UPDATE: December 22, 2010. I was informed that MPI was kind enough to remove the quote from the ‘Hatchet II’ box. From France to Spain, and even Japan, Bloody Disgusting has contributing writers all over the world. We love to bring you the first word on upcoming movies straight of out film markets and festivals, which is why we have so many global staffers. While I don’t always agree with their reviews, our motto is that everyone is entitled to their opinion – one of the main reasons we love to push the user reviews on the site. On BD we have the opportunity to bring you a variety of opinions, from various contributors to you guys; there’s a forum for conversation. But what happens when a writer’s quote ends up on a DVD/Blu-ray box without my approval? Read on for the answer.
Again, I support my writers, and their opinions. Ryan Daley hated Splice; I loved it. Keenan loved Rob Zombie’s Halloween; I hated it. It’s all fine and dandy. On the site we ALL have a place to voice our opinion and that’s what makes it special.
But when a Bloody Disgusting quote ends up on a poster, DVD or Blu-ray box, I demand a level of control.
We didn’t build Bloody Disgusting up on whoring ourselves out for favors and special placement. We built it up on our integrity, something that’s so incredibly hard to control the larger you get. While I can go on and on about the various sections on BD, other sites, and news reporting, I want to remain focused on what’s got me steaming from my ears.
This past week two quotes came to my attention:
“An exciting and gory romp into the world of the undead.” Toby Weidmann’s quote on the cover of IFC Midnight’s DVD release of The Horde.
“One of the best slasher films EVER.” Micah’s quote on the cover of Dark Sky Films’ Hatchet II.
Over the past ten years I have taken extreme pride in keeping quotes at bay. There’s nothing that repulses me more than a quote whore, or a site that keeps giving studios quotes so their name will be all over the marketplace. What better way to destroy your name than to put it on a load of sh*t? I demand control over what goes on a poster, DVD or Blu-ray box. While there are a few here or there that slip by me, typical protocol is to ask the owner/editor-in-chief for APPROVAL before sticking our name on promotional materials. It’s just the right thing to do.
Neither Dark Sky/MPI nor IFC asked me for permission.
Colleagues around me say, “It’s free exposure man, be happy!” NO, no, no, no, no, no and NO. I’m NOT happy, I’m goddamn embarrassed. I’m red in the face. While I can write my own reviews for both of these films here on the site, I have no way of standing at every single store in the country pleading my case: “‘The Horde’ sucks ass. It’s a piece of sh*t. It’s one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. It should be banished for eternity,” or maybe, “While I enjoy the kills in ‘Hatchet II’, its exposition heavy and boring. It is definitely, without shadow of a doubt NOT one of the best slasher films ever.”
Again, I respect my writer’s own opinions, but when a quote lands on a cover it reflects the entire website as a whole. I expect the courtesy of approval, I expect that we’ll be asked if it’s OK to use the site’s name to sell their movie. If I think the movie is a piece of crap, I’m gonna say “no.” I turn down quotes left and right. The most important aspect of keeping it minimal, and keeping it to a certain standard, is that when we DO stick our name of a movie, you as a regular Bloody Disgusting reader know we support it through thick and thin and thus can take it for what it’s worth. It adds weight to the claim. It should evoke an emotion in you without you having to say “here we go again.”
The last thing I want from you guys is to think we’d put our names on anything that’s offered to us. F*ck, if this pisses people off and we never see our name on anything ever again, I’m 100% OK with that. I have integrity. I have pride. And I’ll stick to my mother f*cking guns. I’m proud of what I’ve done here on Bloody Disgusting and I’ll be damned if some crappy DVD release is going to ruin our rep.
Some of you may enjoy both Hatchet 2 and The Horde, and that’s totally cool, I’d just really appreciate the courtesy of being asked if I want our site’s name on the DVD/Blu-ray cover.
End of story.
Just for fun, off the top of my head here are some quotes I’m proud of: Marebito, Shutter, Splinter, Lady Vengeance, Burning Bright, The Collector, Joshua, Them, Inside, Frontier(s), and Dance of the Dead.
Here are some quotes that will embarrass me until I’m six feet under: Otis, Diary of the Dead, Mother of Tears, Halloween, Nightmare Man and Borderland.