Oz thriller scores US multi-platform release
Steve Mouzakis in The Suicide Theory.
An Australian micro-budgeted thriller about a tortured hit man and his willing target was released in 10 cinemas and online in the US last week, garnering positive reviews, but is yet to secure distribution at home.
Freestyle Releasing bought the US rights to The Suicide Theory, the second film from director Dru Brown (his first was 2012 horror-thriller Sleeper), after it won the grand jury prize at the Dances With Film festival in LA and the audience award at the Austin Film Festival.
Scripted by Michael J. Kospiah and shot in Brisbane, it stars Steve Mouzakis as Steven, a professional assassin who is asked by a prospective client named Percival (Leon Cain) to take him out.
Percival had tried to bump himself off numerous times without success, sustaining more bodily damage with every attempt, and Steven seems unable to finish the job.
Variety’s Justin Chang described the film as “contrived but weirdly compelling…larded with bizarre twists, some more predictable than others, and full of unpleasantly suggested violence.”
Chang predicted modest but respectable returns for the “oddball male weepie whose curious mixture of sweetness and sadism is well anchored by two solid, character-rich lead performances."
Screen Relish hailed the film as a “profound, intelligent and moving story about fate, destiny, karma – call it what you will – and draws a brilliant picture of the unseen ripples flowing outward from our actions.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Tirdad Derakhshani opined, "Its faults aside, The Suicide Theory is a truly touching story about our need for human contact. It's strange, goofy, surreal, and deeply gratifying."
Mouzakis tells IF, “Given the great reviews it got, the cult following it's establishing and the fact it was made with absolutely no money whatsoever, it's a success story people should know about.
“A credit to cast and crew, particularly the director Dru Brown and the producers. I just think it's a shame that no one in Australia has taken any notice.
“No Australian distributor is on board yet. I know that Dru and the producers were putting a package together for a few of them but they're in the US at the moment.”
Mouzakis has spoken to executives at Umbrella Entertainment and The Backlot Studios and hopes a deal will eventuate.