Unorthodox 'Repo Men' campaign features contest

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At the South by Southwest (SXSW) film conference, Repo Men director, Miguel Sapochnik, debuted a graphic movie now available online and described the film's unique, multi-faceted marketing campaign, that includes a web comic, viral ad spots and a contest.

The 6:42 graphic short "extends the narrative," the director explained. The stylish film, illustrated by Dennis Calero, features Jude Law's character Remy on the psychiatrist's couch offering insight into the inner workings of a Repo Man. Another episode will be released in a week.

The sci-fi thriller, which also stars Forest Whitaker and Liev Schreiber, follows an agent repossessing mechanical organs from patients who can't afford them; when he finds himself in the same situation, he goes on the run to escape the fate he has doled out. It releases March 19 in the US.

In addition to the conventional trailer and featurette with cast interviews, the futuristic theme of the movie led to a mysterious online marketing campaign that makes the film world appear real. Also there are faux ads for The Union, the company in Repo Men that produces and sells the costly body parts, such as a $750,000 liver. The posters can be seen at Wired's website (

The campaign also includes a contest, inspired by Wired magazine, that sought out "creative adventurous people" who could win $7,500 for "disappearing" for a month in an effort to replicate the film's storyline. The film studio and magazine coordinated the online competition, in which contestants must complete requested tasks and elude "hunters" attempting to track them down.

Clues have appeared in trailer clips and online, said the director. To date, two people have been "repo'd," while two others remain at large. Join the hunt in tracking them down and win $15,000 if found before March 25. Info at

Repo Men shouldn't be confused with a 2008 film, Repo! The Genetic Opera, which has a similar premise and details, and is now available on DVD.

The two trailers for Repo Men include a standard version and a "red band" or restricted version with graphic imagery and violence, a standard for previews established by the Motion Picture Association of America, for material containing nudity, profanity and material considered inappropriate for children.

Red band/director's cut: