
(from Austin Powers in Goldmember)
Directed by Jay Roach
2003, USANever in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d blog about Goldmember in an academic setting, but sometimes the gods of bad cinema shine their light upon thee, and it’s all one can do to take advantage of this moment. There are very few shorts within a feature that seem like a non-sequitur to the rest of the film, but then again there are very few films that seem to be composed of a string of non-sequiturs itself. Austin Powers in Goldmember could be defined as so, a post-modern clusterfuck that sheds more insight into the way Hollywood perceives the general public’s notion of entertainment than the average big-budget abomination. The opening Austinpussy, without having relevance to the plot (which is flimsy at that,) actually instills the tone for the rest of the film, as the audience is treated to a movie within a movie for the first and not the last time throughout.
Grounding most of its action film parody in Mission Impossible 2-era John Woo, the film’s style is notably different than any from the previous episodes of the franchise. Helicopters explode, a high-speed chase ensues through the badlands, and Austin Powers skydives into action. Basically, this is not anything likely the comedic style of the first two films. However, it all makes sense when the main characters are revealed to be various mega-stars, such as Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin Spacey, and Danny Devito. Before the audience is able to grasp the situation, it’s revealed that it’s a clip from the Steven Spielberg directed Austinpussy, and the real movie begins.
These are the first images of the film, and they star none of the actors who dominate the next 90 minutes. This parody is more indebted to the previous films in the series than Interestingly enough, compared to The Larry Sanders Show or Tropic Thunder, the humor isn’t in how these Hollywood superstars lampoon themselves, but in how they satriize characters the audience is familiar with. Cruise doesn’t even attempt to affect a British accent, toothily smiling his way through a “yeah baby.” Paltrow, pre-Chris Martin’s daily inspiration, fills the role of vapid but dangerous femme fatale with the thinly-veiled double entendre of a name. Spacey laughably hams it up as Dr. Evil and Devito is short, so he makes a perfect fit as Mini-Me. As if the audience doesn’t know who these celebrities are, they add titles to a freeze-framed image of each. We laugh because we know who these people are, and they don't belong in an Austin Powers film.
Numerous reviews of the film commented that there was more quality comedy filmmaking in the opening parody than in the rest of the film. And they’re right— there’s something inspired in these three minutes of absurdity, as if the filmmakers themselves took a step back from joylessly force-feeding absurdist tripe, and enjoyed the scenario they present: a star-filled Austin Powers sequel that actually exceeds expectations. What does it say when the peak of a feature film is a short parody of said film? I wouldn’t go so far as to say that we might look more fondly on Goldmember if it just consisted of the aforementioned three minute short— then we wouldn’t have so many great Pepsi Twist and Beyonce musical numbers— but what it does call to question is the relationship between short and feature, one we’ve delved into numerous times this semester. Especially the idea that of importance attributed to each; if the feature is supposed to be what brings audiences in, why was the word of mouth revolving around the cameos in the opening short likely the inspiration to those on the fence about paying to see another Austin Powers film?
The final twist regarding their relationship is when at the end of the film, the main villain Goldmember, played by Mike Myers throughout, turns around and reveals himself to be played by John Travolta. We’re back to Austinpussy, and even the characters of the film are watching. Has the feature actually been within the short? WHY IS AN AUSTIN POWERS MOVIE SO COMPLEX?
added to youtube November 2006,
Source: You TubeLike most college students, I waste my time on youtube watching pointless videos (notice I say videos and not short films). The videos my roommates and I watch the most are the ones that are simply, quite stupid and yet hilarious. Sneezing Panda is just one of those videos. If you haven’t seen it, just watch it. It only eats up 16 seconds of your life. I have watched Sneezing Panda maybe 50 times (it just never gets old). The surprise of the mama panda is comical, and the fact that the baby panda sneezed so forcefully that its’ entire body jumped off the ground is a feat in itself. Despite the cuteness factor, obvious entertainment value, and its’ placement on a short films blog, this video is not what I consider a short film.
My definition of a short film is not the one that was established in class a few weeks ago, of anything put on youtube. To me, a short film requires an intension to be considered a short film. The budget doesn’t matter, nor the subject material, but there needs to be thought behind the making of the film and an intension for it to be a short film. Randomly filming something on your video phone and then uploading it onto youtube does not constitute a short film. Having a story, maybe actors, a director, and a purpose makes a short film. Even if the point of a short film is to have no point, it is still a short film because of the thought process behind it.
Youtube is a home to several different types of media, one of which is short films. But also housed on that website are home videos, video blogs, TV clips, movie clips, and tons and tons of pointless crap.
Don’t get me wrong I love the abundant pointless crap on youtube, but to call it all short films is taking it a step too far.
Whoever filmed Sneezing Panda was lucky to capture such a hilarious moment, but there was obviously no intention to make a short film while filming the mother and baby panda. The person wielding the camera was probably just filming the eating habits of an adult panda and just happened to get a priceless 16 second piece of film from it.