In America the Ring series only lasted two films, but in Japan it’s had a complicated afterlife: there was a proper sequel, an alternate version released simultaneously with the first film, and a prequel. This Friday sees the release of Sadako 3-D 2, the sequel to last year’s Sadako 3-D. That film revived the franchise after 12 years of dormancy in tandem with novelist Koji Suzuki bringing back his creation with the novel S. Sadako 3-D resurrected back the long-black-haired boogey-girl, and now she’s back for yet another round.
As part of the sequel’s promotional blitz, “Sadako” threw out the first pitch at a baseball game on Saturday between the Chunichi Dragons and Hanshin Tigers. After a few off-field warm-up throws, Sadako marched on field accompanied by three miniature doubles, threw a 68 mph ball, then promptly collapsed in a swoon and was taken off the field on a stretcher:
This was the second first-pitch from Sadako, who made a similar appearance in May to coincide with Sadako 3-D. In fact, the stunt was just one part of a multi-tiered advertising strategy with lots of other attention-getting components. Tokyo theme park Joypolis currently has a walk-through attraction called “Sadako 3-D 2: Child of Sadako.” Here, attendees are “reporters,” taking photos to unravel a mystery as they walk around, randomly getting scared while seeing clips from the film. (Anime News Network notes that Sadako’s hiding in no less than 17 places around the park.) Afterwards, you can refresh yourself with food items like “Sadako’s hair dog,” a hot dog that indeed looks like it’s covered with her trademark follicles. In related food-item news, three Fridays ago the Japanese fast-food chain Lotteria dialed up the frights a notch by having “Sadako” pop up unexpectedly and serve freaked-out customers a shake topped with chocolate-y “hair.”
The spirit of gimmicky innovation on display in these stunts is set to extend to the film itself, as The Hollywood Reporter noted last month will be shown in “smartphone 4-D.” Viewers will be encouraged to download an app beforehand that’ll deliver extra jolts throughout the screening via “flashes, sounds, vibrations and things appearing on the smartphone screen,” according to the company handling Japanese promotion of the film.