It’s a good year for fans of ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, a cult horror flick that screened as part of the ReScreen lineup at the 2012 Lone Star Film Festival. The Weinstein Company picked up the film seven years after its initial release and is planning on wide release in the U.S. this summer.
The film follows a young, innocent girl named Mandy Lane who—yep, you guessed it—all the boys love. When she’s invited to a party at a ranch with a few of her friends, the night takes more than one unexpected turn, and the body count quickly mounts. Filmed partly in Austin, TX and partly in the nearby city of Bastrop, the instant cult classic stars a young Amber Heard (ZOMBIELAND, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and THE RUM DIARY) right on the brink of her career.
Director Jonathan Levine enjoyed a recent splash of attention with his latest movie, WARM BODIES, as well as his other quirky films 50/50 (2011) and THE WACKNESS (2008), but ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE was his directorial debut, screening for the first time in 2006 and 2007 at several notable festivals, including the Toronto Film Festival, SXSW, and the Sitges Film Festival in Spain. The film was also Fort Worth, TX native Chad Feehan’s thesis project while finishing up his final year at AFI in Los Angeles.
Optimum Releasing picked the film up for a UK wide release in 2008, but due to several setbacks in the U.S. market, the company pushed back stateside release, eventually putting the film in limbo indefinitely.
The story is this: Dimension Films at The Weinstein Company initially secured the rights to ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE, but sold the film to another company, Senator Entertainment US, citing the recent underwhelming theatrical performance by another cult horror classic, GRINDHOUSE, as its motivation for doing so. Later, Senator Entertainment went bankrupt, leaving Mandy-lovers wondering if she would ever see the light of day again. In the meantime, horror film news blog Bloody-Disgusting kept the film atop its list of best unreleased horror films for the last four years.
Now, RADiUS-TWC, another offshoot of The Weinstein Company, secured the rights to the film and looks toward wide theatrical release later this summer. The company will simultaneously release MANDY LANE on Video on Demand, finally allowing North American viewers the chance to see this cult classic on the big screen and ending the film’s seven years of bad luck.
In a 2011 interview with Charles Webb for Twitch Film, Feehan expressed his frustration with the distribution issues surrounding MANDY LANE. “You know, it’s been a long, long journey, and nothing would make me happier than to see the movie come out,” Feehan said. “I actually started it as my thesis at AFI. The writer, Jacob Forman and the production designer Tom Hammock and I did it as our thesis together at AFI. We started working on it in 2003, then graduated and got it financed and were able to hire our friends that we graduated with to make the movie. It was obviously quite a journey from 2003 to 2006 when we sold it to the Weinstein Company, and after that it’s been pretty trying. So, I’m hopeful for happy endings”
Levine had this to say about the film’s second chance at life, quoted in an article at Deadline Hollywood: “I am thrilled that MANDY LANE has been rescued and is back where it belongs with Harvey and Bob. Hard to believe it’s been seven years, but then again I’ve always perceived myself as a misunderstood artist who was lightyears ahead of his time, so I am thrilled the world has finally caught up. Seriously, I am incredibly proud of the film and of the hard work that my cast and collaborators put into it, and I am so happy the world will finally get a chance to see it.”
More 2012 LSFF FIlms for Release
Distribution companies picked up a few other 2012 LSFF, recently. The Weinstein Company picked up THE SAPPHIRES, which, after doing well in Australia in its first few weeks of release, is showing in select theaters across the USA. In early March, Magnolia Pictures claimed A PLACE AT THE TABLE, a documentary covering hunger and malnutrition in the United States while featuring actor and human rights advocate Jeff Bridges. In addition, A PLACE BEYOND THE PINES, which we featured during an advanced screening at the Angelika Film Center in Dallas this February, found a home with Focus Features and is due for release later this year.