A lot has happened since 2006, when first time filmmaker Jonathan Levine brought his slasher film “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” to the Toronto Film Festival, where it was a Midnight select showing and garnered some attention and acclaim. While mainstream critics seemed to shrug it off, niche horror sites went wild for it (With BloodyDisgusting listing it among the best horror films of the last few years) and it developed something of a cult following. It attracted enough attention to win over The Weinstein Company, whose Dimension Films label snatched up the rights (for $3.5 million) in 2007.
Seven years later, the film has yet to hit theaters. While released in the UK by Optimum Releasing, the reason for “Mandy Lane” having been shelved in the US has to do with a bit of distributor juggling that occurred when Dimension got cold feet. They were dealing with an expensive box office disappointment in the form of “Grindhouse” and subsequently pitched the film over to Senator Entertainment US, which has since gone bankrupt, leaving the horror film all but permanently dead and buried.
Of course, this only elevated “Mandy Lane”‘s cult stature, as it upped its hard-to find, bootlegged value has an underrated horror film. Meanwhile, director Jonathan Levine became a hot name after his 2008 indie dramedy “The Wackness” debuted at Sundance; which he followed up with the even more successful Joseph Gordon-Levitt cancer comedy “50/50,” which received significant acclaim for Will Reiser’s screenplay. His most recent effort, the zombie romance “Warm Bodies,” raked in a respectable $20 million on its opening weekend, putting at the top of the box office. And so The Weinstein Company must have done a little soul searching.
In 2010, while on the press cycle for “Drive Angry,” star Amber Heard (who headlined the film early in her career) began to drop hints that “Mandy Lane” had been given a second lease on life. Now it’s been confirmed that Weinstein arm RADiUS-TWC has indeed rescued the film, and are eyeing late summer for a release. Was this all just a massively complex Weinstein plot to turn the film into a mysterious, cult garnering horror phenomenon. Well, probably not. More likely this is just when Executive Producer Keith Calder and RADiUS co-president Tom Quinn were
finally able to wrangle the rights from the dead Senator deal. But we’d have to imagine that it’s a relief for Levine to finally have his freshman film out in theaters.
Starring Heard, the film follows a
group of high-schoolers who invite Mandy Lane, “a good girl” who
becomes the object of affection after a summer, to a weekend party on
a secluded ranch. While the festivities rage on, the number of revelers
begins to mysteriously drop one at a time.
You can check out an old international trailer below, along with a new teaser poster.