In Honor Of ‘Suicide Squad’: A Brief History Of Slowed-Down Dramatic Cover Songs In Trailers

Senior Editor
07.14.15 128 Comments
When the trailer for David Ayer’s Suicide Squad hit yesterday, I was amazed by the level of unintentional self-parody. DC/Warner Bros has less experience marketing comic-book blockbusters than Marvel/Disney, sure, but this looked like a tutorial assignment from Gritty Comic Book Movie Trailers for Dummies. Like really? Someone thought this was a good idea?

Aside from Will Smith’s laugh-out-loud name-dropping of the title, “It’s like we’re some kind of… suicide squad,” the part that most stuck out was the slowed-down, goth-ish cover version of the Bee Gees’ “I Started A Joke” (a song that mostly reminds me of Zoolander).

If it sounded familiar, that’s because it is. Not the Bee Gees, specifically. But the slowed-down-dramatic-cover-of-pop-song thing. It’s EVERYWHERE. Has such a specific trend ever spread so far, so quickly? It’s rivaled only by Inception‘s BRAAAAAHM sound. (Which is itself just a slowed down version of “Non, Je Ne Regretted Rien” by Edith Piaf).

Suicide Squad may have seemed particularly egregious because it came just weeks after a slowed-down version of “This Little Light Of Mine” showed up in Snowden, and months after a slowed-down “California Dreamin’ ” scored San Andreas:

“California Dreamin’ ” in San Andreas.

And then there was the Pinocchio song from the Age of Ultron teaser:

I think this all started with Donnie Darko, which had two separate covers of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” on the soundtrack. The song wasn’t in the original trailers (say what you will about the movie, that trailer was incredible) but it was in regular radio rotation for months and I think it incepted a generation of aspiring gritty editors.

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