The Little Death and the Turkey Shoot reboot had multi-platform launches in the US last Friday, drawing mostly positive reviews from critics.
Magnolia Pictures released Josh Lawson’s sex comedy while EntertainmentOne is distributing Jon Hewitt’s Turkey Shoot remake, retitled Elimination Game.
The Toronto Star’s Bruce DeMara opined, “Part comedy, part cautionary tale, The Little Death is above all entertaining and original. The title references la petite mort, the euphemistic French term for orgasm and there’s plenty of that. But Lawson’s feature film debut is much more, darkly funny, occasionally poignant and teeming with the unexpected.”
The Los Angeles Times’ Gary Goldstein described the film as “alternately silly and provocative, strained and funny.”
National Public Radio’s Ella Taylor responded to the “winning humanity [that] seeps through the high jinks,” observing, “Lawson comes not to judge, but to assess the unintended consequences of sexual free play. He gooses prudery and political correctness, but he also wants to explore the difficult boundaries where sexual freedom meets morality and, via a forest of missed connections and misunderstandings, love and devotion.”
Less charitably, the New York Times’ Daniel M Gold wrote, “Early on, The Little Death helpfully explains that its title comes from the French idiom for orgasm. That eagerness to enlighten characterizes this comedy’s gentle, considerate tone. It also underscores why, in the end, the film doesn’t work.”
Magnolia released the film on three screens, grossing an estimated $3,900 in three days, a typical result for a multi-platform release where VOD and DVD generate the bulk of the revenues.
Elimination Game also launched on three screens but no figures were reported. The action thriller starring Dominic Purcell, Viva Bianca and Robert Taylor was warmly received by genre websites.
Creepercast said: "Sometimes, even in the land of horror fiestas, we like to take a break from all the senseless blood and gore and just get our minds numbed by good old fashioned, mindless, revenge/action flicks. You know, the kind of movie that stars the veteran of action extravaganzas Dominic Purcell kicking ass and taking names? Elimination Game (aka Turkey Shoot) seems like just that movie. Only its layers go slightly deeper than most and actually comes out looking like a pretty good fight movie. “
Movie Mezzanine’s Adam W. Hofbauer enthused, “For all its narrative and thematic simplicity, Elimination Game is a reminder that while their big-budget cousins have gone all-in on spectacle, the B movie is still a creature of ingenuity by necessity.
“For all its predictability, there is something refreshing about the film’s brevity. Elimination Game tells a 90-minute story that The Hunger Games franchise stretched out into four bloated films.”