Posted on Saturday, August 9th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
Due to a number of reader requests and the unprecedented success of this viral marketing campaign (if true!), Slashfilm will finally address The Montauk Monster. When a foul, suspiciously beaked creature allegedly washed ashore a beach near Montauk, Long Island last month, the above photo captivated the world’s cubicle inhabitants thanks to the diligently crazed, beloved reportage of Gawker. Was “Monty” a dead dog evidently done in by Paulie Walnuts? A harmless water rat/Satan? Colbert theorized it was John McCain. Others said it was a discarded lovechild of John Edwards. CNN introduced the meme to parents, who heply brought it up at dinner. As our crippled collective imaginations ran wild, skeptics of cryptozoology/Nick Denton posited that it was viral marketing for Cloverfield 2 or Adult Swim.
According to MontaukMonster.com and seconded by Gotham News and now Gawker, the creature might be a viral marketing prop for an indie movie about carnival subculture entitled Splinterheads, currently filming in Long Island. The film stars Lea Thompson, Rachel Taylor (Transformers) and Christopher McDonald (above photo, Fanboys, Dutch). On the director’s photo blog, Sersen Park, there is an implied shoutout underneath the monster’s pic to Rachel Goldberg—evidently the sister of the film’s producer Darren Goldberg—who “discovered” the monster and went to the press. See: this giggly interview. A few days ago, the above photo was posted on the film’s official website with the words, “We have the Montauk Monster” but this has since been removed. The page is cached here.
If true, it’s highly puzzling that Splinterheads’ filmmakers haven’t taken a more aggressive approach to linking their film and the legendary monster-pic sensation, especially so late in the game. As Gawker points out, perhaps it’s a ghetto hoax inside an uberhoax. But if “Monty” is indeed a guerilla publicity stunt for a $1 million movie (or any film), we suggest JJ Abrams make a toast. Developing (in our minds)…
Discuss: If you’re on the case of the Montauk Monster, what have you heard? Do you think it’s a viral marketing stunt or simply a cute raccoon exploited for Internet hits and filler for talking heads?
Game: Using the three actors above, is the monster six degrees of Kevin Bacon? Update: /Film commenter, The Marquis, solved it first: Christopher Mcdonald was in Rumor Has It with
Jennifer Aniston, who in turn starred with Kevin Bacon in Picture Perfect. Tada.