Thursday, December 10, 2009

BOOOOOM!!! - - - Toyce!

While ambling through YouTube and looking for trailers for an upcoming post, I happened upon a teaser that I have been looking to see again for quite some time that has just recently been uploaded. During the Summer of 1992, theater owners were attaching the teaser trailer for Barry Levinson's Christmastime offering Toys to every film they could, and getting audience reactions that were, in a word, spectacular. For years, this was a dream project for the director, but a whimsical, surreal allegory for the growth of the Military / Industrial Complex was going to prove as hard a sell to audiences as it was when pitching it to the studios. Levinson got it made on the basis of his Oscar for Rainman (and that film's massive box office), but what kind of teaser to do? Especially when, in those pre-Interweb days, they were intentionally keeping the storyline a secret for as long as possible? Answer - point the camera at star Robin Williams and just keep it rolling. By this time Williams was a three-time Oscar nominee, and would later be packing them in the cineplexes as the voice of Aladdin's genie. This entirely-improvised teaser made audiences weep with laughter -- but was ultimately a failure in generating interest, for Toys opened one week before Christmas 1992 to lackluster business and lukewarm reviews. This teaser is a reminder that, Old Dogs to the contrary, Robin Williams used to be one funny sumbitch on the big screen.


Unknown said...

I remember this teaser and I actually saw Toys in the theaters. I liked it for the most part, but I also liked Williams then too, now, not so much. Great find, though.

Robert H. said...

I still like this film, although it is a mess - there's a really good biting satire in it, but the whimsy just overwhelmed it.