The Greatest Movie Trailer Ever Cut
‘Shakedown’ AKA ‘Blue Jean Cop’
People have all sorts of complaints about the current state of movie trailers. They give away too much of the story. They don’t have any gravely-voiced narration. They’re all set to sad-sounding covers of old pop songs for some reason. Movie ads don’t have to be crap though. Cutting a movie into a trailer can be an art form. If done correctly, the viewer is left with the feeling that they absolutely have to go see the feature being advertised, ASAP.
And then, every once in a while a trailer gets made that’s so good it actually exists as a more satisfying experience than the film that it’s advertising. The trailer for writer/director James Glickenhaus’ (who also made The Exterminator, which had one of the awesomest VHS covers of the entire 1980s) 1988 dirty cop actioner, Shakedown (which was released overseas under the greatest title of all time, Blue Jean Cop), isn’t just one of these exceptional trailers, it might be the best movie trailer of all time.
This trailer has absolutely everything: melodramatic narration, a grimy, 80s-era New York aesthetic, characters who speak only in quips, a hint of steamy sex, Robocop playing a smarmy lawyer, and Sam Elliott shooting machine guns, climbing up the landing gear of airplanes that are taking off, ramping cars off of things, and exploding everything in sight, all while his mustache just sits on his face, staring you down, probably picturing your mother naked. Plus, it has a badass Jimi Hendrix song that fits the dad-rock tone of all its action movie awesomeness perfectly, and that builds up to the greatest money shot in movie trailer history. I mean, goddamn, I could watch that rollercoaster fly off its track on repeat 100 times in a row and never get tired of it.
How’s Shakedown as a movie? Surprisingly watchable, considering the fact that it’s pure, unapologetic 80s cheese. It’s nowhere near as effective as its trailer though, which might be the best 1 minute and 56 seconds worth of filmmaking ever. If only we could bottle this thing and sell it as a verility tonic, the world would instantly be 1000 times more rad.