The HEREDITARY Heartrate Challenge
William Castle is one of my creative heroes. Known as the king of the gimmick, Castle was a marketing genius. He didn’t have huge budgets or huge stars (except for the time he directed Joan Crawford in STRAIT-JACKET, a classic that some movie buffs consider superior to Alfred Hitchcock’s similarly-themed PSYCHO, which came out four years earlier) but he came up with ways to get people into theaters to see his movies that would have made P.T. Barnum proud. Emergo (for HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, a skeleton would drop from the ceiling)! Illusion-O (special glasses were required to see the spectral stars of THIRTEEN GHOSTS)! Insuring audience members against heart failure (MACABRE)! Installing joy buzzers in theater seats (THE TINGLER—my personal favorite)! The man was brilliant in his employment of gimmicks.
The tradition is still alive. A24 issued a “heartrate challenge” for HEREDITARY. Anybody with a Fitbit or Apple Watch could participate. Select participants were instructed to monitor their heartrates during the movie and then take a screenshot of the results to possibly win prizes. I hadn’t heard about the challenge until I read this linked article, ‘chere. Too bad. I would have loved something like that. Not enough to go buy a Fitbit or Apple Watch, but still. I wish the program had been better publicized.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase here: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!