This Weeks’ Unfortunate Timing of Art Imitating Life

Sleepy Hollow's HEADLESS DAY Digital Post Cards

Sleepy Hollow’s HEADLESS DAY Digital Post Cards

Earlier this week a video uploaded to the Internet showed the the execution of American Journalist Steven Sotloff at the hands of an member of the Middle-Eastern militant group ISIS. The execution came in the form of a beheading, and delivered as a second message to the United States to halt airstrikes in Iraq.

In a bad bit of public relations timing, the same day of the news of Sotloff’s demise, various studios around Hollywood sent email press releases and updates on upcoming Film, Television and Home Video projects that coincidentally (but not intentionally) all had a gruesome and coincidental theme…headlessness.

Though some of the agencies hired by the studios to handle these promotions issued retractions and apologies, the uncanny timing of these sort of things sometimes is just that, uncanny, as well as unfortunate. What seems like poor taste boils down to really bad timing that no one could have foreseen or anticipated.

Click ahead to see the various examples below of these Press/Media alerts that came across the Beyond the Marquee News desk.



An ECard for Sleepy Hollow the TV Series on Blu-Ray/DVD

An ECard for Sleepy Hollow the TV Series on Blu-Ray/DVD


The publicity team THINK JAM, a well-established digital marketing agency based out of Los Angeles, New York and London who among their many clients handle promotion for FOX’s Sleepy Hollow TV series on Blu-ray and DVD, sent this out Tuesday, September 2nd, at 12:49pm;


Hi –

Heads will roll as sleepyheads celebrate Headless Day today, September 2. On this National Beheading Day, viewers everywhere can share in the fun as fans prepare for the release of Sleepy Hollow: Season One on Digital HD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD September 16.

We hope you like them and are able to share them with your readers! If you share via your social media platforms, please tag them with #HeadlessDay!


An ECard for Sleepy Hollow the TV Series on Blu-Ray/DVD

An ECard for Sleepy Hollow the TV Series on Blu-Ray/DVD


National Beheading Day!?!? Who designates a day for that!?!? Has this day always existed or was it just a creative and REALLY horrible coincidental fluke conjured up by the publicity team that mirrored a beheading actually taking place on this day!?!? I checked CHASE’S CALENDAR of EVENTS and couldn’t find this day in their database. I’m not sure I want to watch or be in the Headless Day parade anytime soon!

So at 2:10pm, an email was sent out from THINK JAM with their sincere apologetic retraction…


Dear Journalists,

We apologize for the unfortunate timing of our Sleepy Hollow Headless Day announcement. The tragic news of Steven Sotloff’s death hit the web as the email was being sent.

Our deepest sympathies are with him and his family, and we don’t take the news lightly.

Had we have known this information prior, we would have never released the alert and realize it’s in poor taste.

Please accept our sincerest apologies.

Sleepy Hollow Team


At 6:49pm on Tuesday, Sunshine Sachs, an agency out of New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles sent out this Press Release for DEAD SNOW 2: Red vs Dead;


Hi there,

I wanted to pass along the brand new final poster for Dead Snow II: Red vs. Dead, the sequel to the 2009 horror film Dead Snow which was the first Norwegian movie of its genre to be selected to the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. We would love to do something with you for release whether it be a feature or for review.


Unsuspectingly innocent, a zombie movie about dead Nazi soldiers with an agenda of revenge…but take a look at the poster shared and the headline; “Heads Up, They’re Back”. Again, no way of knowing the days events would unfold with the tragedy of Sotloff, but there certainly was a horrific beheading theme circulating out there in the universe on this day.


NOTE: The prior teaser poster for this film had a tagline that read "The Sequel You Did NAZI Coming!"

NOTE: The prior teaser poster for this film had a tagline that read “The Sequel You Did NAZI Coming!”



Wednesday at 10:06am, almost 24 hours since the news of Steven Sotloff’s beheading, Anchor Bay sent out this release for their upcoming Home Video release of the STARZ Original Series SPARTACUS;


All hail Spartacus – his legend will live on! Anchor Bay Entertainment releases every season of the acclaimed Starz Original series in a complete muscular thirteen-disc Blu-ray™ + Digital HD with Ultraviolet™ and DVD box set on September 16th.


The email goes on to discuss some of the Special Features of the DVD box set, but then at the end of the release, offers up this link;


SPARTACUS: THE COMPLETE SERIES Bonus Feature — “Props & Prosthetics: Heads Will Roll”


As you’ll see, this is extremely graphic…and heads roll, faces are sliced off, necks are slashed… (CRINGE).

We received an email the next day from one of the Anchor Bay publicists directly who had this to say;


Quick update. We were able to stop most of the blast from going out yesterday, which was planned weeks in advance (and first batch went out before we heard the latest Middle East news).

Only a handful of sites received the clip​, including yours since BeyondTheMarquee is at the beginning of the alphabetical list.

Thanks for your feedback.


Well from what I can tell, September seems pretty free of violent theme days (fingers are crossed).


Some of September’s NATIONAL DAY Events…

National Cheese Pizza Day

National Coffee Ice Cream Day

National Read A Book Day

National Salami Day

National Hug Your Hound Day

National Chocolate Milkshake Day

National Pecan Cookie Day

National Shamu the Whale Day

National Crush a Can Day


Though I’ll be extremely cautious on Sept 9th…

Wonderful Weirdoes Day


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