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[Trailer Tracks] Dissecting the ‘Branded’ Trailer

Movie commercials offer us a great service; they not only show us which upcoming movies look good, but also which ones to avoid. And if one looks closely, they often reveal more than intended about the film in question. In honor of this profound art, I give you TRAILER TRACKS, an examination of upcoming movie commercials: What they say, what they don’t say, and what they say on accident about the product being sold to you, the excited chump.

Today’s Entry:
Branded (Dir. Jamie Bradshaw, Alexsandr Dulerayn)


The cold hard fact of the matter is, They Live rules and if people want to remake it with a bunch of weird tentacle porn, who am I to stand in their way?

The Setup

This trailer comes at us from a couple different directions. At first it looks like the film will track a rookie corporate douchebag as he learns to sell his soul to elder corporate douchebag Max Von Sydow. The main character’s regretful narration, however, tells us that this will only take up one part of the film. The boring part.

Pretty soon, we’re done with the boardroom stuff and knee-deep in the tentacle stuff. The problem is, I have no idea what the fuck is happening with these tentacles. We first meet long, squiggly Asian ones, but the trailer will show us many varieties. Kids, for instance have fat, slug-like, Ronald McDonald ones.

I don’t know what the tentacles do, but clearly our main character can see them while they remain invisible to the general public. The whole thing somehow involves advertising, so the tentacles are probably recording all your sexual thoughts and generating the exact Nun-Rape video it will take to separate you from your credit card information.

But then, I’m not so sure. It also appears that the tentacles break off into tentacle bubbles which rise up and join a bubbly CG monstrosity that hangs out on skyscrapers like a gooey monolith. Some of the bubbly CG monstrosities can transform like Transformers, too. So maybe they’re actually just sucking brain juice from us until they get big enough to kill everyone.

But then again, I’m not so sure. At one point two big advertisement monstrosities appear to fight each other. So maybe there are good ones and bad ones. Like, the Fox News tentacle monster has to fight the NPR billboard monster.

On top of all that, Jeffrey Tambor plays a fat and old James Bond.

The Problem

So the main guy at some point will find out the big tentacle secret shared by all corporate douchebags. But because he’s dating Helen Hunt LeeLee Sobieski, he has a conscience that keeps him from automatically seeing all this tentacle crap as awesome. Instead of falling in line, he rebels. Maybe with the help of fat James Bond, Jeffrey Tambor.

The Solution

The question is how he rebels. The trailer cuts from his story to a bunch of random tentacle action, so it’s hard to say whether or not he’ll ever walk into a bank and claim to have come to chew bubblegum and kick ass. Some plan is spoken of, but we don’t know what it is except that it involves a field of cows and going down on Helen Hunt LeeLee Sobieski.

Main characters don’t usually live through dystopic films like this, and in fact, they rarely succeed in stopping the individual, intellectualism-devouring invaders that set off the plot in the first place. I’m getting that vibe from Branded.

The big curiosity is the country imagery near the trailer’s end. Not only do we see a field of cows, but there’s one show of our protagonist riding a horse. This leads me to a somewhat radical theory of how this film will end…

See, I think after a bunch of advertisement and brain tentacle monsters take over the cities, people will be forced into rural areas. There, our main character will meet up with Jason McCord (CG’ed Chuck Connors), the hero from television’s Branded, magically come to life thanks to all this advertising mumbo-jumbo. Together with a bunch of other B&W television cowboys, Jason McCord will ride into the city and kill all the monsters. So it’s actually an adaptation of the old TV show. How brilliant is that?


This movie comes out September 7th and looks ridiculously awesome. Why isn’t everyone and their tentacle-tethered mothers talking about it? I, for one, can’t wait to find out just what kind of no good Jeffrey Tambor is up to here. I’m also 90 years old and can’t wait to see Chuck Connors on the big screen again.




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