On the face of it, you have to question the necessity of viral advertising for Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim. When a movie’s synopsis is, “Mountain-sized extra-dimensional sea creatures battle against giant robots that are controlled by GLaDOS from Portal,” the marketing team may as well just put that in block letters on a white background and go for an early lunch.
While the film has a few potential pitfalls that could make it a box office risk, it also has a very enticing set-up and plenty of positive buzz being generated from early screenings. It stars Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam and Japanese actress Rinko Kikuchi as pilots whose minds are connected across a neural bridge, allowing them to remotely control the robots in battle.
Pacific Rim made our list of the 25 Most Anticipated Films of 2013, and we’ve already seen several pieces of viral marketing for it, including the ‘Pan Pacific Defense Corp’ website and blueprints for mankind’s last hope: the giant fighting robots called Jaegers, whose job it is to take on the invading army of giant monsters from the sea. The monsters themselves are affectionately dubbed ‘Kaiju,’ after the Japanese word for giant creatures in classic films like Godzilla - which, incidentally, is also being remade by Pacific Rim‘s production company, Legendary Pictures.
The first trailer for Pacific Rim was unveiled back in December, and with a release date set for mid-July, there will hopefully be a second trailer released soon. While we wait, however, Legendary Films is continuing the viral campaign by scattering viral images over movie websites. The first of these was posted over at SFX, and shows a worryingly-large Kaiju footprint, with bystanders gathered around helpfully to show the scale of it.
The second viral photo gives us a closer look at the Kaiju – so close, in fact, that we get right under their skin. This gruesome still of a glove coated in metallic goo was uploaded to the Warner Bros. Twitter feed with the caption: “This is as close as you ever want to get to #
The marketing is reminiscent of the viral campaign for Cloverfield, which also teased audiences by revealing only small glimpses of the film’s monster. The first photo is visually striking, but the most we learn from it is that big monsters have big feet, whereas the second photo and attached caption seem to imply a potentially interesting aspect of the Kaiju biology. If the closest you want to get to Kaiju blood involves a barrier between the substance and your skin, does this mean that the creatures’ blood is in some way toxic or acidic á la the xenomorphs in Alien? Or perhaps the person in the image is simply playing it safe; when you’re handling the bodily fluids of a creature from another dimension, it’s probably a good idea to wear protection.
Frankly, I would have thought the closest you’d want to get to Kaiju blood would be several continents away.
[Update: We've just received one more Pacific Rim still]
It’s difficult to tell whether the churned-up ground in this photo is part of another Kaiju footprint or simply caused by the clean-up operation being carried out. One thing’s for sure – if Kaiju blood really is toxic or acidic, I doubt it’s doing the fish any good.
Pacific Rim is out in theaters on July 12th, 2013.