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July 1, 1998 2:00 AM
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Midnight Madness Rampages on with "Killers"

by Anthony Kaufman




Quentin Tarantino isn't the only one getting movies shown at midnight.
After the successful re-release of Lucio Fulci's "The Beyond," a campy
gross-out 70's horror film from Tarantino's company, Rolling Thunder, and
indie distributor Cowboy Booking, another company noticed that a window
of opportunity may be opening. Now, the LA-based outfit, The Asylum, is
jumping through it.

The Asylum's David Michael Latt is the director of "Killers," a $100,000
thriller which began a midnight run last Friday night at Captain Blood's
Village Theater
side by side with Fulci's "The Beyond" in Southern
California's Orange County. When Todd Blood, owner of Captain Blood's
saw the film at its sold-out domestic premiere, as a judge at the Newport
Beach International Film Festival, he decided to program it for the summer.
No sell outs were announced at its theatrical debut like "The Beyond's"
first weekend, but with no sizable advertising budget, the film still
garnered about 15 people on its first night, and 25 on the second.


Before "Killers" hit its U.S. theatrical home, it went to eight
festivals worldwide and won a Best Picture award at England's Fantastic
Film Festival. After its screening at Newport, it was re-edited based
on audience response. "We handed out questionnaires at the festival and
found out what worked and what didn't," explains producer David Rimawi.
"For the past month we've been re-editing the film, and added new
music." Latt agrees, "This is now the movie I wanted to make!"


"But the theatrical thing fell into our laps," says Latt. If only all
independent films were so lucky. Latt claims that The Asylum's "main
focus is to get the films out on video." Leo Films, a video
distributor, will release it this October. As far as any other
theatrical happenstance occurrences, Latt continues, "We haven't entered
any other domestic festivals. So if another theater owner sees it
and wants to show the film, we're not going to stop him."


"If MTV had a movie channel, they'd show our movies," says Latt, who
left his day job earlier this year as the head of production for a
multimedia company, to pursue making and marketing movies full time. His
first feature, "Rock and Roll Fantasy," was made four years ago and sold
to 20th Century Fox Home Video for $50,000 -- enabling he and producer
Rimawi to finance "Killers" with the investors from their first movie --
financiers, Latt jokes, ranging from "mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles to
dentists and the mafia." Although Latt claims the small company has a
strong support network -- their own post-production facility -- and a
mandate to help finance and support other independent films, ("We're
very aware of the end user. We're very conscious of how to get it out
there") the director confesses, "We abuse a lot of things. I don't think
we'd be able to use the same connections as we did on our last film."


On hand for The Asylum's immediate future is acquiring indies for
distribution, a recently wrapped $17,000 post-college romantic comedy
called "Social Intercourse", and a young James Bond movie to be shooting
next month. Roger Corman, eat your heart out.


[For more information, visit the "Killers" website at:
www.quietland.com/killers.]

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