Tim Everitt’s Furious is, thirty years later, finally hitting DVD!
The martial arts classic, released in 1984, releases in a restored version for the first time on disc July 21.
The Martial arts/sci-fi/fantasy favourite – shot for next to nothing- has been illegally copied and downloaded thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of times on the internet. There have also been an abundance of late night cinema screenings for this amazing cult masterpiece.
We speak to Tim about this cult classic.
Tim, have you feelings on FURIOUS changed over the years?
Yes, of course. When we made it we were very happy, and thought it was a huge accomplishment. But it didn’t get much traction at the time, and our friends in Hollywood didn’t like it at all. So it faded away and we didn’t think too much about it for a while.
But a few years ago, the reto-VHS movement discovered the film, and surprise, a whole new generation has decided it’s a mind-melter. I think they are hip enough to get where we were coming from when we made it. In any case, it’s very nice to have a loyal fan-base for the film. So I’m revisiting it and starting to re-appreciate some of the fun that the movie is.
Are you surprised it’s taken on this cult classic status?
Of course. And the big surprise is that people don’t just kind of like it, they really really like it. Some of the reviews are just ecstatic. It is a very different, very unique film. I’m just very glad we’re getting it out in a decent format so people can see a good copy of the picture. We hope our loyal fans will spread it around, now that you don’t have to have a VHS player to watch!
At the time, was it successful? In any capacity? Or did it achieve fame later – on VHS?
No, as I said, at the time the Hollywood crowd was pretty unimpressed. The lesson we learned is that when people sit through a movie, you will be compared the Godfather II. Nobody cares about the budget and what a miracle it all is. Now it’s just a movie and has to compete on a level playing field. The film did click with the hard core martial arts crowd, which is what we were hoping. But it quickly slipped away from us. It was pirated immediately. We heard about screenings in Las Vegas within a week of finishing the film. How they got a print, I don’t know. I know it played in Canada, too. So it was around, but it lived in the shadowy world of copies and low-level showings. But the original distributor had good reach in places like Australia, and that’s where the VHS underground discovered it and started this recent revival.
Was it a big break for you at the time?
Not at all. It was a footnote on my resume, and it still took a couple more years to get a real film off the ground. We were hoping our peers would give us credit for making something with nothing, but that never happened. Hollywood is a crazy, competitive place. You have to have the right kind of success.
Whose idea was it to release it on DVD?
The truth is my daughter started bookmarking all the wild, positive reviews that were popping up, and we started tracking all the screenings that were happening around the world: London, New York, Austin, Birmingham. She convinced me we should get a handle on all this activity. At least people will have the chance to see a good print. And our distributor, Leomark, can ride herd over all the people where were copying and selling the film. This is a problem for everybody, majors and indies, so we don’t feel special.
Finally, do you miss VHS? Think it’ll make a comeback at any point?
No, because digital media is getting so good, and it’s cheap. 4K is the resolution of 35mm film, and I can get that in my home theatre now. It means someone will be selling me yet another copy of Lawrence of Arabia, so it’s good for everyone.
Furious is on DVD at Amazon : http://www.amazon.com/Furious-Simon-Rhee/dp/B00V4TUE5C/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1437178468&sr=8-5&keywords=Furious
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