My take on Rick Santorum’s “Obamaville” ad.

I apologize right now to all the readers who don’t get this reference–which will be most of you–but I had to write it: After seeing his “Obamaville” ad, I believe Rick Santorum thinks he is going to be like Father Grigori from Half-Life 2. Am I right?

I mean, look at this thing:


I guess the title is supposed to evoke both The Amityville Horror and the same idea as “Hoovervilles“. But they clearly decided to take the apocalyptic survival/horror theme and run with it. I’m frankly surprised they didn’t call it “President Evil“. (A survival horror game in which Chris and Jill are replaced by Rick and Sarah. Dammit, I should stop giving them ideas.) Jon McNaughton would have done that; if you’re going to be unsubtle, you may as well be as unsubtle as possible.

My cinematographic problem with the ad is that it mixes and matches filming styles. Mostly it looks like a gritty, zombie-apocalypse/slasher flick, but every now and again a little touch of more sophisticated horror seeps in–there are a couple shots that evoke The Shining.

Then of course there’s the pseudo-subliminal linking of Obama with Ahmadinejad at around the 40 second mark. Why didn’t they just go all-out and throw in Captain Howdy as well? It seemed like they were putting every other trope in.

Here’s the other problem with this piece of propaganda: it seems sort of comical. I mean, I don’t like high gasoline prices either, but when you couch it with Hollywood apocalypse imagery, it comes off as unserious–like whining, in other words. But the production values are so high that it doesn’t seem like the ad is trying for just a cheesy “Obama is like a monster!” gag. It seems pretty serious, except it can’t really be serious, because it still looks like a horror flick.

And then of course there’s the fact that I disagree with all of the political ideas underlying the ad. So, all in all, I’d have to say that I think it sucks.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?