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April 04 2006

Trailer for 'Shadow Puppets' starring James Marsters and Tony Todd. Trailer is available in wmv format. "Eight people awake in an abandoned asylum and soon discover that they are subjects of an experiment." (link removed for the time being, see comments section for details - Simon).

And Jolene Blalock! I didn't love Enterprise, but I loved her as T'Pol.

BTW, have you ever watched Candyman and then gone to a mirror and tried to summon him? Very scary...

[ edited by jam2 on 2006-04-04 01:58 ]
I am a scarey movie wuss, and Tony Todd scares the shit out of me. You can't tell everything from a trailer, but this one looks well acted and suspensful. (James is in it after all)
I looked at this and thought...they have 3 good actors there. The trailer is intriguing and I hope it gets a theatrical release. I'd sure go to see it.
Does anyone know what the status of the movie is? When will they know whether it is going to get a theatrical release or be direct to DVD?
It has a RFD date of May...which means that's when the film will be ready for them to go look for a distribution deal. Setting up the deal will take an unspecified amount of time longer.
This trailer is designed to be submitted for MIP TV which is "the world's biggest market and trade event for professionals from the audiovisual industry". See this new Hollywood Reporter article for more details about this event.

So is there a direct link to this trailer from the Shoreline Entertainment website? Because if there isn't, I doubt Shoreline would want this to be shown to the general public.

ETA:

I have found no evidence of a direct link to this trailer on the website. Therefore I can only assume that the trailer was not intended for general viewing and I do not wish to potentially jeopardise the film's chances of finding a foreign buyer. So the link has been changed for the time being.
It looks good and creepy. I like horror movies, so this is right up my street. JM looks mighty fine too. And I adore Tony Todds voice. Can't wait to see this movie.

[ edited by exoticmushroom on 2006-04-04 14:55 ]
Ohhhhh man....this does look good. I am also a bit timid when it comes to horror flicks, but this one seems more like a psychological thriller, so I may be OK. Ahhh who am I kidding....with James looking so damn awesome do you really think I am going to miss this??????

Just hope it goes to the big screen so we get to see all that Jamsey goodness in super size, and then I'll get the DVD.

I also hope he gets to flex his acting chops as much as his muscles!!!!!!
I want to see much more of this man on my TV and in the movies.

The Tony Todd guy looks very familiar too. What else has he been in besides the Candyman stuff? As for Jolene....well my hubbie will be drooling for her, just like I'll be drooling for JM.
Kathy, Tony Todd was also in one of the best DS9 episodes ever, I think it was called "The Visitor".

James looks great, I'm looking forward to this. :-)
Tony Todd was in the Night Of The Living Dead remake.
He looks like he is a huge guy....kinda like the guy who was in the Green Mile...I know that is not him, but he looks very familiar from another show to me.

Oh well...the trailer is very scary, and that box thing...ewwwwww!!!!! Please don't put James in that box....whimper.....
Well it still looks a tad on the cheap side to me, but at least it James has a proper lead role. Overall I think it should be a cool, scary romp. (And yes I think Tony Todd gained weight since the last time I saw him)

Say, if it doesn't get a theatrical release, would it be straight to DVD or will some TV Station pick it up? Probably DVD. I see a lot of horror movies at Blockbuster that went straight to DVD and most look FAR cheaper and crappier than this. I hope this makes it to the theaters.
Top billing for JM - tells me all I need to know ;)

Can't wait.
Tony Todd was also in an episode of Angel, the one with the shroud. Can't think of the name right now and I'm nowhere near my DVD's. Season 2 iirc. Oh, and The X-Files episode where he and others had had their sleep removed, years before Lorne did. He should have watched that episode. ;0)

I doubt this trailer is the finished product, as the counter on the top left hand corner suggests. Therefore, I expect the final trailer to be more polished. So, nope doesn't look cheap to me, it looks like a temporary rough cut. I certainly don't think it suggests the film itself is either cheap or crappy. YMMV. The proof of the pudding is in the watching as they say. :0)
OK...maybe that is where I saw him from. It was the episode when the shroud affects Gunn and Angel...right?

Anyway...as far as the trailer looking cheap....are you kidding? I saw the trailers for Slither, Saw2, Scary movie 4 or whatever...and it looks no different from them.

As EM says.....it may not be the final product, but who cares. As soon as I saw James I could have cared less about the trailer quality. The proof will be, as said before...in the pudding, and if James does his usual outstanding Job, this little psychological thriller could be quite good.

Three of the stars are pretty well known and have active fan bases, so I have a feeling a lot of folks will be looking forward to seeing this. I may gasp a bit at the scary parts, but I'll still keep my eyes wide open. Don't want to miss any James!!!!
As soon as I saw James I could have cared less about the trailer quality.

I love seeing James, but I still love to see him in something good! Even if it's just a trailer. :~D
I kind of felt it was poorly cut, but then I'm rarely a fan of horror trailers. Especially ones where people are running around in their underwear. No, check that, women. James can be in little boxers all he likes. :~P
I think we need to remember that this is a work in progress . It will look and sound very different when the sound effects etc are in ( no more cap gun popping!) But even in it's rough cut state I thought it looked cool and scary. I'm not a fan of horror but this I need to see!!
Anyway...as far as the trailer looking cheap....are you kidding? I saw the trailers for Slither, Saw2, Scary movie 4 or whatever...and it looks no different from them.


I was tempted to say something a little snarky in reply (who me?), but I'll just put it this way. The movies you mentioned look like they spent more on their trailers than Shadow Puppets' entire production budget. Oops, I think I said something snarky anyway... ;) Still think I want to see it, I just don't think I could honestly claim that it looks anything but small budget. And, as stated, it is a work in progress. That's not an attack, by the way, a couple of my favorite movies of all time cost under $250k, one of them $27k.
Well IMVHO I really saw no difference in the quality of the trailers...but then of course, I don't pretend to be an expert on the matter. I merely stated my opinion and that to me the trailers seemed to have the same type of quality. I am certain that Serenity and Slither, Saw 1 and 2 and maybe countless other movies had whopping budgets and spent huge wads of cash on their trailers....but that doesn't make all of them good.

I think we all know that this film is a small budget film, but so what. The trailer was good...it had a creepy, suspenseful feel to it and I enjoyed it. I'll wait to pass judgement on the final product, and hell...I can't lie...I will see it anyway, no matter whether it hits the big screen or goes straight to DVD.
I'm hoping this is more of a psychological thriller than blood and guts horror flick, but, regardless, the trailer looks intriguing and I'm going to give it a try. Great cast -- I'm most familiar with James Marsters (anyone else thinks he looks especially delectable in that blue shirt?) but I like TT and JB as well.

And I agree that, as zeitgeist pointed out, some wonderful films have been shot on small budgets. If a film is a dog, an expensive trailer isn't going to help much; however, Shadow Puppets looks like it might have some quality to it, so I say 'so far, so good.'

[ edited by lynnie on 2006-04-05 01:25 ]
Donnie Darko had a teeny weeny budget and a 28 day shoot and look at that movie. Sure it didn't do all that well at the pictures in the US, but it is a massive cult hit (is that an oxymoron?) and a much beloved and talked about movie.

Yep, in this case size isn't important, it's what you do with it that counts. ;0)

[ edited by exoticmushroom on 2006-04-05 02:20 ]

[ edited by exoticmushroom on 2006-04-05 02:21 ]
From it's company info Shoreline seems to believe it's carved out a niche for various forms of movies in this genre. They seem especially proud of delivering scary films with some depth. Some of them have been critically praised.(Some of them are just popcorn movies on Sci Fi) Shoreline seems to have at least some hope that it's of the first variety.

But ignoring that,I don't see how this trailer doesn't absolutely deliver what it's supposed to....it informs the businessman in charge of buying movies that it's scary, that it's a thriller, that there's action, and the fact that it starts out with various characters not knowing who they are and ends with the suggestion that they really don't know who they are on a different level, at least suggests that the movie strives to go a little further than your average 'cheap' horror flick.

Low budget? Seems to me that it's purposely 'stripped' to bare bones.(Dare I utter the word existential?) When many of us were bemoaning JM taking this role, I remember him describing it as something different from horror, more psychological thriller. This trailer certainly suggests all that...now compare that with the 'for real' trailers of various films where the viewer comes away not only knowing nothing about the film, but not a whit interested in discovering anything more. Doesn't matter how much money was spent, if the trailer/ad campaign doesn't do it's job then it's a bust.
"I remember him describing it as something different from horror, more psychological thriller. This trailer certainly suggests all that..."

I could easily see this as the variety that appears to be horror(ish), but turns out to be a Psychological thriller. As an example I'm thinking of a movie that had John Cusack in it - can't recall the name, but the characters were all stuck in a spooky motel getting offed one by one, but not really. If there is a funky twist like that one or Donnie Darko it could explain why it's seems hard to stick it in a niche. Low budget or not, doesn't matter to me. I'm with Zeigeist, some of my favorites weren't multimillion dollar projects either.

[ edited by Grace on 2006-04-05 03:05 ]
Well, I plan on seeing it and as a sidenote, Donnie Darko is one of my all time faves. I thought the trailer was intriguing, I was just saying that it seemed a bit over the top to say it looked similar to Saw II or something on that order. Of course I can tell the difference between film stocks to some extent, so I'm perhaps hypersensitive to these things.
I never saw the trailer to Saw II, and to be fair this wasn't meant to be seen as the official trailer, but if you want to do a comparison, run down the 'real' trailer to The Fog. Yikes! That was truly horrible:)
Luckily I downloaded yesterday. Didn't get to watch till tonight. Yeah, it looks a bit rough, but James and Tony Todd have great presence on the screen--plus James in his underwear is a definite plus. I've never seen Todd in anything else, but I've heard that he's a very talented actor.
Well, I plan on seeing it and as a sidenote, Donnie Darko is one of my all time faves. I thought the trailer was intriguing, I was just saying that it seemed a bit over the top to say it looked similar to Saw II or something on that order.

I hear ya zeigeist. It's not an expensive production, and I don't see the big deal in us noting that. It's a B-horror movie. Hey, I love quite a few B-horror movies and I hope this one will be enjoyable too. I might enjoy the crap out of it, but that still doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to think the production values are higher. And if it becomes a major cult hit (which I suppose that could indeed be an oxymoron, but we all know what we mean) then great! Hopefully it'll put James on the map a little more.

Hell, I hope it does better for him than 'Slither' did for Nathan...
Okay. At the risk of sounding hung up on James's shorts, or Spike's, I must chime in on this. I agree with the general thread that this looks to be a fairly low-budget psychological thriller. And while that is not normally the type of picture I would pay hard-earned $$$ to see, I would see this purely on the strength of James (and James in his shorts is a definite bonus!) having, apparently, top billing. I'd love to see it in a theater just to have "all that Jamsey goodness in super size," and, like kathylovesspike, will then buy the DVD. And

Low budget? Seems to me that it's purposely 'stripped' to bare bones.(Dare I utter the word existential?)


Yeah, ramses 2, I kinda got that feel from this, though, as most have pointed out, this is a rough cut. It seems, to me at any rate, that the minimalist sets, etc. are purposely minimal so that the emphasis will be on the psychology, the characters. Take away people's outer garments and they have little to hide behind and that factors in to the "experiment" apparently being performed on these people.

So, while we can't know the ultimate quality of the film until we actually see the finished product, this looks to have at least the potential to be a cut above a lot of the product coming out of Hollywood. And for James's sake, I hope it proves to be both an artistic and a monetary success. Of course, with James in it, I'd pay to just look at the man for an hour or two. Especially in those damned shorts! (Though my ideal world would have James in 1-2 A-List feature films a year, which he could make while his TV [preferably Spikecentric] series is on hiatus.) Do I love this man or what??? ;)
Yes SangChaud....I think you DO love him, and thats just fine by me. You're in good company.And I sure love your idea of him making lots of films while on hiatus from the Spike series...heeee. Okay...we can dream ...right?

I realize it may sound a bit 'fangirlish'....but I too will watch the man for the pure thrill of seeing James, but I honestly do think this film could have a bit more to it than your typical horror flick. At least I hope so, and that it will help get JM noticed for all his talents, not just his pretty face! ( Although I am definitely NOT complaining about that!.)
I thought the trailer was pretty much rubbish, I'll reserve judgement on the movie until I see the trailer that Shore Entertainment wants us to see.
I don't think anyone thinks this is a big budget movie. It's obviously not. But there is a difference between saying something looks low budget and something looks cheap. The inference of cheap is that it is of poor quality, not of low expense.

Semantics maybe, but the implication of the phrasing was apparent.

Hey-ho! James on the big and or small screen - YAY! :0)
Actually, if we're going to argue semantics, low cost is the first definition of cheap and low quality is the fifth (one might argue it starts to skew negative at definition three, but...) ;p Ed (who first used cheap in reference to it) seemed to me to be saying that it was an inexpensive B-flick, and I wouldn't disagree. He also said that he would see it and expected it would be fun and scary; doesn't sound like he was out to insult the flick and all it stood for to me.
The trailer had the look and feel of dailies that I've seen for television programmes. I'm sure that the professionals for whom the clip is meant will judge it on that basis.
zeitgeist said:
Actually, if we're going to argue semantics, low cost is the first definition of cheap and low quality is the fifth (one might argue it starts to skew negative at definition three, but...) ;p Ed (who first used cheap in reference to it) seemed to me to be saying that it was an inexpensive B-flick, and I wouldn't disagree

They may have the same definition in the dictionary, but I think we are all capable of discerning the connotations. And although the definition of a pompous know-it-all and a magnificent genius may be the same in the dictionary, they certainly convey different meanings to most of us.
Oh, I wasn't arguing. To you it seemed one way, to me another. I'm sure Ed will say you are correct in your interpretation.

I think that's why I put on my post YMMV.

And again with the "I can't wait to see the less cheap looking, professionally polished trailer/film." JM in a movie. I'm very much in the glass half full mode at the moment. Just waiting now to find out if it'll be direct to DVD like These Girls or a movie release like Slither.
there is a difference between saying something looks low budget and something looks cheap.

Not really.
cheap = 'doesn't cost a lot of money'
low budget= 'don't have a lot of money to make this'

The inference of cheap is that it is of poor quality, not of low expense.

Low budget means low production values. That is very specifically what I said looked cheap. Which is probably because they are, which is probably because it's a low budget movie. You might have noticed that I said zilch about either the script or the acting, which which are the qualities that can make a low budget movie still enjoyable. And they're things you can't really glean from a trailer. And I know I like both James and Tony Todd so that should be fine. Only thing left to hope for that we can't tell, is a decent script.

Ed (who first used cheap in reference to it) seemed to me to be saying that it was an inexpensive B-flick, and I wouldn't disagree. He also said that he would see it and expected it would be fun and scary; doesn't sound like he was out to insult the flick and all it stood for to me.

Thank you. That's exactly what I meant. I like Evil Dead 1 for pete's sake. It doesn't get any more 'B' grade or cheap than that. And the fact I enjoy it doesn't change that.
Well I don't have any copies of Bruce Campbell's books around but I think perhaps the term B movie combined with cheap may be what's sticking in a few people's craw. B movie calls to my mind(and I believe Bruce rather backs me up)a good measure of over acting. Scenery chewing. A whole lot of just plain bad acting in general.(Usually supplied by a Paris Hilton type or at least someone aspiring to not only be topless, but maybe be star one day of their very own sex tape), a B movie also usually has zero plot save for killing as many talentless nubile characters in the most tasteless and entertaining ways as possible. Sure, maybe there's an attempt at plot...say perhaps, an eboli like vengeance curse or sex starved kids trapped in woods with inbred, illbred, toothless lumberjacks.

But in a B movie you pretty much know right away what you're going to get. I don't think Shadow Puppets easily fits into this category.
They may have the same definition in the dictionary, but I think we are all capable of discerning the connotations. And although the definition of a pompous know-it-all and a magnificent genius may be the same in the dictionary, they certainly convey different meanings to most of us.


Apparently we weren't all capable of discerning the connotations as Ed explained his position in more depth in his other post.

p.s. - Interesting choice of other comparatives, there. Feel free to email me about this at your convenience. Perhaps we might also discuss the meaning of the word defensiveness.
See, I knew you'd say that. Go me! LOL. ;0)

Also, I have a dictionary.

ramses Considering BC is the only actor anyone ever remembers from Evil Dead isn't saying much for the acting standards. And by that I mean the other actors, not BC. BC rocks!

The inference of "B movie" is both cheap and nasty. Basically what I'm saying is the backhanded compliments are getting old. Way old. Unlike JM, who is both fresh and sexy. Especially in his shadow boxers.

[ edited by zeitgeist to put the 'x' in sexy, literally, on 2006-04-05 21:50 ]
See, where we are perhaps getting offtrack is that Ed and I don't consider B-movie an insult. To us its neither cheap (whichever definition you favor :P) nor nasty, but rather an identification absent any judgment other than low budget and usually associated with genre pictures. Whether you like it or not, Shadow Puppets looks like it has B-movie written all over it in that sense and no insult intended.

ETA - as a sidenote, its interesting to see this Wikipedia entry which breaks things down into A, B, C and Z movies.
zeitgeist Thank you for correcting my spelling. So sorry for incorrectly spelling one word and therefore causing you work. Apologies.

Sexy. I meant seXy. Not sey. What's sey anyway? Who knows. Does anyone care. Where is my medication? I need a lie down.

Going to watch The Apprentice now. TTFN.
Let's continue this track of the discussion off-site. exoticmushroom, there was absolutely no reason to insert sarcasm and snark into the discussion, and your tone is not at all appreciated. Thanks.
there was absolutely no reason to insert sarcasm and snark into the discussion


So zeitgeist can put snark into the conversation

The movies you mentioned look like they spent more on their trailers than Shadow Puppets' entire production budget. Oops, I think I said something snarky anyway

but other posters can not.

I thought the rules were the same for mods and ordinary posters.

When did this change to the rules happen?
garda39, if you have a question re site policy, you can e-mail the site admins and mods. But, to answer briefly, there is a clear difference between a comment zg made about the subject at hand, in which he noted, with humor, his own snark, and a comment directed at another poster that had no such redeeming qualities. And, again, that is the end of this particular discussion. Thanks.
Zeitgeist, according to Wikipedia's definition, Serenity would be a B movie. As would Slither. As would the first Star Wars. And Napolean Dynamite. And Wonder Woman will be if an unknown is cast. I don't think the majority of people hear B movie and nod thinking, ahh, just a possibly good film shot on a tight budget. Frankly, I have also never heard anyone leave a film snearing about it being a Z movie.(B movie? You bet)

And honestly, I have never, ever seen "B movie" used by this site to describe any of the other projects done by ME alumni. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think you or Ed are being snide when you use that description, or the word cheap. But there is something terribly interesting in the need to describe a 'for the industry only' trailer in 'for prime time' terms. Do we so expect Marsters to perform at one level that we judge his projects differently?
I wouldn't say that any movie with a $40 million budget is a b-movie, so I think that the definition is a tad different from the Wikipedia attempt at it. I must hang out with more movie snobs as I've heard c-movie and z-movie as well. I think you are right that we don't generally describe them as B-movies because to the public at large there is a generally negative connotation associated with the terminology.

I was just trying to say that Ed and I (as you rightly point out) weren't using the term to be mean or snooty. We love us some B-movies. I brought up the Wikipedia article specifically because I thought it would bring us some mroe productive debate, not because I agree with everything that it says.

You make another good point. Do we hold James to a higher standard after seeing what he could do on Buffy and Angel these past years? As for the industry trailer vs. the for prime time trailer - did you see the last official publicly released trailer for it? I thought the industry one looked better.
No question about site policy I was just noting there seems to be 2 versions of a rule about snark.

Incidently how can it be "again" to me

And, again, that is the end of this particular discussion. Thanks.


when it says

Let's continue this track of the discussion off-site. exoticmushroom


which is a reference to one particular poster who is not me.
There's an official publicly released trailer?!!!(And I didn't know this? My fangurl status is slipping:)) I've only seen the industry trailer, and that's what I thought we were discussing in this thread.

I can't say I'm a movie snob but I am badgering my DH to take time off so we can go to the Philadelphia film fest.(Filled with tons of B movies apparently)I'll keep an ear out for movie slang.

As for the debate, I guess I wasn't questioning the definition so much as the perception.(Does that make sense?) I loves me some B movies too, but I am ever mindful of the years and years of BTVS/ATS discussions within the fandom that revolved around Marsters scenery chewing. You either had people who thought he was phenomenal, or people who thought he was the hammiest actor going.(Fitting in nicely with how Bruce Campbell defines B movie)
I don't hold JM to a higher standard - and I'm not sure that most members here do either. It's routine here for Whedon alum projects to be met by a less-than-stellar response, perhaps because we expect so much from all of them.

Anyone notice the flak Date Movie has been getting? Many didn't care for The Grudge (or Scooby Doo) or Darkness Falls. Valentine is not regarded as a highlight either. How about Eurotrip? Now here we're talking specifically about the label "B-movie," which may not have been applied to other movies. But I could retrospectively apply that epithet to several of the movies I just mentioned, regardless of the actual dollar amount invested.

I do think that since we're talking about a trailer, not the finished product, we should reserve judgment. I also think people have reserved judgment. Stating that the trailer looked cheap is not an enormous criticism.

Personally, I liked the trailer. It intrigued me sufficiently to watch out for the finished product, although much, as has been said, will depend on the script. We can certainly expect the acting to be good.

garda39, apologies if the "again" appeared to be singling you out. Please feel free to e-mail if you have questions about either site policies or site rules.
Regardless, apologies, as I didn't mean to offend anyone with my first post in the topic, it was meant to be tongue in cheek/cheeky and apparently wasn't taken that way. Cheers, all.
I most sincerely apologise if my comments were taken as snark.

That is your interpretation, it was not my intent. Obviously as "cheap" can be taken several ways, a thank you can be misinterpreted also.

garda Thank you, it's appreciated.
Zeitgeist, I also hadn't heard there was an official publicly released trailer. Can you tell us how to access it?
zeitgeist said:
Apparently we weren't all capable of discerning the connotations...

Apparently.

p.s. - Interesting choice of other comparatives, there. Feel free to email me about this at your convenience. Perhaps we might also discuss the meaning of the word defensiveness.

Perhaps. And perhaps the word arrogant as well.
anindoorkitty - Please email me for any further discussion. Thanks!

annieb - could've sworn it was linked here in comments previously, but can't find it now. The newer stills look way better, though, think they've done some of the post work and excited to see the final public trailer now.
Yes, I also want to know about the official trailer release.
A few stills from the film were available a while back, but I've seen no sign of any trailer other than the one that was originally linked on this thread.
I'm reminding posters of the following section of the rules (which they agreed to follow when they joined Whedonesque).

The admins' word is law. Board rules, policy and implementation will not be discussed on site. Please do not try to argue with the admins. If you have complaints, please take it to e-mail.


If we see willful disregard or avoidance of these rules, posters will find their posting rights revoked.
I'd love to see this alternative trailer if it exists. I'm doubting that the multitude of JM fans have somehow missed it however. We are very observant and thorough in such matters. ;0) Perhaps it was just cleaned up screencaps from the rough cut that was seen.

Again I apologise if my thank you was mistaken as snark. I didn't realise all spelling mistakes were alternated as a matter of course. I know I've seen some that weren't caught, but hey-ho. Is there a spell-check facility on this site so that I can catch any other errors before they are posted, therefore ensuring no further kerfuffles. I only ask here and not in an e-mail as I'm sure others would appreciate knowing the answer also. Cheers!
I think there is no official trailer at the moment but Shoreline Entertainment must be aware of the fervour that the industry trailer caused amongst fans. So it would be silly for them not to bring out a proper trailer.
exoticmushroom, when we ask users to e-mail us if they have any more questions, we mean it. Consider yourself benched.
I was not sure from the trailer that was originally linked here, whether it was supposed to be particularly scary or creepy or what. That is a problem for the trailer as far as defining the movie, but it did not make me say, "Blast, I'm not going to be able to watch this one."...which is good. So I'm reserving judgement. Really want to see JM, really don't like scary movies. My fingers are crossed that this is smart and suspensefull rather than scary or gross. I can't tell from the trailer at this point.

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