Advert or Horror Film?

It’s been a slow day at the office, what with 20,000 words that need wrangling, and all of them scattering like cats from a bucket of cold water. It’s times like these that the mind starts to wander, and I couldn’t help looking at some of my Antarctic adverts in something of a new light…

Taking segments, it was hard to tell if they were from and Advert or Horror Film. Here’s the quiz. There’s more of a challenge to follow though – for those that are actually adverts,  what sort of a plot could you see developing? Who will die the grisliest death, at the hands of whom? You’ve all of Antarctica to play with here, and all winter to let the narrative play out, drip by psychological drip…

So, are the images below cropped from an Antarctic Advert or a Horror Movie? Aaaaand GO!

No. 1

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.16.48 pm

No. 2

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.33.02 pm

No. 3

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.50.01 pm

No. 4

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 4.42.56 pm

No. 5

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 4.47.56 pm


Aaaaaand the answers (DRUMROLL please…)


No. 1 – Predictably enough, it’s an ADVERT! (I do spend quite a bit of time looking at those, so it does figure). More specifically, it is a 1956 advert for A.O. Smith Milwaukee Wisconsin, featuring  USS Glacier, and talking about the US Operation Deepfreeze. The runners that worked in the Antarctic provide “dramatic proof” of the ability of the company – if they work in the most extreme environment, then anything else is bound to be a doddle. #Extremity

Source: ebay advert 


No. 2 – Poster for John Carpenter’s “The Thing” – If you thought that film was creepy when watching it at home, spare a thought for the many expeditions who first saw a screening just after the last plane had left for the season, leaving them alone for the long winter ahead…

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.52.58 pm

No. 3 – This, ladies and gents, is a still from the top-class movie “Attack of the Killer Refrigerator.” No, I didn’t just make that up. (Although I may have googled “Revenge of the Killer Fridge” as a long shot, just to see what was out there). As it turns out, THIS is what’s out there. No words. Let’s move right along…

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 4.43.53 pm

No. 4 – We’re back in familiar territory now, with the front page of a booklet promoted by Bond & Bond Ltd (New Zealand). Entitled “Peril in the Antarctic,” the booklet contains a collection of thrilling scenes to colour in, with each page sponsored by a product or brand. Think skiing down to a Weet-Bix box, or chasing a penguin that has stolen your Mycroft biscuits. This gem was unearthed at the National Library of New Zealand, and has provided many a laugh (and many a strange look when it comes up in my talks…)

dont vote Antarctica

No. 5 – The dripping ice may have given the wrong impression here – or the right impression. Advert, horror film, or both? That depends on your point of view. This poster was part of a wider campaign by Borders, Perrin and Norrander, Inc, designed to encourage people to vote (this Polar Bear spot is another from the series). The future it refers to is reminiscent of a horror film though – filled with apathy and melting ice. This advert also plays off the Metallica concert in Antarctica, using the font associated with the band as a headline.

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