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A Bunch Of Actors Dressed Like ISIS Fighters Stormed A Mall In Iran To Promote A Film And Yup It's As Bad As It Sounds

Someone actually thought this would be a good idea.

Posted on May 8, 2018, at 4:46 p.m. ET

There’s no such thing as bad publicity, unless that publicity is actors dressed as ISIS fighters running into a mall shouting while waving (fake) guns and swords in people's faces.

Instagram: @miladsalehi325

That’s what happened in Iran on Monday, when actors, one of whom was on horseback, “stormed” the Kourosh shopping centre in Tehran to promote the Iranian film Damascus Time.

Instagram: @vahid1671

Video and pictures posted online showed shocked shoppers staring at the men as they stomped about and threw fast food and candy around.

Instagram: @hosseinsalehiara

While many shoppers just stood by and filmed them on their cellphones, others walked nervously away, while screaming can also be heard in the videos.

Instagram: @mikaelbarati

Another video posted online showed a man apparently shouting at the actors for scaring people in the mall. Last June, ISIS launched a terror attack in Iran, killing 17 people in shootings at the country's parliament building and the mausoleum of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Instagram: @miladsalehi325

Many people criticized the mall stunt online, including writers and journalists with connections to Iran.

Isn't it the most stupid way of "advertisement" for a movie? disguising people like #ISIS marching with a horse in a mall to encourage people to watch "Damascus Time" by Ebrahim Hatamikia #Iran 😳🤨 https://t.co/dE2vikhckz https://t.co/N8kYksoMIJ

اینکه عده ای راگریم کرده اندبه شکل #داعش و راهی پاساژ #کوروش کرده اندواقعا تبلیغ خلاقانه است؟ پخش کننده فیلم یا #اوج، تهیه کننده #به_وقت_شام برای این تبلیغ بایدموردپرسش قراربگیردکه این چگونه تبلیغی است.کمترین نتیجه خلاقیتشان عادی سازی خشونت وعادی نشان دادن حضورداعش درتهران است. https://t.co/B8LiNZXsPp

Now Iran has its own war on terror, complete with live ISIS film trailers at the mall. Iranian mall action, always edgy, now also bananas. https://t.co/CTmoxYGCgD

Damascus Time tells the story of two Iranian pilots on a humanitarian relief mission to Syria to save a city surrounded by ISIS fighters. The film’s director, Ebrahim Hatamikia, apologized for the publicity stunt on Instagram.

Instagram: @hatamikia

He wrote:

To the marketing team of Damascus Time: I've seen you do incredible work day and night over the past few months; but this demonstration was not worthy of Damascus Time. It's left a really bad taste in my mouth.

My expectation was that a man with a red beard would be standing outside of the Kourosh complex for people to take pictures with him. No horses, no crowds, no screaming. And even then I didn't imagine it would be inside the complex; I was completely unaware of this.

To those who were hurt and offended by this act — including the shop owners of the complex — if I have upset you or caused distress, please forgive me and accept my sincerest apologies.

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