Okay, stay with me here because this gets strange. According to the rumors we're hearing, a YouTube video appeared earlier this year which showed a girl overdosing while her friends stood around and jeered her (what a great bunch of amigos!) Now the word is that before this video surfaced, an extortion plot was hatched to get some scratch out of the people involved in the scene (which resulted in the girl's death). No one would pony up the dough so parts of the 393 minutes of footage began leaking online... enter Quentin Tarantino.
The story goes that Tarantino bought the footage and planned on releasing it as a film entitled Upper. Initially he was allegedly going to make a film based on the entire story with actual footage sprinkled in. Then he was just going to release the footage as-is.
Now it seems Tarantino has gotten cold feet about the whole situation and is not going to release the footage even though others involved in the situation badly want it shown. Got all that?
Now, if you ask Doctor Gash, I'm going to have to call shenanigans on this one. Let's look at the situation using some common sense:
1. Apparently this film is really big news because it features someone named Blake Pennington, some kind of college sports star. Well, folks, I’m a sports guy, and I've never heard of Blake Pennington. However, if I was going to make up the name of a stud Caucasian football player, I think Blake Pennington is a pretty good one (take former pro quarterback Chad Pennington, combine him with stud NBA player Blake Griffin, and you've got a pretty good fake athlete name).
2. The only website which has anything on this story is something called TheDirty.com. Nothing on PerezHilton.com, nothing on TMZ.com, nothing on ESPN.com. Nada. If something was going down involving a real overdose caught on tape and posted online, you don't think all of these media bloodhounds would have sniffed it out? Hmmm?
3. Do you think Quentin Tarantino would really get himself mixed up in this situation? We're talking about a snuff film here. He's one of the most brilliant filmmakers and storytellers of our time, and he's made a fortune telling stories. Fiction stories. There is no way Tarantino would want to get involved in this nonsense just to get his hands on some footage that would probably be next to impossible to show publicly. When was the last time you saw an actual death in the movie theater? The world has changed a lot since Faces of Death.
Now, all that being said, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Blake Pennington is some stud athlete I've missed during my lifetime of "Sportscenter" viewing. Maybe TMZ, PerezHilton and every other media outlet on the Internet fell asleep and were scooped by TheDirty. Maybe Quentin Tarantino lost faith in his filmmaking ability and decided to go an alternate route. Come on, if the best he can do anymore is Inglourious Basterds, what's the point of continuing. (Hope the sarcasm came through loud and clear on that one!) Maybe all that stuff is true and the world is going bat****. Maybe, but I doubt it.
We'll keep an ear to the ground and let you know if any more information becomes available on this story. There's also a Release the Upper Footage Facebook page, but not much info is there. If you're curious (and you've got to at least be curious), the 'leaked' trailer for Upper is below. It does seem intriguing. And I think we'll find this is a nice attempt at viral marketing leading up to a curious film. Time will tell...