'Spy Kids 4' Hitting Theaters with an All-New Form of Smell-O-Vision
by Ethan Anderton
June 24, 2011
Looking back at some of the films in his career, it's no secret that director Robert Rodriguez is a fan of over-the-top, B-movie spirit in films like Machete, Planet Terror, The Faculty and even Sin City. Now he's bringing another cheesy gimmick back to theaters with his franchise sequel/reboot Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World that will utilize Aroma-Scope, which is basically a different version of the infamous Smell-O-Vision from the 60's which allows audiences to experience the film with not only their eyes, but their noses as well. That's where all this promotion of Spy Kids being in 4D (see the poster) is coming from.
I doubt this will become a trend as popular as 3D (though Spy Kids 3D: Game Over was one of the earlier films to utilize the dated technology before Hollywood became obsessed with the third dimension), but for a big, fun family film like this, there's the potential for a really entertaining theater experience. Rodriguez told USA Today, "After Spy Kids 3, I had to do something new, add another surprise." So how does it work? The surprise will come in the form of an Aromascope card (which comes free with each ticket) containing a series of numbers to rub when the corresponding number flashes on the screen. And then you'll have a scent from the scene in the movie thus putting you deeper into the world of Spy Kids.
Here's the new Spy Kids poster really hitting home the 4D and Aroma-Scope aspect of the movie:
It's nice that this kind of feature won't inflate ticket prices anymore than they already are, but it'll be interesting to see if audiences enjoy the moviegoing experience any more (or less) with this kind of pseudo-interactive element added. Honestly, it really is one of the cheesiest gimmicks to hit theaters in awhile, and it seems strange considering Smell-O-Vision was apparently named one of the 100 Worst Ideas of All-Time according to a recent TIME reader survey. As much fun as it will be, I don't know if it will get more audiences into the theater. After all, I don't know if I would see a movie based on a recommendation from a friend saying, "That movie smelled great!" But what do you guys think?
A few more tidbits from the press release: The introduction of scent in the movie going experience adds to the outrageous fun by enhancing the action, adventure and comedy to take you where no film has gone before. Let's hope that's true. "Families are going to love the interactivity of this new addition to the movie going experience. And best of all, you won't have to pay extra for 4D Aroma-Scope, which will be provided to every theater whether it be 2D or 3D," said Robert Rodriguez. 4 times the gadgets, 4 times the adventure and 4 times the dimension. Audiences can get a whiff of the bigger, better experience on August 19th when Spy Kids: All the Time in the World in 4D opens in theaters.