Friday, January 12, 2007

It's a Crock!

Thank you, EW's popwatch for this public service announcement:

You've probably seen advertisements for the horror flick Primeval -- opening today in theaters nationwide -- touting that the film is "inspired by the true story of the most prolific serial killer in history," that this monstrous killer has taken "over 300 victims," and that "to this day, he remains at large." You probably wouldn't guess, however, that this killer is, in fact, a giant crocodile.

Besides the fact that this ad campaign is just plain misleading, it irks me to no end that the marketing team for Hollywood Pictures thinks they'll attract audiences by calling a serial killer "prolific" -- like, you know, Stephen King's prolific, or Rachael Ray. Which is not to say necessarily that the movie is bad, but since it also did not screen for critics in advance, consider this Popwatch PSA fair warning before you plunk down your money for a ticket.

Speaking of big crocs -- what other movies have had deceptive ad campaigns?

There are zillions of deceptive ad campaigns that lead you to expect the movie will be as funny or exciting as the trailer, only to find that you've already seen everything worthwhle in the trailer itself (I believe "Hercules" was the first to figure out the beauty of this approach, as by the time you realized you'd been duped, you'd already paid for your ticket). But in terms of being actually misleading, I vote for "Angel Eyes." The trailer made it seem like something supernatural when it was really a conventional story about people recovering from (1) a catastrophic accident and (2) domestic abuse.

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