Posted by Abe Sauer on May 9, 2011 10:00 AM
The S From Hell from Rodney Ascher on Vimeo.
The new product placement documentary, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, may be what some are calling the "most meta film ever," but "The S From Hell" is the most meta short film ever.
Creatively, it's a stupendous artwork of brand recognition, humor, and detail.
But it's more than a one-off, bizarre project born from a bad LSD tab. So, so much more.
In its own words, the film "is a short documentary-cum-horror film about the scariest corporate symbol in history - The 1964 Screen Gems logo, aka ‘The S From Hell.’ Built around interviews with survivors still traumatized from their childhood exposure to the logo after shows like Bewitched or The Monkees, the film brings their stories to life with animation, found footage, and dramatic reenactments."
We reached out to the film's director to ask him... what... what the heck.
Rodney Ascher: "I've never worked for Screen Gems and the film wasn't inspired by any particular feelings I had about Screen Gems the company. I actually enjoyed the shows they produced when I was kid and like a lot of what they're doing now theatrically. The film is more about the logo than the company. When I stumbled over this page dedicated to the logo (http://jsf3.homestead.com) - it woke up long buried memories. Not that I was scared exactly, but I was confused and fascinated when I saw this and other similar animated logos as a very, very young kid. Something I think about my first exposure to electronic animation and music and how robotic and alien it seemed."
Ascher said that he did not consider any other logos before Sceen Gems. But linked from The S From Hell is a treasure trove of "logophobia," including numbers Screen Gems tribute pages as well as "Logos of Death" and "Logos...from Hell!!!"
The film's Logophobia page also has a number of nostalgia-inducing "logos of note." Two of which are below.
If you love logos, and/or oddball things, "The S From Hell" site is not to be missed.