WHV goes back to horror

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Spurred by the success of its inaugural release, "Rest Stop," Warner Home Video is returning to the horror well for the second film in its "Raw Feed" direct-to-video series.

"Sublime" -- about a man admitted to a hospital for a routine procedure, only to discover that he's landed in a ward of horror where patients come not to get better but to die -- will be released directly to DVD on March 13. The film recently was selected for the 2007 Cinequest Film Festival in the "New Visions" category and will be shown at the San Jose, Calif., festival shortly before its DVD premiere.

" 'Sublime' is a provocative film that was made for the small screen but would have played equally well on the big screen," said Jeff Baker, senior vp theatrical catalog at Warner Home Video.

The creative team behind "Sublime," as with other "Raw Feed" films, consists primarily of young television talent. It was directed by Tony Krantz, executive producer of "24," from a screenplay by Erik Jendresen (HBO's "Band of Brothers"). The cast includes Tom Cavanagh ("Scrubs," "Ed") and Kathleen "Bird" York ("The West Wing," "The O.C.").

Baker said that in keeping with the "Raw Feed" line's hip, edgy feel, Warner will promote "Sublime" with "a powerful viral marketing campaign" focused on the Internet. A similar campaign helped make "Rest Stop," which bowed in October, one of Warner's top five nontheatrical new-to-DVD releases of the fourth quarter and a top 10 specialty rental title, he said.

"This success reinforces the fact that independent direct-to-video filmmaking can transcend into the mass market," Baker said.

"Rest Stop," about a young couple terrorized on a cross-country trip, was written by John Shiban, an Emmy-nominated writer-producer who is co-executive producing the CW's "Supernatural."

"Raw Feed" was launched in March under the home entertainment division's theatrical catalog group. The line consists of adult-themed genre films, mostly sci-fi and horror, with budgets of up to $5 million. The establishment of the line marked the first time Warner Home Video has gone outside of the Warner Bros. library to develop and produce a line of movies.
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