When the flatulence-filled Swiss Army Man screened at the Sundance Film Festival, it was polarizing, to say the least. It even prompted a multitude of disgusted filmgoers to leave the theater, what Variety described as “could win the festival’s award for the most walk-outs.” The divisive Swiss Army Man is the feature film debut from the quirky filmmaking duo Daniels. The film itself stars Daniel Radcliffe (another Daniel) as a farting corpse with strange magical abilities, and Paul Dano as his suicidal, but very much alive, companion. As a part of the film’s marketing, an interactive version of Radcliffe’s ragdollian, ever-farting corpse is draggable across the film’s website.
The Daniels, Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, got their start directing unconventional shorts and wild music videos. Absurd humor and inventive, dramatic visual effects became a staple for the directing twofer, culminating in the face-melting music video for DJ Snake and Lil Jon’s party anthem, “Turn Down for What.” Eventually, the Daniels embarked on a brand new adventure: writing and directing their first film. “Honestly, the only thing we were trying to do was start a movie with a fart joke and end the movie with a fart that makes you cry,” explained Kwan in an interview with Rolling Stone. And thus, Swiss Army Man was born.
Given the film’s jarring plot (in which Dano escapes a deserted island by riding on a farting boat-like Radcliffe) and the role of Radcliffe himself, this approach to marketing game-making makes complete sense. Its interactivity is a bare-minimum, you can drag Radcliffe’s “Manny” across the screen, his limbs flailing everywhere. You can text “buddy” to the number Manny tells you, as he spits out words that are typable within the game’s interface.
“I don’t know what DREAMS are but I bet they are nice,” read the automated text I received. And by typing “dreams,” everything in my browser’s peripheral became floaty. Typing “compass” gives Manny an erection (which, as it turns out, is actually a plot point in Swiss Army Man itself… perhaps unsurprisingly). Swiss Army Man’s browser game companion is maybe the best way to accentuate the weirdness of the film itself. Giving additional flavor to the otherwise bizarre abilities that Radcliffe carries in the movie, and showcasing them in a fun, interactive fashion beyond just watching the film itself.
You too can make Daniel Radcliffe fart, karate chop wood, become a human water fountain, get an erection, and wear a party hat right in your browser on the Swiss Army Man website. Swiss Army Man will be released in New York and Los Angeles on June 24, before going to nationwide theaters on July 1.
Via The A.V. Club