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Movie Deaths In Trailers: A Surprisingly Effective Marketing Tool

By Agent Bedhead | Lists | September 7, 2011 |

By Agent Bedhead | Lists | September 7, 2011 |

This list originally began with my embarrassingly excited reaction to Gwyneth Paltrow’s stroke face in the Contagion trailer. Then, a very long and extensive list of movie trailers containing “Holy shit, I gotta see that!” kills began to form in my mind. Unfortunately, those were almost exclusively horror movies; and here, I’m explicitly aiming to not retread ground previously covered by the Most Shadenfreudastic Horror Movie Deaths list from two years ago. That task is harder than you’d think, and I’ve only managed to come up with nine movies that fit the bill for me. Hopefully, you can add one or two to the list.

Contagion: Steven Soderbergh is pretty much a genius for not only killing off Gwyneth Paltrow’s character but for actually showing it in the film’s trailer. In fact, this will be the best role played by Gwyneth Paltrow’s head since Se7en. Too harsh? I make no apologies for how I feel about Gwyneth and her blatant superiority complex. In fact, the prospect of seeing her stroke face on the big screen this weekend is the only thing that’ll overcome my rampant, germ-centered OCD and actually commit to watching a virus movie. Bloody hell.

Haywire: Michael Fassbender gets shot in the face. In the face? The masochist half of me actually wants to see this happen but only in a very pretend world. The rest of me? Time for some horny tears.

The Godfather Part II: Here, we see Don Vito Corleone killing the man who murdered his father, the death of Hyman Roth, and the disclosure of Kay’s abortion of Michael Corleone’s unborn son. This trailer built upon the promise of the first movie’s Baptismal Bloodbath and establishes that this sequel might be just as good as its predecessor.

The Crow: Death was always a major (and indispensable) element of The Crow comic book, and the death of Eric Draven was the catalyst of the entire movie adaptation. This is, of course, made creepier by the fact that Brandon Lee died while shooting a scene of the film, and while Miramax actually took the high ground while marketing the movie, the death in this trailer was unavoidably intriguing.

Batman Begins: If one can suitably dismiss the distracting presence of Katie Holmes here, then the most overriding occurrence in this trailer is the death of Bruce Wayne’s father and the resulting effect on Bruce’s psyche. Hell, I’m not even much of a Batman girl, but it still made me want to see this movie:

Boondock Saints: Death by toilet. Troy Duffy was playing into the hands of his frat-boy fanboys. Good shooting. Shitty shooting. And Willem Dafoe directing a symphony of destruction.

American Psycho: Christian Bale gives a hauntingly masterful take as always in this movie; and while narrating Patrick Bateman’s unthinkable thoughts, he makes us want to know if he goes through with it.

Hot Fuzz: An unexpected twist on the new beat of a transferred cop? Darkly funny and appealing.

Commando: Arnold kills people. A lot of them. And they all deserve to die.

Agent Bedhead lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She and her little black heart can be found at Celebitchy.