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‘Sushi Girl’ Release Draws a Crowd

20 Feb, 2013 By: Chris Tribbey

BURBANK, Calif. — Actor Tony Todd has been around the Hollywood block, from his bit appearance in Platoon (1986) to his defining role as Candyman (1992, 1995, 1999), to his stint as the creepy coroner in the “Final Destination” franchise (2000-2011).

In all those years, considering all his movies, Todd said he puts Sushi Girl above everything else … at least when it comes to who he's worked with. Every one of the main actors signed on to Sushi Girl more than a year before filming, and not a single one cried off. That dedication to an independent film is new to Todd: “I’ve never seen that,” he said.

“[Sushi Girl is] for the lover of movies, a casting fantasy, with every one of us coming from a different background, a different corner of the film industry,” Todd said of Sushi Girl, released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc Feb. 19 from Magnolia Pictures.

Todd’s fellow actors in the film include Noah Hathaway (The NeverEnding Story), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Cortney Palm (Losing Ferguson), Andy Mackenzie (MacGruber), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight) and Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill (the “Star Wars” franchise).

“I think we all knew how unique this was, how much fun this was,” Todd said.

Sushi Girl starts simply enough: Convicted thief Fish (Hathaway) is paroled after serving a six-year stint in prison, following a diamond heist gone wrong (diamonds lost in the wind, of course). Bad guy employer Duke (Todd) arranges a party of sorts: Fish and his former partners are all gathered together in a remote location for “nyotaimori” … a sushi meal off a naked woman, who must remain still no matter what.

Terror, torture and intrigue ensue.

“We’re the small, little movie that could,” said Sushi Girl writer and producer Destin Pfaff, while watching nearly 100 fans of the film line up for autographs at a Burbank store Feb. 19. “People have responded to this film. Having Mark [Hamill] and Tony [Todd] attached didn’t hurt.”

Producer Kern Saxton praised Magnolia for all the bonuses included with the Sushi Girl disc. Disc owners get two commentaries, a 60-minute documentary, alternate scenes, outtakes, image galleries, storyboards and a unique set of “commercials” for a fake plumbing company, dedicated to a certain The NeverEnding Story character.

“Magnolia did an amazing job putting this disc together, and they let us do what we wanted to do,” Saxton said. “Fans get their money’s worth with this DVD.”

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