Watch: A Collection of Rare Teaser Trailers Lost in Time, Found Again
by Alex Billington
August 14, 2019
Teaser mania! Creating and premiering a perfect teaser trailer is an art. Or at least, it used to be, a long lost art that Hollywood doesn't seem to care much about anymore. There are a few exceptions - Christopher Nolan's teaser trailers still have an art to them, showing little (or sometimes no footage) yet still making us excited for what's to come. Our friend Anton Volkov recently wrote an article wondering if teaser trailers are dying out, saying: "in today's age of spoiler paranoia, one would think that these more-restrained looks at upcoming films would be more beneficial, as more audiences start to care about not having their experience of seeing the full film for the first time ruined." Teasers had their golden age in the 1980s, and that lasted through the 1990s, too. Recently a number of teasers only available on 35mm or on VHS have appeared on YouTube, and below we've featured 12 of them you must see for yourself. A look back at Hollywood history.
Teaser trailer in 4K for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002) with the web inbetween NYC's Twin Towers:
First teaser trailer for The Goonies (1985) showing the letters of Amblin movies coming together:
A teaser trailer for John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) showing an ice block melting & exploding:
Teaser trailer for Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) showing the Statue of Liberty screaming:
A teaser trailer for Tim Burton's Batman (1989) introducing the Batmobile & Michael Keaton:
First teaser trailer for the Mortal Kombat movie (1995) ending with a fiery CGI logo reveal:
First teaser trailer for A Very Brady Sequel (1996) riffing on Independence Day (also from 1996):
A teaser trailer for Disney's The Black Hole (1979) with a digital visualization of BH gravity:
Teaser trailer for Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist (1982) explaining exactly what a "poltergeist" is:
First teaser trailer for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) featuring a voiceover but no dialogue:
A teaser trailer for Steven Lisberger's Tron (1982) with special footage revealing the main logo:
Those are the best ones we could find at the moment! You can see many more teaser trailers uploaded on the YouTube account called "logofreak98", many scanned from 35mm and others uploaded directly from VHS tapes. You can always find a lot more of these videos by searching for "rare teaser trailer", as many get discovered and uploaded randomly all the time. They used to be lost in time, but thanks to YouTube they've been found again and made available for everyone to enjoy. We love featuring teasers and trailers and all kinds of marketing for movies (except for clips - they suck) and it's always exciting to see something that doesn't feature footage any from the movie - but was specially made to promote it. As Anton explains: "This whole balance between creative/artistic and business imperatives is what makes following and discussing trailers, as well as film marketing at large, so fascinating and interesting." Which teasers are your favorite?
I 100% remember shitting my pants when I saw that Spider-Man teaser in the theatre, no idea what movie it was for but damn, that blew my mind.
seannuh on Aug 14, 2019
THE THING had some great promotion.
DAVIDPD on Aug 14, 2019
Yeah, I also think that Spider-Man teaser was something. And it just disappeared at some point. This was a good reminder of it ...
shiboleth on Aug 14, 2019
And now it's back! In 4K! These kind of things never stay lost for too long...
Alex Billington on Aug 18, 2019
Insatiable power of the web, I guess ...
shiboleth on Aug 18, 2019
The music's kind of tacky and dated, though. Sure, it's probably mimicking The Matrix's promotional material with similar late 90s/early 2000s tunes, but it doesn't really fit the movie (unlike Matrix, which did have that obnoxious kind of music in it, I believe). But yeah, the visuals were A+, esp. on a big screen, I'm sure.
Terry Craig on Aug 19, 2019
I don't about that comparison with the music in Matrix, but I tend to agree with your assesment. Still, I mostly focused on visuals, I guess. And yeah, I saw it for the first time in the movie theater and it looked kinda great. And kinda memorable ...
shiboleth on Aug 19, 2019
Wow, I remember that Spider-Man teaser, just as cool now as it was then. And hot damn I love The Thing.
grimjob on Aug 14, 2019
I remember seeing the Batman teaser during a special presentation at a convention. The audience went absolutely nuts.
Michael Wolff on Aug 15, 2019
The Dirty Rotten Scoundrels one was the best. I do miss the simple teasers that made you want to see a movie, not a "trailer" that made you feel like you just saw it.
theslayer5150 on Aug 15, 2019
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