THRILLER: A STRANGE STORY
You may have heard a lot of rumblings lately about distribution issues for the film Thriller: A Cruel Picture. Seems the director of the film has been e-mailing people from an anonymous e-mail account under the name 'Otto' saying that Synapse Films has stolen his movie. That sounds pretty strange. but Don May dropped out a line today with the following press release that should help to clear things up...
'On September 28, 2004, Synapse Films, Inc. (Synapse) will proceed with the worldwide release of Thriller?A Cruel Picture (Thriller) AKA They Call Her One Eye on DVD. In late 2001, Synapse was approached by Chrome Entertainment, Inc. (Chrome) who paid producer/director Boarne Vibenius $10,000 US Dollars for worldwide distribution rights to Thriller. Chrome told Synapse they could not complete their production work on Thriller and they had total confidence in Donald May, Jr. and Synapse to successfully release a DVD version. Fortunately, the distribution agreement between Boarne Vibenius, Channel 1 and Chrome allowed assignment of the distribution agreement to Synapse upon purchase of all of Chrome?s assets. In early 2002, Synapse purchased all the assets of Chrome and received an assignment of the distribution agreement which remains legally in effect.
For over two years, Synapse has been ruthlessly and relentlessly defamed and harassed by Vibenius. Simply put, Vibenius does not want Synapse to release Thriller. These attacks intensified after the increased publicity for Thriller due to the release of Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2003) and Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004) and from fine comments made about Thriller from director Quentin Tarantino in various press articles and interviews. Synapse has, in good faith, responded to numerous letters from Vibenius explaining that Synapse has full legal worldwide rights to release his film. Vibenius refuses our letters and correspondence. Just today, we received a pack of documents we had sent Vibenius via Federal Express that came back to us with a note stating ?Return to Sender?. Vibenius also blocks our faxes and refuses our e-mails.
Vibenius? latest tactic is hiding behind an alias named ?Otto van der Leyfen?. He is now emailing false accusations from an anonymous Hotmail email address to many of our loyal distributors, defaming Donald May, Jr. and Synapse Films. ?Otto? (AKA Vibenius) is also emailing the editors and webmasters of publicly accessible film and DVD information websites with attacks against Synapse.
Synapse intends to assert all legal means to protect and defend its rights to the film Thriller. Despite all these accusations and threats, Synapse fully intends to pay Vibenius royalties which will be in addition to $10,000 US Dollars he has already received.
Please visit the Synapse Films, Inc. website at www.synapse-films.com for more information on Thriller, and other Synapse releases.'
Hmmmmm...well, I guess that does make sense, but one can't help but wonder if maybe this is all a publicity stunt to draw more attention to the release? Why would a director not want to see his movie distributed, especially by a company with such a good reputation as Synapse? And because of that simple fact I do doubt this is any kind of stunt, generally when a company wants to drum up interest in a project they don't do it by making themselves out to be theives.
Courtesy of Creature Corner