Watch this video, via Good Morning America, and see the desperate measures killer whales will resort to when they're forced into a tank that's a fraction of a percentage of their normal environment and made to do tricks appealing to stupid humans instead of composing their pop songs and devising plans for a panglobal peaceful society.
And with nothing more complicated than a casual choice of wardrobe, John Waters produced a level of outrageousness at his premiere party for Hairspray that Captivity couldn't generate with a club jam-packed with half-naked SuicideGirls being tortured by guys in butcher smocks. To be fair, Waters did ask John Travolta to strip down to his underwear and submit to a public paddling by Mink Stole, but realized such a stunt might seem a little desperate even before a surprisingly game, yet distressingly sweat-slicked, Travolta was able to completely wriggle out of his shirt.
Too squeamish to attend the Captivity premiere party that After Dark Films provocateur Courtney Solomon recently promised would be so debauched that it would likely bring about the total collapse of Western Civilization ourselves, we dispatched unshockable Defamer Special Correspondent on Looking Into The Eyes of Evil and Laughing Nick Malis to Privilege last night, hoping that he would emerge from the ritualistic promotional flaying with enough of his sanity intact to file a report on his experience. Luckily for us, he did survive the ordeal, though not without some psychological scarring associated with prolonged exposure to a carefully coordinated attempt to offend his sensibilities. His report follows, along with a link to our photo gallery of the event (which you can skip to by clicking here, if you're the impatient type.)
Having already had the release date of his beloved Captivity delayed by the MPAA's displeasure over an accidental billboard campaign depicting step-by-step instruction on how to capture and torture a B-list actress, and recently having witnessed the bombing of the higher-profile Hostel Part II, desperate, self-consciously controversial After Dark CEO Courtney Solomon is trying to salvage his movie's box office prospects by bragging to the NY Times about the over-the-top coming-out party he's throwing to celebrate his movie's arrival in theaters. Boasts Solomon about the upcoming premiere orgy at Privilege:
The producers of Captivity, still reeling from protests about their overly graphic, unauthorized billboards, should gird themselves for a fresh round of outrage from the public. Once it's discovered that their movie contains disturbing images of star Elisha Cuthbert being disembowelled by sadistic bears, they'll likely face protests by PETA, and be forced to fall back once again on the disingenuous explanation that they're just trying to tell an uplifting story of grizzly empowerment.
It's been a good run for Lionsgate marketing co-president and shock-artist-in-residence Tim Palen, whose groundbreaking work composing controversial Bijou-Phillips-beheading, Wienerdog-inverting (pictured), and director-dong-exposing imagery to promote the upcoming Hostel: Part II are getting exactly the kind of media attention the studio was surely hoping for, culminating in today's LAT story about his campaigns. But what makes selling a horror flick with an image of a naked Phillips toting her head around like a Prada purse any different than what the much-maligned Captivity crew (coincidentally, a movie also distributed by Lionsgate! Funny how that worked out.) did with their billboard tutorials on how to kidnap, torture, and execute Elisha Cuthbert? Palen explains to the Times::
The list of victims in the aftermath of After Dark Film's decision to grab some easy publicity by erecting offensive billboards to advertise thinking man's snuff film Captivity is a long and tragic one. Among them: the countless impressionable children involuntarily subjected to the graphic, psyche-scarring images looming dangerously close to their schools, After Dark CEO Courtney Solomon, whose more toned-down promotional ideas were ignored by a renegade printer bent on destroying him, and star Elisha Cuthbert, who is suffering from unprecedented levels of awareness about how disappointingly a once-promising career has developed. In the latest chapter of the Captivity billboard story, Slate's Kim Masters talks to a representative of a previously silent class of innocents who will be adversely affected by the MPAA's unprecedented sanctions against the movie: the producers:
Slow to fulfill its promise to remove the offensive billboards forcing local motorists to contemplate Elisha Cuthbert's graphic abduction, confinement, torture, and termination as they helplessly idle at traffic-clogged intersections, After Dark Films now feels the wrath of the MPAA, which has responded to public outrage over the unapproved ads by suspending the ratings process and demanding that all subsequent promotion materials be cleared with the organization if Captivity hopes to ever get the R it probably needs to make any money. Chideth the ratings board:
Inspired by the above story of two teenage Saw fans whose mischief is bringing a fresh wave of attention to the hugely successful horror franchise, always-innovative AfterDark CEO Courtney Solomon is scrambling to organize Captivity "phone teams" to call middle-aged women in poor health in key markets, hoping that mysterious messages that their daughters have been kidnapped and tortured by a maniac might induce the same kind of publicity-attracting cerebrovascular episodes that might raise awareness for his little abduction flick.
Back on Wednesday, while we were waiting for all those Captivity billboards featuring Elisha Cuthbert's best work since those unauthorized Vegas escort handbills to come down as promised (how's that going, by the way?), we killed some time by speculating about the next AfterDark Films ad idea likely to draw totally unwanted and unanticipated attention to a small project with a limited promotional budget. Today, THR notes that the studio's lighthearted "Suicide, Don't Do It!" campaign for dark comedy Wristcutters: A Love Story, featuring awareness-raising signage displaying everyone's favorite acts of self-negation, has predictably run afoul of the the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Publicity-shunning AfterDark CEO Courtney Solomon responds:
We've had only one additional report of a Captivity billboard still awaiting removal since this morning's post ("Big one still up at wilshire and wilton next to the 7-11. It's giving the homeless gentleman out front ideas." And this just occurred to us: should we be asking for tips about ones that have been taken down?), but a reader with a good memory passed along this story from a couple of weeks ago, in which a certain, previously obscure small-time studio head who's spent a lot of time lately trying to explain how some OTP ideas mysteriously found their way into his movie's campaign positively glows with pride about the out-of-the -box marketing for another project he's involved in:
Yesterday's self-imposed 2 p.m. deadline for After Dark Films to remove the controversial Captivity billboards turning various Los Angeles intersections into gruesome instruction manuals on the capture, imprisonment, torture, and disposal of B-list actresses has come and gone, but buck-passing CEO Courtney Solomon's clean-up crew seems to be lagging a bit behind schedule, as reports of extant snuff ads have come in:
Just a gentle reminder to local movie fans: there is now a mere three hours until After Dark Films' self-imposed 2 p.m. deadline to remove the disturbing Elisha Cuthbert snuffboards looming over the city's roads, leaving you precious little time to wander out to a nearby intersection, gape in disgust at the unapproved images ("Personally, I wasn't going to go with this campaign. I thought it was OTP (over the top)," scandalized printing company mix-up victim [and After Dark CEO Courtney] Solomon told the Reporter. "Nothing like this can ever happen again.") that misrepresent the movie's uplifting message of female empowerment, and then return to your desk to research what you can do to help this country's 850,000 annual kidnapping victims. Hurry, for time is running short to raise your awareness of the important issue being championed by the brave studio.
Sadist/misogynist cinephiles, take heed: you may have less than 24 hours to enjoy the series of 30 billboards erected around town to promote Elisha Cuthbert vehicle Captivity, depicting the "Abduction," "Confinement," "Torture," and "Termination" of low-budget horror movie kidnapping victims, as they're scheduled to be taken down by sometime tomorrow following complaints from concerned citizens who appreciate a little more subtlety in their exploitation flick advertising. So how did these offensive, child-spooking ads get erected in the first place? "Damned if we know!", say furiously buck-passing executives from distributors Lionsgate and AfterDark Films to the LAT: