There are many tried and true ways to market your low-budget horror movie—splatters of gore, “homages” to more popular franchises, tits—but if you truly want to appeal to today’s audiences, you’re going to need the very au courant, winsome mug of Jesse Eisenberg. It’s been scientifically proven that Jesse Eisenberg’s face, preferably looking wounded and smug simultaneously, causes spontaneous sprays of nickels to jettison from the pockets of whatever crazy parachute pants today’s kids are wearing; it’s called show business, folks. So you can hardly blame Lionsgate for doing what was necessary to move some recently released DVD copies of the 2007 horror film Camp Hell by plastering Eisenberg’s face across the cover, its title nestled safely in the buoyant sprigs of his hair.
Unfortunately, it turns out you can blame them—or rather, Eisenberg and his lawyers can, as they’re suing Lionsgate and Camp Hell production company Grindstone Entertainment for using both the cover and its trailer (below) to make Eisenberg the enlarged face of the film about a demonic possession at a Christian bible camp, despite the fact that his role amounts to little more than a five-minute cameo. Eisenberg is asking for $3 million in damages—far more than the film actually cost—as restitution for exploiting his performance, which he says he did as a favor for the friends who made the thing, friends who just couldn’t resist exploiting their Eisenberg connection for more than the usual free meals and sexual gratification a person can normally expect when you drop Jesse Eisenberg’s name. (Meanwhile, the film’s actual stars Andrew McCarthy and Dana Delany just got confirmation that the ’80s are long since over.)
If you’re hoping to acquire your own Eisenberg-faced copy of Camp Hell—as either a collector’s item, or to ruin the Christmas of the hypothetical Jesse Eisenberg fan in your family—you’d better hurry, as Amazon only has 20 copies left. And if you’re just interested in the film itself, be forewarned that, according to customer reviews, it’s “nothing but super crazy Christian extremist propaganda.” Or “clearly ANTI-CHRISTIAN,” whichever. It does, however, apparently prompt the question, “Does the movie really mean to say Steve Perry is a demon seed?”—which might be worth it on its own.
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