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Oh, wait…I thought it said sub*lingual*

psycho-rama

Here’s an interesting stinker we ran across while searching for a good ol’ atmospheric Saturday night flick: 1958’s My World Dies Screaming, AKA Terror in the Haunted House (link goes to full movie; be warned). We only sat through the first ten minutes, which seemed stupid and forgettable. Except for the psycho-rama part, which was stupid and slightly amusing.

It means subliminal images. The movie starts with a dream sequence (or a narration of a dream sequence), one that is dotted with still pictures, each on-screen for a fraction of a second. The year makes sense:

The birth of subliminal advertising as we know it dates to 1957 when a market researcher named James Vicary inserted the words “Eat Popcorn” and “Drink Coca-Cola” into a movie.

The words appeared for a single frame, allegedly long enough for the subconscious to pick up, but too short for the viewer to be aware of it. The subliminal ads supposedly created an 18.1% increase in Coke sales and a 57.8% increase in popcorn sales.

Vicary’s results turned out to be a hoax.

Okay, here’s the thing: Uncle B was only aware that the screen flashed in an odd way. Me, I was able to see the pictures clearly. Or, actually, I thought I could see the pictures clearly. When I slowed down the film and extracted the individual frames, it turns out I only really saw the top half of each. The bottom was a complete surprise.

Whoever wouldn’t mind sitting through the first three plus minutes, I’d be very interested to hear what you see, if anything.

I’ll give you some hints: the opening sequence has seven instances of two different pictures, A, B, B, B, A, A, A (per the IMDB entry, other pictures happen later in the film. I didn’t sit through the whole thing). In the version I linked, the pictures appear at 1:34:22, 1:42:20, 1:54:27, 2:06:27, 3:00, 3:06 and 3:09:12, each for about one one-hundredth of a second. Feel free to back up and try again (we did, several times).

When you’ve done that, if you care to, I’ll save you the trouble of firing up your video editing software: Picture A and Picture B.

What did you see?

sock it to me

November 30, 2015 — 10:10 pm
Comments: 9