A second red band trailer has been released for The Jim Henson Company and STXfilms' raunchy puppet murder mystery-comedy, The Happytime Murders. This preview doesn't dive much deeper into the movie's story than its predecessor did and chooses to instead spotlight "pull-quotes" from Twitter users' reactions to the first Happytime Murders trailer.
Written by Todd Berger (Cover Versions) and Dee Austin Robertson (Eric Goes West) with uncredited revisions by Melissa McCarthy, Happytime Murders takes place in an alternate reality where puppets and humans live (and work and take drugs and have sex and... other things) side by side. When a serial killer starts targeting the former cast members of a popular '80s children's TV series called The Happytime Gang, it's up to puppet PI Phil Philips (Bill Barretta) to stop them before they murder the show's human costar and his ex-flame, Jenny (Elizabeth Banks). However, in order to do so, Phil must work together again with his former partner, Detective Connie Edwards (McCarthy).
STX has now unveiled the second Happytime Murders red band trailer, which arrives less than two weeks before the film itself hits theaters. As mentioned, this preview doesn't really include any additional plot details and focuses more on a running gag that involves presenting social media reactions to the movie's first trailer the way that most "For Your Consideration" awards season trailers use critic quotes to sell a film. Of course, there are still plenty of lewd jokes involving puppets to go around here, including a Basic Instinct parody and a bit that includes a cow puppet getting a "happy ending" during a massage... by being milked.
STX hasn't done too much promotion for Happytime Murders since it dropped the first trailer in theaters with Deadpool 2 back in May. In fact, outside of an incident where the Sesame Workshop tried to file a lawsuit against STX for the film's reference to Sesame Street in its "No Sesame. All Street" tagline, the Brian Henson-directed movie only really made headlines for having its release date pushed back a week. Reading between the lines, this suggests the studio doesn't have a whole lot of confidence in the final product here.
Happytime Murders hasn't exactly come off as being much more than a one-note joke stretched out to cover an entire film in its trailers, either. Once you get beyond the shock value of puppets being sexual or swearing, there doesn't seem to be all that interesting a story here, nor the kind of likable characters that make similar noir fantasy-comedies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit so memorable and entertaining. The actual movie has a solid human cast (including, Joel McHale and Maya Rudolph) and may surprise, of course, but probably best to set your expectations lower for this one.
Source: STX Entertainment
- The Happytime Murders (2018) release date: Aug 24, 2018