O.K., it is November 1978. I am about 18 months removed from seeing the infamous SUSPIRIA T.V. trailer and it’s still VERY fresh in my 11-year-old mind. I’m thinking I can “recover” as that was over a year ago. WRONG!!!! Why? Because another scary trailer is released! This is from a pre-Hannibal Lecter, ANTHONY— excuse me —SIR ANTHONY HOPKINS movie called MAGIC.
Basically it was about a ventriloquist, HOPKINS, who kept a killer evil dummy called “Fats.” The trailer is a shot of Fats sitting in front of a black background and scary orchestral strings play in the background. The camera slowly zooms in on Fats as he says a poem in a high pitched voice:
Abracadabra, I sit on his knee.
Presto, change-o, and now he is me!
Hocus Pocus, we take her to bed,
Magic is fun…we’re dead.
The camera keeps zooming in on his face as he speaks and when he says that last line “…………we’re dead,” he delivers it in an evil tone. He closes his eyes and the narrator comes on to tell who’s in it and who “presents it” all in a serious tone. As this goes on the white movie credits with title come on while Fats opens his eyes. They look around suspiciously and evil looking! His face looks to have a fiendish smile on it!
O.K., it didn’t have the same “heart leap into throat” scare like that SUSPIRIA ad, but it was scary nevertheless! After seeing that I could never look at a ventriloquist dummy again without thinking it was alive and evil!
Back to back T.V. traumas! Looking back, I now wonder if those two trailers were done by the same company! Same black background! Anyway, the next year went by without an incident. However, in the spring of 1980 I had to deal with those “Grady Twins”!
Oh crap! Magic again! That trailer still freaks me out! I have never watched Magic because of that trailer. If someone even starts reciting that poem I want to run away. Dang! Now I’m gonna have that in my head for the rest of the day.
@mickster: I’ve had that creepy rhyme stuck in my head for the past couple of days. To make matters worse, I hear it in the voice of Mrs. Garritt (CHARLOTTE RAE).
I remember when “Magic” came out in 1978. I was too young to see an R-rated movie, so I read the book instead. In many ways, Fats has made me who I am today. Â Good times. Scary times. Freaky times!
Oh hell yes, FatherOfTears, that Magic trailer left an impression on me too (I was 9 at the time). It was horrific enough, then the voiceover guy goes and confuses my young mind by saying the movie is “a terrifying love story.” I thought to myself, What does THAT mean? Whatever it is, it can’t be good…
You mentioned the next year went by for you without incident. I wasn’t so lucky…I saw the trailer for Prophecy:
And Aunt John: Nice catch on the Mrs. Garrett soundalike!
Ah, cripes, I remember that advert too!Â I was 12 years old.Â I only sawÂ the advertÂ once that I can remember but it was late at night and it scared shite out of me. That whole ’77-’78 year was a bad one for cinema trailers: It’s Alive, Suspiria, Carrie, Magic…quite amazing in retrospect that I saw Alien and loved it!
Ah!Â Thanks FilmFather!Â I forgot about that “Manbearpig” movie trailer!Â I guess being sandwiched in between “Skull Lady”/Fats and “The Shining’s” Grady Twins made it a bit less frightening for me at that time.Â I did find it a bit scary when I saw it in the early 80’s on cable though!
If you were a kid in 1978 then no way you wouldn’t be creeped out by this trailer! What’s worse for me is that this trailer wouldÂ only seem toÂ pop up when I’d be up late Friday and Saturday nights!
One of the scariest trailers ever! Â I remember being totally ambushed by this when I first saw it on TV and being scared to put the TV on for days afterwards, thinking that at any moment I might see it again. When I eventually saw the movie years later, it didn’t seem so hot to me but that trailer will be burned into my brain for all time.
Lester kind of creeped me out.