Not only was the stunt a bad idea and had bad acting, but the videos of what happened were quickly taken down when they were linked all over the place. The video didn’t seem to go viral and the movie may not do well at the box office anyway. Even some free publicity may not be enough to stop this movie from sinking on the heels of “The Social Network” or the new Disney release “Secretariat.”
Other publicity stunts have gone horribly wrong and may have been worse than this one. Consider some of the following to see how they stack up.
“Million Dollar Mystery”
“Million Dollar Mystery” had several things wrong with it and it never could shake the demons of the filming of the movie. In the film, a character by the name of Sidney Preston steals millions of dollars from the government and hides it in a Glad Lock trash bag. A group of travelers tries to retrieve it with hilarious and literally disastrous consequences according to ScreenCrave.
Legendary Hollywood stuntman Dar Robinson lost his life attempting a motorcycle stunt at the age of 39 while filming “Million Dollar Mystery” in a report filed by People magazine. At the end of the film, Tom Bosley gets on the screen and says that a real prize of one million dollars is hidden somewhere in America if you follow clues on Glad Lock bags. Unfortunately for the film, the one million dollar prize was more than the film grossed at the box office in 1987 according to Yahoo! Movies.
Who can forget the 2009 MTV Movie Awards when Sacha Baron Cohen flew in like an angel only to land in Eminem’s lap after a seemingly failed wire stunt? Video shows Eminem getting up and yelling profanities while body guards pulled Cohen off of him. Some stars, such as Cameron Diaz, didn’t know whether to laugh or be horrified according to Britain’s Daily Mail.
As if Cohen’s movies weren’t irreverently funny already this stunt only proved that the shock and fun value of his work is still there. Like any great comedian, Cohen isn’t afraid to show viewers the whole and funny truth about society even if the films (and stunts) are faked.
The problem with Wes Craven’s stunt is that it wasn’t even shocking. There were no gasps from the crowd, no emotional responses, nothing. Even the video on YouTube got removed. Unlike other viral videos that happen seemingly out of nowhere, this attempt at free publicity will fail just as much as Craven’s new movie at the box office.
The best kind of publicity is still word-of-mouth. If people really want to see this movie the reviewers and those who see it will say whether it was worth anything. Fake publicity stunts for the sake of trying to get more viewers won’t work when you have troops dying in Afghanistan and bullies causing teens to commit suicide.
Eric Eisenberg, “Fake Stabbing Video At My Soul To Take Premiere Is Just Plain Dumb”, Cinema Blend.
Screen Crave, “Million Dollar Mystery”, ScreenCrave.com.
David Grogan, “Death Cheats the King of Movie Daredevils, Dar Robinson”, People magazine.
Yahoo! Movies, “Million Dollar Mystery (1987)-Movie Info”, Yahoo! Movies.
Daily Mail Online, “The Real Slim Shady faked it! MTV reveals Eminem was in on Bruno’s bare bottom prank”, the Daily Mail website.