Monday, May 18, 2009

Drag Me Straight To DVD

I’m feeling a little defensive today on behalf of “One-Eyed Monster”, my current film. Don’t get me wrong, it’s doing very well! The buzz has been tremendous, and it’s definitely developing the following I’d always hoped it would.

But I’ve been reading some of the reviews, and while most are positive, several of them have become quite fond of the phrase “Straight to DVD.”

As a pure fact, they are correct. This film was released on DVD; in other words, not in theaters first. But my gripe has to do with them using the phrase pejoratively. As in—“Not good enough to be released theatrically.”

What many outside the industry fail to understand is that it costs a lot of money to release a movie theatrically, and “One-Eyed Monster” is a low-budget indie. So producers often have to way the financial risks of spending a lot to promote a movie that’s commercially risky, even if it’s a good film. Did you know that “Slumdog Millionaire” was almost a straight-to-dvd movie, rescued only at the last minute by Fox Searchlight? True fact.

Word on the street is that “One-Eyed Monster” may someday become a theatrical midnight movie staple. In the meantime, check it out on Amazon, or put it on your Netflix queue, and I think you’ll have a lot of fun. You heard it straight from the dick’s hole.

By the way, this is not to say that there aren’t movies out there released straight to DVD that totally suck. Many of them do. To wit, here are three of my favorites:

“Beating Meridith” (1989) Playing herself in what should have been a tour de force performance, Meridith Baxter is severely beaten six times in the course of the three and half hour film. No explanation is ever given.

“No Reservations 2” (2009) Word is that two executives at Castlerock were fired for incomprehensibly greenlighting this obscure sequel, considering the first “No Reservations” was seen by no one. That’s not an exaggeration, by the way. shows the box office gross at exactly $9.00, and that’s only because a man in Michigan was not allowed to have his money returned when he walked out during the opening credits.

“Where Am I?”—(1977) It has now attained cult status, but back then, the only film directed by a barely-functioning retarded man was considered too risky to put in theaters. The script on which it’s based “Meant For Each Other”, follows the story of a divorced couple attempting a second chance, but the director kept the camera aimed at his own shoes for 90 percent of the movie. Also, the dialogue is barely recognizable, since mostly what you hear is the sound of the director’s voice repeating the same phrase endlessly, which ultimately became the film’s new title.
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