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Commercials were used to advertise the movie. As I acquire them, they will be posted here. The official trailer, listed below, was used as the film's primary source of advertising.

The official trailer, quite simply, was the commercial released by the USA Network to support and promote the release of Nightmare on the 13th Floor. It pushed the film all the way up until it's premiere debut, in which it also played just before the actual film first aired. The commercial also functioned as the movie's trailer, and consisted of a series of selected shots from the film during advertising. Since the purpose of the trailer is to attract a wide and diverse audience to the film, these excerpts are usually drawn from the most exciting, funny, or otherwise noteworthy parts of the film but in abbreviated form and usually without producing spoilers. It was the perfect introduction to the film.

Read it:
You can view and read the transcript for the entire trailer by reading its page in the Walkthrough.






Commercials were used to advertise the movie. As I acquire them, they will be posted here. The commercial below aired on the USA Network on October 17, 1990, fourteen days before "Nightmare on the 13th Floor" premiered.

There was at least one commercial released by the USA Network to support and promote the release of "Nightmare on the 13th Floor". This 24 second long commercial appeared at least two weeks before the film's original telecast, and usually appeared among other USA Network World Premiere Movie previews. Using behind the scenes footage to show cameras and cameramen chasing Elaine through the 13th floor, or showing James Brolin having his makeup applied, the commercial utilizes several scenes not shown within the film itself.

Read it:
You can view and read the transcript for the entire commercial below:

Note:
Almost all of the text below is elaborated upon during its particular inclusion into the walkthrough. This is the reason that a lot of the scenes below that also appear within the film do not receive the same definitive analysis as they do when read during their proper placement within the walkthrough. To get the most out of the commercial, it is recommended that upon reading, you refer to the walkthrough, and then reread the text below.



Musical Note:
The USA Network was reaching a peak during the late 1980s and early 1990s and through that time they produced some of the finest films around. They still do, but as I've explained elsewhere on the site, they certainly had more of a reason to push the films of the era a little more. Previews like this are no longer commonplace on the station. But here, right from the beginning, the music helps catch the viewers attention by creating a build up. The words COMING ATTRACTIONS, in a skinniner version of the USA Networks signature font travels past our view. The white letters lean to the right and appear atop a larger, reddish set of letters. The red letters reveal the USA Networks logo. As the orchestra helps to create a heart pumping intro, the announcer chimes in:






Announcer: Coming soon, on the USA World Premiere Movie:

Musical Note:
The music builds up, coming to a dramatic finish as the stations ID card comes to a close.

The music that follows is ominous and heart throbbing, and continues at a piercing cadance through the rest of the commercial.

Note:
The USA Network used various versions of the "Futura" font to create the sans serif logos.


Announcer: If you dare...

The narrator's low, ominous sounding voice provides a creepy compliment to the imagery. Beginning by saying "If you dare" begins intriguing the viewer.


Behind-the-Scenes:
Cameras and cameramen catch Elaine Kalisher actress Michele Greene as she runs into the Wessex Hotel altar room in the first several frames taken from the film's official commercial.


Behind-the-Scenes:
Melanie Huges, make-up director for "Nightmare on the 13th Floor" applies make-up to Doctor Alan Lanier actor James Brolin before Brolin's drive with Elaine Kalisher actress Michele Greene in these behind-the-scenes pictures taken from the film's official commercial.


Cut!:
The next thing that we see is the Wessex Hotel illuminated with a ghastly glow. This is from the same cut scene seen in the film's official trailer. This scene does not appear anywhere within the movie, but it gives such a quaint and charming structure as the Wessex an ominous and ghoulish feel.



Announcer: USA invites you to spend your Halloween night at a sinister
   hotel...

A sinister hotel? The viewer gets the vibe that something horrible must be taking place inside of the hotel.

Announcer: where checking in is easy...

The commercial then features of montage of scenes found within the film:



The commercial shows an axe in the air as if being held ready to strike. The viewer sees the background, and know they are in a hotel, but are unsure of what they are seeing. We see an older lady, later introduced as the sweet and harmless Moselle Beecher, a widow who has spent her life in Silo, Minnesota, screaming, clutching her hands together with her fingers interlocked, with a frieghtened look on her face. We then see the axe again, its tip glistening in the light. It is further down as if it is being used. The viewer subconsciously believes something has happened to Mrs. Beecher.



The commercial next shows us a picture of Elaine Kalisher, the film's protagonist, running in terror, followed by another shot of the axe swooping down, and then a gentleman, later introduced as LAPD Detective Sargeant Madden, also running in terror.

Announcer: where checking in is easy but checking out can be murder.




The axe is seen again. It was in full swing and now escapes out of view, producing a thud as it hits its intended targed. A man is then shown falling to the floor, a trickle of blood coming from his mouth. Protagonist Elaine Kalisher is shown again.




Elaine: A man was murdered.


A gentleman revealed to be the hotel's resident physician, Doctor Alan Lanier, responds next:

Dr. Lanier: Isn't it possible that you've imagined all this?

The image of the doctor used here comes from an alternate version of this scene.

Elaine is shown, laying down and pointing a gun, and we hear a gunshot. The audience is sure that something must be happening to the film's protagonist.


Alternate Scenes:
During the movie, when the doctor asks if it was possible that Elaine might have imagined the murder, he is shown from afar, with all of the characters in the frame. On this commercial, he is shown close-up. He sounds almost the same, with maybe a hint more sarcasm in his voice. The look on his face shows that he definitely thinks she crazy. All of this is a reverse pyschological ploy to divert attention away from themselves by passing Elaine off as a nutjob.

The Doctor's dialogue changes in this scene as well, altering by the final words of his dispassionate prose:


Final Version     Alternate Version
Dr. Lanier: Isn't it possible that you've imagined
   this whole thing?
Dr. Lanier: Isn't it possible that you've imagined
   all this?



Announcer: James Brolin


Announcer: And L.A. Law's
   Michele Greene

We see a shadowy silhouette of the killer, holding a sharp pointed fireaxe, as he makes his way in front of eerily lit red based, tessilating wallpaper. He is on his way to claim another life. This scene is used many times throughout the movie.


The shadowy silhouette of the killer still appears onscreen as the words "October 31" appears in the frame's upper right corner and the words "Nightmare on the 13th Floor" appear in the frame's lower left corner. The title logo appears in a font different from the one used in the final film.

"NIGHTMARE" is now capitalized, sitting, centered, above "on the 13th floor" written in lowercase letters below. But the biggest addition is that the "T" is the center of "NIGHTMARE" is turned into a dagger. The top of the "T" constitutes its hilt while it's point is centered directly above the "3" in "13th".

Announcer: "Nightmare on the 13th Floor"

The image on screen shrinks down, placing itself inside of the image of a film strip, moving to the left, as if it was a frame existing on the strip, moving off screen to the left where it is replaced by the image of another USA World Premiere Movie, airing later in the month of November.

Announcer: Coming October 31st.