The stench of 4D isn’t going away

Be careful not to say bad things out loud because they may happen. That’s the old superstition anyways, and I hope I didn’t cause it happen when I joked about 4D, or what used to be called Smell-O-Vision.

But with the release of Spy Kids 4, now there’ve been more reports 4D than ever.

“Tired of 3-D?,” asked New York Magazine. “Then get ready for 4-D, complete with smoke, smells, and punches.” 

Yes, it won’t just be scented movies, but the seats will move, there will also be wind, smoke, strobe lights, and water blasting in your face.


There’s a company from South Korea named CJ 4DPlex that’s working on all this technology, and according to New York, there’s already 4-D theaters in South Korea, Mexico, China and Bangkok, with plans to set up a screening and editing facility in L.A.

Nobody would tell the magazine about plans for this technology in American theaters yet, but they’d obviously love to set up a place with all this stuff in New York.


Of course for Spy Kids, things are a lot more low-tech with scratch and sniff cards.

 As the L.A. Times reports, Robert Rodriguez’s 4D is hyped to put you “nose first into the fourth dimension,” and he calls the gimmick “Aroma-Scope.” Rodriguez also claims he got the idea sniffing the diaper of Jessica Alba’s baby – which is already a little TMI. He has five kids himself, and figured Aroma-Scope would be fun for younger moviegoers.


Rodriguez also told the Associated Press, “Just watching my own kids with interactive gaming, you ask them to watch a movie, it just feels so passive to them. I thought, this helps bridge the gap. It’s an interactive thing, almost like plyaing a game while you’re watching the movie.”


The Times also listed a bunch of films that could benefit from Aroma-Vision, including Bridesmaids (If you’ve seen the movie, you know what excremental scene they’re referring to, to which I say no thanks), The Tree of Life (which could help bring the garden and foliage to scented life), and Pirates of the Caribbean. (For some strange reason, the Times also wants to smell Keith Richards).


Clearly, most of the current crop of movies won’t work well with this new technology. Then again, that didn’t stop Hollywood before, as it tried to bring movies to life with the extra dimension of smell, including The Scent of Fear, Behind the Great Wall (a documentary on China), the John Waters comedy Polyester, and Rugrats Go Wild.

Yet when Deadline found out Rodiguez took the diaper inspiration even further and made it one of the scratch and sniff scents in the film, the site remarked, “Now let’s bring back Sensurround.”