"Twilight" movies inspire vampire stampede
By Jay A. Fernandez and Gregg Kilday
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - "'Twilight' here! We got your red hot 'Twilight' angle heah!"
You can almost hear the refrain like there's a carnival barker stalking the halls of the Santa Monica hotel hosting the annual American Film Market, where independent producers from around the world seek financing and distribution deals.
With "Twilight" fever regripping the nation -- Chapter 2, "New Moon," rises in theaters November 20 -- many of the projects on display at the trade show are spinning any "Twilight" connection they can find to hawk their wares.
London-based Protagonist Pictures is in the market with an erotic period drama, drawn from a Guy De Maupassant short story, titled "Bel Ami." It's a niche project with limited appeal but for the fact that the lead character of a young Parisian playboy will be incarnated by Edward Cullen himself of "Twilight" fame, Robert Pattinson.
In other offerings, the content speaks for itself.
"Blood: A Butcher's Tale," from Horizon Motion Pictures, trots out vampires as the romantic and physical rivals of the forlorn butcher of the title. Toothin Theatre's "The Death of Alice Blue" puts a comely intern in the hands of an advertising company run by -- yep -- bloodsuckers (no surprise there).
Amadeus Pictures is hawking "Vampiro," a Mexican-American/East L.A. take on vampire gangs and sexy vampiras. "Dark Moon Rising," from New Films International, pushes the werewolf angle (and a title echo) with the tale of a small-town girl falling in love with a drifter who has a hairy past.
On the hardcore end of the spectrum is "Stake Land," from Dark Sky Films, which includes a nun played by Kelly McGillis trying to survive in a world overrun by vampires.
And Eleven Arts has the enviable mission of selling "Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl," a Japanese offering about some sort of unfortunate contretemps between Vampire Girl and Frankenstein Girl.
In a non-AFM title, Pattinson's "Twilight" co-star Jackson Rathbone, who plays the veggie vampire Jasper Hale, is starring in and co-producing "Girlfriend," from Wayne/Lauren Film. In the film, which just wrapped, Rathbone plays the volatile ex-boyfriend of a small-town single mother pursued by a young man with Down Syndrome.
Bottom line: There's plenty for buyers to sink their teeth into.