With the COMING ATTRACTIONS feature, I like to showcase the very best in movie trailers past and present.
This time around - well - not so much.
The announcement this week of SKYFALL, the new James Bond film, prompted this rather self-indulgent entry. Now, MOONRAKER isn't often to be found at the top of those "best Bond movies" lists. In fact, it's often cited as the worst 007 film (to which I say - have you never seen A VIEW TO A KILL?). Curiously, it wasn't meant to be the 11th Bond movie. At the end of its credits, its predecessor, THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, promised that 007 would return in FOR YOUR EYES ONLY. The success of a little film called STAR WARS prompted a rapid change in direction and soon EON Productions was jumping on the cantina band wagon and launching the star of the franchise skyward.
The teaser trailer for MOONRAKER was a neat parody of commercials. For years, it remained frustratingly hard to find but has recently surfaced again on YouTube. The quality isn't great but you'll get the idea:
Immediately prior to the film's release, the official trailer was launched. Clearly, all the imaginative effort was used up on the teaser. This version takes the lazy option: want to see MOONRAKER but only have four minutes to spare? Then just watch this trailer - it's a compression of the film with the talky bits taken out. Hardly a shining example of how to craft a trailer but from the opening shot of a space shuttle scored with Brazilian beats, it's undeniably exciting:
As a 14 year old kid in 1979, this trailer ticked all the boxes for me. OO7? Check. Outer space? Check. Big action setpieces? Check. Good-looking girls in short skirts? Where do I buy my ticket? Thirty-odd years on, I've become more critical and can see the many flaws in MOONRAKER. Then again, I'll argue there's a lot to still enjoy in the movie. There are Ken Adams' brilliantly OTT sets, Derek Meddings' crisp special effects and John Barry's atmospheric score.
And through the refractive haze of nostalgia, I can even forgive MOONRAKER most of its weaknesses. Just not the Shirley Bassey theme song.