By :Billy Gil | Posted: 21 Jan 2010
Excellent horror throwback The House of the Devil (releasing Feb. 2 from MPI/Dark Sky) has had a most interesting marketing campaign. Most interesting, indeed.
First of all, the folks at MPI created a VHS copy of the film to tie to its style, which is very much in the vein of ’70s and ’80s horror films like Carrie, Tenebre and Rosemary’s Baby.
“We have a soft spot for old soft-box VHS after doing work on our Gorgon label (of such wonderful titles as The Blood Spattered Bride),” says Greg Newman, MPI Media Group EVP of marketing and acquisition. “It’s interesting that in this day where everything is about Blu-ray that VHS can get attention.”
The promotional copies were so effective, getting write-ups in the likes of The Onion, that Newman says they’ve quietly put out some DVD/VHS copies for sale. Oh crap, they’re on sale at Home Media Magazine for $23.99 (list price $34.98) through our deal with Amazon!
“It’s shocking that those have been selling at a pretty brisk pace,” Newman says.
It’s not so shocking — lo-fi is in, duh, Greg. High-def, shmigh-def.
That’s not all the crafty folk at MPI have done. They placed a babysitter ad, like the one in the movie that gets poor Samantha (excellent newcomer Jocelin Donahue) into some deep sh*t, in weeklies in major cities. If you call the number (866/666-8968), you get a very creepy Mr. Ulman on the other line. Just don’t get scared and hang up when he answers “Hello?” as I did.
“It seems as though people are having fun with it and passing it along to their friends,” Newman says of the number, which he estimates has gotten several thousand calls, and which directs callers to a Web site for the film.
MPI also will hold some contests where they give away such goodies as Blu-ray/VHS combo players, the existence of which kind of blows my mind.
Oh yeah, the movie will also be available on regular, boring old DVD at $27.98 and Blu-ray at $34.98.
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