When the trailer begins--a shot of the familiar jukebox, strains of “Unchained Melody,” the potter’s throwing wheel--audiences figure it’s yet another “Ghost” campaign.
When the camera pans to bare-chested Leslie Nielsen nuzzling Priscilla Presley as she shapes wet clay--instead of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore--they laugh.
And when the wet clay spins wildly off the wheel, splattering the smooching lovers, audiences know they’ve been had.
“Naked Gun” has struck again.
This time, it’s the trailer for “Naked Gun II 1/2: The Smell of Fear,” which carries the line: “From the brother of the director of ‘Ghost.’ ”
Jerry Zucker, of course, directed that Paramount mega-hit. David Zucker directs “Naked Gun II 1/2,” due out this summer.
Zucker II conceived the spoofy trailer--along with producer Robert K. Weiss and associate producer Bob Locash--in early December when Paramount gave them the sudden opportunity to attach it to reels of “Godfather III” when it was released at Christmas.
The parody of the famous wet clay scene from “Ghost"--already scripted for the film--was shot over a weekend and “edited very quickly,” says Weiss.
How many takes did Nielsen and Presley take to get it right?
“I don’t know,” Weiss says, “but they got pretty muddy.”
They’ll get muddy again: The scene will be reprised later this month for inclusion in the film.