Warner Independent markets despair

The Warner Independent marketing team has been very busy and very shrewd in its full-scale promotion of A Scanner Darkly, which bends our minds July 7. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick (whose works also spawned Total Recall, Blade Runner, and Minority Report), this latest bleak take on our inevitable dystopian future is written and directed by Dazed and Confused auteur, Richard Linklater.

After being the first to premiere its trailer for the movie exclusively on Amp’d mobile phones back in February and establishing a presence at every ComicCon of the past six months, WI has taken the film’s themes of technological corruption and fear of constant surveillance way beyond its blackly comedic tagline: “EVERYTHING IS NOT GOING TO BE OK.” Among other things, if you search for movie times on forty three kix via text message, don’t be surprised if you receive a blind text message back full of aphoristic statements about freedom and the territory of the mind. I.e. “I tip my hat 2 any entity that can bring so much integrity 2 evil. As long as I make it thru the day w/my eyes wide open, I’m OK.”

Also included in the promotional loot sent to us: fold-around decals for iPods, video iPods, and iPod nanos; temporary tattoos; bumper stickers; an ink stamp; a barrette; a plastic shot glass; and a hardcover graphic novel that will also be available in a mobile version. Unfortunately, they forgot to include Substance D, the dangerous drug that circulates through the film’s underworld.

But WI also created one truly satisfying, smirk-worthy item: black wristbands in the Lance Armstrong, “Live Strong” mold that will surely be the fashion accessory on the next Bauhaus reunion tour. The four options:

DESERTION, DESPAIR, DOOM, and DEATH.