Yes, somewhere out there on the Internet, there probably exists a better video than the one seen above, but I’ll be damned if anyone is going to talk me into trying to find it. Created by YouTuber Stéphane Bouley, it’s a modernized trailer for Monty Python and the Holy Grail that does a fantastic job of proving you can’t judge a book by its cover, nor can you judge a film solely by its loud and obnoxious summer blockbuster-styled trailer. That’s been proven time and time again by Hollywood, a place where Holy Grail wasn’t created, thankfully.
Monty Python has long been my favorite source of comedy, and the subversive ways in which they got their humor across was never less than brilliant. This trailer is true to form in the way in which it shines a glaring, disappointed light on the current method of producing film trailers. It’s amazing how clever editing, timely fade-outs and a big booming score can heighten the drama of a scene that involves a man trying to decide whether or not to burn a witch based on her comparative weight to a duck (or a church). I’m actually surprised the entire thing wasn’t just a series of smash cuts and slo-mo, a la Zack Snyder.
This is, of course, a great film to use this technique with, since it is by all means a high-octane adventure, albeit one with holy hand grenades, killer rabbits and knights, both limbless ones and those who now say, “Ekke Ekke Ekke Ekke Ptangya Ziiinnggggggg Ni.” Given Arthur’s straight man status, almost all of his and Tim the Enchanter’s dialogue could easily be taken seriously.
Of course, I wish that a more Pythonesque font were used throughout the trailer, and it’s hard to forgive the non-inclusion of coconut-clopping Terry Gilliam in the cast listing, but I guess nothing is perfect. Except the moose who do the sacking (please don’t sack me).
It’s especially impressive when you consider the film’s actual theatrical trailer, which featured almost as many new jokes as it did actual film footage, as well as a shot from Bergman’s The Seventh Seal. You have to try damned hard to take all the humor out of anything that the Monty Python clan is responsible for, and I’ll be damned if this wasn’t the best effort. We’re hoping the upcoming pseudo-reunion flick Absolutely Anything is chock-full of the best of their humor.
Check out that three-and-a-half-minute trailer below, followed by the Lego version of the Camelot song. “It’s only a model.” “Shh.”