Ever since the day it was supposedly invented by Al Gore, the Internet has been home not only to the assembled wisdom of the human race, but also to all the dirty little images, words and topics typically banned from mainstream media venues. Now an adult-targeted mainstream movie is using the Net to air its dirty laundry.
“I keep hearing about it, but I haven’t seen it yet,” insisted Paul Walker, a mischievous grin pouring across his face. “I’ve seen … um … images of it.”
The images are from an online video game designed to promote Walker’s upcoming Tarantino-esque crime drama “Running Scared,” which will shoot, cuss and bleed its way into theaters February 24. In the flick, Walker’s Joey Gazelle comes home to find his wife, Teresa (Vera Farmiga of “The Manchurian Candidate”), doing laundry and they become swept away in a moment of passion. The game re-creates the love scene that ensues atop the household appliance.
“I haven’t actually played the game; it was rumored that they may have shut it down,” Walker said, but the game is still very much out there, and “Scared” studio New Line is gleefully refusing comment while the number of site visitors reportedly doubles with each passing day.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard it,” Walked added. “It’s a marketing tool.”
New Line learned its lesson years ago when “Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle” faced the dilemma of not being able to tease its core audience with the risqué material that it could offer viewers possessing the proper palate for “White Castle.” Remembering the disappointing results of that R-rated film’s general-audiences ad campaign, the studio decided to create a “Grand Theft Auto”-type game for “Scared” that invokes Walker’s steamy scene for its climax.
“It’s right there with the movie,” Walker reasoned, adding that he had virtually no input into the game. “It’s not a movie that’s for everyone. If you’re squeamish, you’re not into violence and you’re sensitive to bad language, it’s not your kind of movie. The people that the movie is appealing to, maybe they like that kind of video game. But, seriously, I wouldn’t want my 7-year-old daughter playing that game.”
||Peep the “Into the Blue,” “Eight Below” and “Running Scared” star’s life and career, in photos.|
Indeed, it would be difficult for Walker’s daughter (or anyone else under the age of 17) to witness the moaning virtual Farmiga, the tongue-in-cheek laundry detergent named “Ride,” or the up-down-left-right arrows that players must press in the proper order to, um, succeed. RunningScaredTheMovie.com begins with an age verification page that cross-references a visitor’s name and age with DMV records. If you are the proper age and can somehow figure out a top-secret cheat code — like, say, “yugorsky” — then you’re a brief car ride away from using Walker’s head to help guide his wife through her spin cycle.
If the movie is a success, it could lay the groundwork for future marketing efforts of adult-targeted movies that can’t get their message across in an MPAA-approved trailer. As for Walker himself, he claims that what happens with the game is out of his hands.
“People ask me, ’Hey, how do you feel about this? How do you feel about that? … People are gonna do what they’re gonna do, and like I said, it’s a marketing tool. Is it right? Is it wrong? That’s not really my call. If you don’t like it, don’t play it, don’t see it.”
Asked if he has any plans to use his virtual head to bring joy to any women in the future, the actor just laughed. Grinning, he added that the real Paul Walker doesn’t need the game’s glowing arrows to point him to the right spot. “I’m already on top of that. I’ve got it covered.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “Running Scared.”
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