Django Unchained and the ‘put Johnny Cash on your trailer’ trick
The long anticipated first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s neo-western Django Unchained hit the net today, and it’s not bad at all: pulpy, bloody and dripping with style.
The trailer deploys a technique that’s been getting a good run lately; let’s call it the ‘Johnny Cash on your trailer’ trick. What better way to pique interest than to rev up intensity using the ground-stomping lilt of the legendary “if a truck could sing it would sound like this” country muso?
The lesson becomes clear soon enough: Johnny Cash — like Carmina Burana – adds gravitas to everything. For your viewing and listening pleasure, here is the Django footage plus a collection of other Cash-infused trailers.
Django Unchained’s first-look kicks off with a meaty chunk from Cash’s AIN’T NO GRAVE.
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
In the sound-n-fury first glimpse of the yet to be released Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, we’re treated to a mangled arrangement of spoken word snippets from Cash’s When the Man Comes Around.
In their remake of the John Wayne film of the same name, The Coen Brothers used Cash’s God’s Gonna Cut You Down to excellent effect.
A trailer for Zombieland opted for a splash of jaunty Johnny, with Country Boy.
But the best example of a Cash-infused trailer doesn’t actually come from a trailer for a movie. It comes from a trailer for a video game. The trailer for Prototype 2 slickly incorporates the haunting power of Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nail’s Hurt and makes it, well, hurt.
If you aren’t a gamer, fear not, because this trailer works beautifully as a standalone short film.