Generally I don’t see a lot of commercials that require comment nor debate, unless it’s around Super Bowl time. And ever since I’ve had a satellite DVR, I’ve dispensed with commercials as quickly as I can hit the fast forward button.
DirecTV has had these series of commercials for a couple of years now where they’ll bring back stars from TV shows or movies in pivotal scenes and then digitally insert the stars riffing on how all they want to do is watch DirecTV rather than doing what they were doing in said pivotal scene. The two that immediately come to mind are Sigourney Weaver in the power loader facing off against the Alien Queen on the Sulaco in Aliens.
Another is Robert Patrick back in liquid metal during the chopper scene in Terminator 2. Apparently the T-1000 didn’t want to whack John Connor, he just wanted to watch his big screen. Okay, sure, why not? Now generally I like these commercials about as much as the next guy. They’re fairly clever and unique. So no harm no foul as far as I’m concerned.
However, the latest one is a send up of Poltergeist. This time it’s with Craig T. Nelson, saying how he’ll be haunted by not choosing DirecTV over cable. Yes, this latest spot stars Craig T. Nelson…and Heather O’Rourke. You know, the unfortunate little girl from the movie who passed away tragically 20 years ago.
Heather O’Rourke has always had a stigma around her passing, with it supposedly being related to the so-called Poltergeist Curse. Personally, although co-star Dominique Dunne also tragically was murdered in 1982, I never subscribed much to this curse and simply chalked it up to a little girl who was the victim of an unfortunate set of circumstances with her own body and possible malpractice by a hospital.
Of course, tragic or not, it doesn’t stop corporate America from digging up her image and exploiting it to sell some friggin’ dishes and some bandwidth. And Craig T. Nelson apparently has no qualms about it. I don’t put this in the same category as that old Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner commercial nor Paula Abdul dancing next to a young Gene Kelly. This is something else entirely. Something disturbing. This is whoring out a little girl’s memory for a few bucks.
Personally, I have DirecTV. When the damn thing’s working it’s great. And I’ve liked Craig T. Nelson in a bunch of things he’s done. But honestly, WTF?
Catch it here if you haven’t already: Poltergeist DirecTV ad.