There seems to be something that makes American studios uneasy about films that don’t have one character with an American accent. It’s as if the second they realize there isn’t one marketable Yank actor in the flick, they feel they have to market the film to the lowest common denominator in order to garner any kind of box office in North America. Thus we get trailers that look like they were cut and voiced over by first-year film students marketing to semi-literates.
Take, for example, the trailer for “Burke and Hare.” This dark comedy, starring Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis, is meant to be a return to form for director John Landis who has been in a slump since his days in the ’80s of churning out horror comedies. By all accounts, this will be a darkly funny film about two grave robbers, Burke and Hare, who sell dead bodies to the local medical professors. Based on a true story, the duo started killing people in order to make more money. It has the potential to be an interesting exercise in gallows humour (pun intended: Burke was — SPOILER ALERT! — hung for his crimes in 1829).
But does the trailer give any indication of this? Of course not. It makes the film seem like one of the horrible National Lampoon films of the aughts; “National Lampoon’s Grave Robbers!” anyone? So try not to judge this film too harshly. It suffers from a trailer made by execs who think North America can’t handle anything to dark. Given the immense talent in the film and behind the camera, it is hopefully a movie that will exceed expectations.
Directed by John Landis and also starring Isla Fisher, Tom Wilkinson, Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Hynes, Christopher Lee, Jenny Agutter, Stephen Merchant and Tim Curry, “Burke and Hare” is scheduled to be released Oct. 29 in the U.K.
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