Repeated viewings of the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau’s new promotional video “Deep. In the Heart.” reveal their grammatically suspect slogan is less a reference to the classic Texas ballad and more an indication of where we’re going to stick our crudely fashioned stone knives when we sacrifice unsuspecting visitors to the river gods in some sort of bloody Aztec ceremony. Seriously, this thing gives me the creeps. In addition to the weird, soft-focus look and the narrator’s inhumanly deep voice, here are a few of the commercial’s strangest highlights with their approximate times for those of you becoming unsettled along at home:
0:00- 0:15 After an innocent enough opening — the vaginal allusions of that yellow rose floating on the river notwithstanding — we get a pretty immediate indication that something isn’t right here. That creepy background music tossed with the narrator’s schizophrenic word salad (note the “hats of history” non sequitur at 0:15), which later peaks at 1:20, lets potential vacationers know San Antonio is no ho-hum tourist trap. We’re out to swallow your fucking souls.
0:24 Cowboy hat man #1 perpetuates the stereotype in front of the Alamo. May I remind you, San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, that most of the people in America think we still dress like that here?
0:58 – 1:00 Bwaaaghhh! Holy shitting shit, man, did you see that? In what has to be the year’s best jump scare, this old man in a white suit materializes out of nowhere immediately after the narrator mentions our “welcoming (g)hosts.” Thank Jesus I’m not wearing white pants, if you take my meaning.* (* i.e., I totally pooped myself.)
1:04-1:06 Now, we’re on to something — namely, pitching San Antonio as a town of red-hot lady loving. Oh. Hell. Yes. And with the Alamo in the background, to boot. Who says Texans are homophobic?
1:10-1:13 This materialization is somewhat less startling because they’ve used this trick only seconds before, but, when you start to think about it, the scene is much more disturbing. That little girl is sitting unattended on some old steps when suddenly … Ok. I admit I have no idea what’s supposed to be going on. Are those apparating children dueling aspects of the original little girl’s personality made manifest, or are they the twins from The Shining? If so, wouldn’t “Come and play in San Antonio … for ever and ever and ever,” have been a way more badass slogan?
1:20 – 1:45 Most of the word image combinations are nonsensical here, but as Sarah Fisch astutely pointed out, the worst offender comes at 1:23. What’s more soulful than two white dudes playing golf at a fancy pants club? Practically anything else you can name, it turns out.
1:57 Homemade guacamole — an enticing, and completely normal, reason to visit SA. I have to assume it was included on accident.
2:06 Cowboy hat man #2. Couldn’t they find anybody wearing spurs and chaps? It’s amazing they never attempted send a camera crew to my house on Naked Rodeo Night.
2:33 Tasty-looking margaritas. By pretending for a moment to be a normal commercial, the film lulls you into a false sense of security like that canoe scene at the end of Friday the 13th.
2:40 – 2:45 Are these the “hats of history”? If so, should we really be letting the bear wear one? That seems kind of disrespectful.
2:54 Then bam. Just when you’ve gotten comfortable, we get a quick, terrifying flash of horse heads moving in perfect synchronicity. You don’t need an equestrian veteranarian to tell you that shit ain’t natural.
3:09 And we’re done. Conclusion: Come for the tasty Mexican food, cowboy hats, and chicks making out in public; stay because we’re most likely going to murder you.