Kevin Smith's use of a mildly naughty word keeps earning him the free publicity he was probably aiming for: The indie auteur says Wal-Mart has asked him to drop "porno" from Zack and Miri Make a Porno's title on boxes of the DVD sold at the retail chain.
"I'm just so shocked that the word 'porno' meant that much to people in terms of, like, they found it insanely offensive and don't want to see it on display," Smith said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
He says Wal-Mart's attempts to shield customers from anything offensive might backfire, because they might not grasp the movie's plot without the title.
"Some Wal-Mart-er could buy it and think: 'Oh, Zack and Miri, looks lovely,' and pop it in and there's ... some pretty graphic stuff," said Smith, who also directed Clerks, Chasing Amy, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. "I mean, at least with the word 'porno' in the title, you can kind of give people a warning about what they're in for."
In the fall, the film ran ads featuring stick-figure illustrations of stars Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks because the original posters were too risqué.
Wal-Mart representatives didn't return a call for comment.
What do you think? Does the word "porno" offend you? Do you think Wal-Mart's customers are in for a surprise?