TK's MORNING BUZZ: Will A-Pix Survive Unapix's Bankruptcy... or Join the Legion of Lost Suppliers?30 Nov, 2000 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Over the last six or so years, we've lost nearly a dozen independent home video suppliers, and their absence is sorely missed. Sure, a good portion of their product consisted of the much-maligned erotic thriller, but a lot of it was quite good--even the direct-to-video stuff.
Academy Entertainment stands out as one supplier I truly hated to see go. The studio had one of the most eclectic catalogs I've ever encountered. Two that stand out: Liquid Dreams, a wonderfully bizarre thriller reminiscent of David Lynch's work, and The Lunatic, a wacky Jamaican comedy with a fetching soundtrack and a handful of classic scenes I still show to my friends every now and then.
A-Pix, which celebrated its fifth birthday less than two years ago, has been a scrappy little player from the start. The company developed a lucrative little horror franchise with such gruesome titles as Jack Frost, Bleeders and Uncle Sam, all three of which also featured inventive box art (on the Jack Frost box, the snowman's expression changes from a benign smile to an evil grimace).
And A-Pix also managed to pump up the star power a lot more than most indies, releasing movies with such stars as Jon Voight (Boys Will Be Boys), Isaac Hayes (Uncle Sam) and Theresa Russell (The Proposition).
Perhaps most significantly, however, is the fact that A-Pix and its dwindling roster of fellow indies have provided video retailers and consumers alike with something we just don't get on pay TV: a choice. Selection, diversity, variety--all the things that helped make video stores great, we owe in large part to the independent home video suppliers that release stuff the majors pass on or simply don't bother finding out about.
Video stores would be awfully barren if, over the years, they had not augmented their supply of the hits with so-called "secondary product" from the A-Pixes and the Trimarks, the PMs and the Triboros, the Academys and the Imperials, the Prisms and the Avalanches.
Not just barren, but boring....
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