We've seen Sensurround and Odorama and, for a brief time some three decades ago, theater seats wired to deliver electric shocks to unsuspecting moviegoers -- but now, Spectrafilm seems to have come up with a genuinely new gimmick: a movie that claims to hypnotize its audience.
The picture is called "Anguish," it's due out late this year from writer-director Bigas Lucas, it's about a psycho killer who gets his orders from his psychic mother, and it purports to use "hypnotic techniques" in its sound effects and editing. A prologue that will be shown before the movie warns viewers that they will receive subliminal messages and will be briefly hypnotized, and suggests that anyone who feels dizzy should head for the lobby.
Spectrafilm might have a marketable gimmick here if it can hypnotize critics into thinking "Anguish" is a good movie.
Caught Up in the Movie
A suspected bank robber in Sacramento, Calif., recently added his own, unwitting rave review to the movie "Robocop." The thief apparently robbed a bank and then was taking refuge in a nearby movie theater when an exploding packet of red dye stained his clothes and the money; in the theater he stripped off his shirt, flushed some tainted money down the toilet and then hid in the front row. Once inside the theater, though, he became so engrossed in the movie that he didn't even notice that police were evacuating the rows behind him -- until someone turned up the lights and police took him into custody. Of the papers that reported the story, the best headline clearly belongs to Daily Variety: "If Theater Were Showing 'Who's That Girl,' He'd Be Free Today."
More Rumblings From 'Rambo III'
Last week's item on the troubles on the set of "Rambo III" turned out to be only part of the story. Not only was cinematographer Ric Waite given his walking papers, but so were several technicians -- and, crucially, the movie's director, Russell Mulcahy. More dismissals and resignations are expected shortly on the film, which is badly behind schedule.
Orion Distributing Malle's 'Au Revoir'
Louis Malle's "Au Revoir, Les Enfants," the first French production in 12 years from the director of "Atlantic City" and the big winner at last month's Venice Film Festival, will be distributed in the United States by Orion Classics. Widely seen as Malle's most personal film, it deals with the director's own preteen experiences at a Catholic boarding school during World War II. But there's no word yet on exactly when the company plans to unveil the movie on these shores: Orion says it plans to hold extensive private screenings before deciding exactly when to release it, and Malle himself says he has lots of ideas about how he wants the movie marketed.
Director/writer Paul Schrader ("American Gigolo," "Mishima") is currently in Los Angeles making a movie about the kidnaping of Patty Hearst, cast mostly with unknowns ... The Kingery Entertainment Group is also planning a film based on real life, or at least what claims to be real life. The company is working on a movie based on Verita Thompson's book "Bogie and Me," in which Thompson claims to have had a love affair with Humphrey Bogart in the 1940s. The $6 million production starts filming in January in Hollywood, France and Spain ... Mel Gibson will play the Patrick MacNee role in the big-screen version of the TV show "The Avengers." The filmmakers are still looking for somebody to play Emma Peel, the part taken by Diana Rigg ... Molly Ringwald plays a young girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who doesn't fit in but remains plucky and determined: That sounds like any of a half dozen John Hughes movies, but in this case it's "Fresh Horses," adapted from Larry Ketron's off-Broadway drama ...