In the new age of product placement, it's difficult to believe a movie like Underworld: Awakening could only have one easily identifiable brand. (And a gun brand at that.)
Not that the franchise was ever a product placement extravaganza. The first two films in 2003 and 2006 had but 13 identifiable products between them: a handful of them, also gun brands.
In the Underworld franchise's fourth outing, this new #1 movie adds to a robust collection of film "brands": A fake bioengineering corporation.
Twelve years after a "purge" by humans of the vampires and "Lycans," a biotech conglomerate called Antigen conducts questionable bioengineering research to create hybrid species. Antigen is just the latest in a long line of Hollywood corporations that ignore bioethics standards to engineer all manner of world-threatening evil.
A few of the more famous:
• In the mold of Antigen is the zombie-soldier-breeding Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil series.
• More kid friendly, but with similarly disastrous results is InGen's work reviving dinosaur species from the Jurassic Park franchise.
• Omni Consumer Products had a hit when they created the half-man half-machine public safety officer, Robocop.
• In 2005's The Island, Merrick Biotech breeds and raises human clones to be on hand for organ transplants should their real-world counterparts fall ill.
• Similarly invested in the shadow world of our healthcare future is The Union from 2010's Repo Men:
Everyone's favorite scientific cautionary tale from the Terminator franchise, Cyberdyne Systems, has inspired fan-made ads:
Back in 1973, the Soylent Corporation made Soylent Green, and we all know what that was, right?
"Building Better Worlds" was the tagline of Weyland-Yutani from the Aliens series. Ripley found out the hard way that part of that "building" was happening inside her stomach. Weyland-Yutani is another beneficiary of some creative fan-made commercials:
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been on the receiving end of several of Hollywood's top evil bioengineering interests. After Cyberdyne Systems, Ahnold was cloned by Replacement Technologies in his less than epic 2000 film The 6th Day. In between though, Schwarzenegger fell into the twisted world of Rekall, the corporation running the memories industry in Total Recall.
Then there is the granddaddy of all unethical, fictional bioengineering brands: Tyrell Corporation. Indeed, the advanced engineering corporation with the tagline "More Human than Human" drove the very philosophical question at the heart of the classic Blade Runner.
For all of the brands in Underworld: Awakening, visit the Brandcameo product placement database. And stay tuned for the annual Brandcameo Product Placement Awards in February.