Not content with three fake dimensions, Dimension Films (seriously) is going to release Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World with one more facet: the sense of smell.

Smell-o-Vision was an abject failure as a movie fad – only appearing in the 1960 movie Scent of Mystery after its development by Hans Laube. The idea was that it could add to the film-watching experience by allowing an audience to smell what was happening on screen. Although there were competing technologies like AromaRama, the concept was one that never worked in a real theater setting (because scents don’t just go away instantly when you need them to, and the room ends up smelling like burnt roses buried in cigarettes and maple syrup).

Learning from the overkill of Scent of Mystery‘s 30 smells, Sky Kids 4 will only have 8 points during the film where the audience can smell what’s happening on screen. Plus, instead of a puff of air, the movie’s “Aromascope” will achieve the effect by use of a rub-and-sniff card with corresponding numbers. That method was used with John Waters’s re-release of Polyester in 1982 (although he called it Odorama), and it worked well, but it’s all still a huge gimmick. And before you think it’s the studio that’s forcing it on the helpless artiste Robert Rodriguez, here’s his near-robotic statement included in the press release: “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.”

No report yet on what Jessica Alba’s scent square will smell like when rubbed.


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