Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Animal Rights Group Defends Move That Tricked Audience into Watching Documentary

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Animal Rights Group Defends Move That Tricked Audience into Watching Documentary

Article excerpt

Animal rights group defends movie trick move

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An animal rights organization is defending its decision to air a documentary on animal exploitation after billing it as a horror movie for early Halloween revellers.

The Kitchener Ontario Animal Liberation Alliance (KOALA) readily concedes it tricked nearly 200 people into turning up for last Thursday's free screening of a film which it advertised as "possibly the scariest movie ever created."

Instead of a slasher flick or Halloween-themed special, however, it screened "Earthlings," a 2005 American documentary depicting the treatment of animals in areas ranging from pet stores to the fashion industry.

KOALA member Malcom Klimowicz says the graphic footage in the movie is frightening by any measure, adding that what he calls the true horror of the film comes from the fact that it depicts real events.

But half of the 140 people who were allowed into the theatre for a screening objected to the tactic, walking out within the first half hour.

Many of them denounced the group for false advertising and criticized them for not providing the good time suggested in promotional material.

Klimowicz says the group delivered exactly what was promised.

"People came expecting to see a terrifying horror movie, but it's terrifying in the sense that it was real life," he said in a telephone interview.

"Earthlings," directed by Shaun Monson and narrated by Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix, relies on secretly shot footage of animal treatment in a variety of industries.

Among the images in the film are shots that depict abandoned pets being killed in a gas chamber, cattle being branded before slaughter, and pigs being drowned in boiling water.

Klimowicz said KOALA was straightforward about their plans when they reserved the theatre where the film was aired, disclosing exactly which movie would be shown.

He said the Princess Cinemas only voiced concerns about audience reaction and had allowed the group to book the venue. …

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