Yes, Robert Rodriguez is bringing Smell-O-Vision back

When we last took a look back at the…ah…cinematic innovation known as Smell-O-Vision, it was supposed to be all in fun. 

But now it seems as if Smell-O-Vision is going to be brought back for the fourth installment of Spy Kids, directed by Robert Rodriguez.

Rodriguez is calling his version of Smell-O-Vision Armoascope, as well as “4D.”

Entertainment Weekly reports Armoascope will also be done the same way Waters did Polyester; meaning, the scents have numbers, and when the right number appears on the screen, you’ll know what scent to scratch and sniff.

EW is also apparently quite excited about this, writing, “Just imagine what kind of box-office boon this [could] have been for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Or Julie and Julia.”

It also quoted Rodriguez in a press release saying, “Families are going to love the interactivity of this new addition to the movie going experience. And best of all, you won’t have to pay extra for 4D Aromascope, which will be provided to every theater whether it be 2D or 3D.”


Of course, those posting comments on EW are just rolling their eyes, not to mention pointing out that one of the Rugrats movies did this too, which even this self-respecting pop culture geek did not know. And perhaps that’s another reason why they’re doing this, because it could be fun for kids.


Anne Thompson also wrote on IndieWire, “Rodriguez gets credit for helping to revive 3-D and now, might bring back an extra dimension to the filmgoing.”

Now I had forgotten that he did two flicks in 3D before the latest 3D crusade, both forgettable, namely Spy Kids 3 and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.


Rodriguez of course first made prominence with his first film, El Mariachi, which allegedly was done for $30,000. (Most filmmakers will tell you this is impossible unless you get all equipment and services for free.) He was also one of the first directors to completely abandon film for digital video, and publicly lead that parade down the street.


Rodriguez can be a very clever filmmaker, although the last movie I liked from him hit theaters over six years ago (Sin City), and a lot of his recent choices in making films seem pretty ridiculous. Forget Machete, anyone remember his planned remake of Barbarella with his girlfriend Rose McGowan in the lead? Thank God it didn’t come to pass and we’re not holding our heads in pain over that one.


Rodriguez has definitely done some clever things with his imagination and resourcefulness, but I don’t think Aromascope’s gonna be the next big salvation of Hollywood. 

Really, I can’t see Jeffrey Katzenberg leading that parade down the street, and even if he did, I think it would wind up trapped in an alley like the parade marchers at the end of Animal House.