In a world before every movie trailer had a sad cover version of a popular song, one man with an impossibly deep voice changed the way films were advertised forever. That was Don LaFontaine, seen above; he and several other sandpaper-throated voiceover artists redefined movie advertising in the 1980s with their impossibly solemn readings of flowery copy spiked with phrases like “In a world...” The practice became so widespread it eventually turned into self-parody; LaFontaine poked fun at his own image in commercials, and the entire world of overly serious voiceover guys became the subject of Lake Bell’s very entertaining comedy In a World...

But before it became a cliché, “in a world” was a full-on revolution in the way films were marketed. Here are 13 legitimate examples, plus a couple bonus trailers where they mixed up the phrase ever so slightly. (“In a part of the world!”) It was a very different world back then, and it was a little bit silly, but it was a lot of fun to be in it at the time.

The Road Warrior (1981)
Directed by George Miller

“In a world with gas, this is a land that prays for a hero...”

Goodfellas (1990)
Directed by Martin Scorsese

“In a world that’s powered by violence, on the streets where the violent have power, a new generation carries on an old tradition...”

Alien 3 (1992)
Directed by David Fincher

“In a world where the sun burns cold, and the wind blows colder, a visitor has come but not by herself...”

Heavenly Creatures (1994)
Directed by Peter Jackson

“In a world where dreamers and believers are miraculously transformed into heavenly creatures...”

The Glass Shield (1994)
Directed by Charles Burnett

“In a world filled with violence, their only weapon is the truth...”

Angels and Insects (1995)
Directed by Philip Haas

“In a world of wealth and privilege, he was an outsider; a man with a love of nature and a passion for beauty who thought he was marrying the woman of his dreams...”

Ransom (1996)
Directed by Ron Howard

“In a world where great risks can bring extraordinary rewards, Tom Mullen has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams...”

BASEketball (1998)
Directed by David Zucker 

“In a world where professional sports had sunk to a new low, two guys invented a game that took them to the big time...”

Jakob the Liar (1999)
Directed by Peter Kassovitz

“In a world where owning a radio was strictly forbidden, one man found a way to bring good news to his people: he made it up...”

South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (1999)
Directed by Trey Parker

“In a world fraught with corruption, four young boys united by fate, torn apart by destiny, somewhere between love and honor, between courage and not courage, between Kansas and Utah, there lies South Park...”

Planet of the Apes (2001)
Directed by Tim Burton

“In a world where freedom is history, brutality is law...”

Comedian (2002)
Directed by Christian Charles

“In a world where laughter was king...”

Knights of Badassdom (2013)
Directed by Joe Lynch

“In a world within our world, they’ve created a world unlike any other world...”

PLUS! Bonus minor variations!

Streets of Fire (1984)
Directed by Walter Hill

“You are about to enter a world unlike any you have seen before, where rock and roll is king, the only law is a loaded gun, where the beautiful, the brutal, and the brave all meet in streets of fire...”

Predator (1987)
Directed by John McTiernan

“In a part of the world where there are no rules, deep in the jungle where nothing that lives is safe, an elite rescue squad is being led by the ultimate warrior...”

Cyborg (1989)
Directed by Albert Pyun

“Welcome to the world of the not-too-distant future, a brutal gang is reshaping the world into their own vision of hell, and only one man can stop them...”

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
Directed by Ang Lee 

“In a land of eternal beauty and infinite mystery, a legend was born...” 

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