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Tartan Tackles Asian Horror With New Label

3 Dec, 2004 By: Angelique Flores

Edgy Asian films will find a new home at Tartan Video with the launch of its new label, Asia Extreme.

Starting next month, Asia Extreme will feature horror, action and psychological thrillers in a style a la Quentin Tarantino and John Woo. “These are films at which the audiences will be shocked, challenged and provoked, all the while being entertained,” said MJ Peckos, CEO of Tartan U.S.A. “These films are stylish, edgy, often violent, and distinctive.”

Many of these well-received films from such popular directors as the Pang brothers from Thailand, Chan-wook Park from Korea and Japanese cult director Kiyoshi Kurosawa have already topped box offices in their native countries.

The success of some of these movies has already spread to the United States with the remakes by major studios of such Asian films as The Ring (originally Ringu) and The Grudge (originally Ju-on). Box office successes like these have developed a significant audience for this style of film, Peckos said.

“We're bringing in more [to the United States,]” she said. “The appetite keeps growing and growing.”

Tartan U.S.A. has already purchased the rights to the highest-grossing Korean horror films

of 2002, 2003 and 2004: Phone, A Tale of Two Sisters and R Point, respectively. Remakes of Phone and A Tale of Two Sisters are already being developed.

Tartan has earned a following for its new wave of extreme Asian cinema in the United Kingdom, where it has sold more than $500 million of Asian product to make it the leading independent film genre in the United Kingdom, according to the company.

Asia Extreme will street its first films — suspense thrillers Phone and Kurosawa's Doppelganger — on DVD ($24.99) Jan. 25. Prebook is Dec. 28.

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