Festivals are a great place to go to see the newest, weirdest, indie-est flicks around. If you can't get to festivals - like, say, SXSW this week in Austin - you can have a little piece of mind knowing that the main reason for festivals is for these films to get distribution. With a little patience, you can see festival favorites on DVD, VOD, or - dare to dream - in local theatres. But what about when those films you have heard so much about, seen clips from, read reviews of, don't get picked up? In honor of SXSW, we look back at a few of the most anticipated films to play at SXSW, then disappear with hardly a trace.
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
This teen horror flick from Jonathan Levine (The Wackness) made a splash at SXSW 2007 and is still at the top of most horror fans's wish lists. Mandy Lane, a quiet good girl, gets hot over the summer and becomes the apple of every boy's eye. She is invited to a weekend rager at an isolated ranch, not knowing that all the boys are betting on who can score with her first. But once the festivities begin, the revelers start to disappear. Mandy Lane was set to make her Stateside debut in the summer of 2007, it was canceled at last minute, and hasn't been seen since - well, not in this country. Mandy Lane played theatrically all over Europe and the Middle East in 2008, and is readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray in other regions, yet still has yet to surface in a Region 1 format.
The Loved Ones
Australian director Sean Byrne made his feature debut last year with The Loved Ones. Another teen slasher, The Loved Ones shows the diabolical lengths one girl will go to when her advances towards a classmate are rebuffed. The film received a theatrical run in Australia, and is readily available on Region 2 DVD, but not a whisper about an American release.
A Necessary Death
This docu-style flick is about film students who decide that, for their final project, they would document a suicidal person's process from preparation to death. A Necessary Death made the 2008 festival rounds, but then seemed to disappear from the landscape. The film's Facebook page hasn't been updated for three years, and the official website is completely offline. A Necessary Death was the feature film debut of German director Daniel Stamm, who went on to direct The Last Exorcism and is planning a remake of the French film Martyrs.