Pass the sick bag

If you love cinema, see this.  But only in the dark. Couldn’t help noticing a story on the BBC today about people fainting or something at showings of a new slasher flick, Saw III. The Saw franchise seems to have done quite well – its another example of how all the old grindhouse formulae of blood, breasts and bone can still sell. It’s an awful shame that the people doing these things today are not as elegant. Intelligent and steeped in artistry as Dario Argento and friends in their prime, but that’s the world we are in.

What interested me is the fact that if this story was placed by the studio, which is highly probable, it is marketing a pale shadow of grindhouse horror with a vivid imitation of classic ‘B’ movie marketing techniques. Companies like American International regularly would publicise the fact that nurses would be present at a screening, no-one with a heart condition would be admitted, etc. Some NYC schlocksters even offered sick bags at 42nd Street screenings of films with titles like ‘Bloodthirsty Butchers’. I got a free novelty syringe pen at a preview of Takashi Miike’s Audition (which I can say confidently is a different dimension of filmmaking from Saw et al). Getting people to allegedly faint is no mean feat – doing it on Halloween to get press is a pro move.

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