Starz Offers Gonzo Promo

Thinking about dressing up as the late Hunter S. Thompson for Halloween? If you’re in the business of getting press materials from the Starz cable network, you’re in luck.

For its new documentary Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride: Hunter S. Thompson on Film (premieres Dec. 12), the creative minds at Starz shipped 1,200 cardboard mock-ups of an IBM Selectric typewriter filled with the iconographic accoutrements of the father of gonzo journalism: orange-tinted aviator glasses, a canvas fishing hat and a plastic cigarette filter loaded with a Dunhill cigarette.

The press kit is the latest in a succession of elaborate promo materials for the Liberty Media-owned network’s original programming. Most recently, Starz sent out a "body bag" and a T-shirt bearing a gory chest wound to promote its documentary Going to Pieces: The Rise and Fall of the Slasher Film.

"Everybody’s sending out so much stuff, you got to get noticed," says Starz Director of Programming & Entertainment Publicity Steve Belgard, adding that the kits are created by in-house designers.

Apparently, the legal department didn’t object to sending tobacco across state lines, but it did put the kibosh on plans to include a bottle of Flying Dog Brewery’s commemorative Gonzo Porter.

We guess tabs of LSD and a loaded .44 Magnum were out of the question.