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Sundance 2010: Bits 'n Pieces – Day 7

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Wednesday at Sundance, Splice was still up for grabs and a new horror project for Scream Queen Tiffany Shepis was announced!

Announced: Tiffany Shepis to Star in Stripped
There’s no doubt that Tiffany Shepis (pictured above in Zombies Zombies Zombies) is a certified scream queen; her IMDB page includes over 25 upcoming screen credits, and that’s not even including the impending Night of the Demons remake and her Sundance 2010 entry, The Violent Kind. So here’s why we’re also excited for Stripped: it comes from the producers of The Violent Kind, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and the indie flick Lovers of Hate, and it marks the directorial debut of former AFI Press and Public Relations head/film blogger John Wildman. (Wildman also penned the script with co-writer Justina Walford.) Here’s the synopsis:

“Stripped follows the events surrounding a birthday outing with two brothers and a friend which turns into a horrific fight for survival after they become trapped in a house with a ‘family’ of malevolent women.”

Stripped, which is tantalizingly touted as a piece of “post-feminist horror,” is set to begin filming in Dallas this May.

Splice Reportedly Considering Pay-to-Play Bids From Five Suitors?
Vincenzo Natali’s got to be biting his nails. His sci-fi creature feature Splice has been one of the most talked-about films in Park City for days, but no deal has yet been struck despite Deadline Hollywood Daily’s report that multiple buyers were interested back on Saturday. Yesterday, The Hollywood Reporter clarified why there might be a hold up: as many as five studios are circling Splice. However, THR claims that rather than going for a straight up purchase (like Lionsgate with Buried) they’re all negotiating various “service deals,” which would see Splice’s backers essentially paying a fee to get the film a theatrical run.

Such a scenario is more common than you’d think, especially when it comes to indie film distribution. And if Natali & Co. pay to take a service deal, they’ll spend for the prestige of a theatrical release but probably make up for it in home video sales. Which begs the question: does a direct-to-DVD release (or rarer still, online or VOD distribution) still carry the stigma that it once had? Should Splice be released theatrically first at any cost, assuming DVD and new media sales could turn it into a post-theatrical release?

Zune Marketplace Launched; Watch The Wild Hunt At Home
We mentioned in Sundance Bits ‘n Pieces – Day 2 that cross-town festival Slamdance had partnered with Microsoft to make some Slamdance films available for “rental” via Xbox Live; yesterday (Jan. 27) the program began, making tasty titles like the RPG-gone-very-wrong feature The Wild Hunt available to watch. (Also rentable: the docs American Jihadist and Mind of the Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story, plus the Los Angeleno hipster whodunit The Scenesters.) Should you have a Zune or Xbox set up and 600-800 “Microsoft Points” to spend, I recommend taking a closer look at The Wild Hunt; just imagine if the live-action RPG LAIRE nerds from Role Models went truly, bloodthirstily wacko, and that’s kind of what you’re in store for. Watch the trailer below.

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