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OUTTAKES THE SEQUEL

Holding Out

November 08, 1987|Patrick Goldstein

This month's heavy-metal gem is "Dudes," a MCA Records sound-track album that's getting good fanzine reviews, thanks to its collection of head-banging tunes from Megadeth, Steve Vai, Jane's Addiction and W.A.S.P. But where's the movie?

According to director Penelope ("Suburbia") Spheeris, she initially hurried to make an April release. Since then, New Century Vista has repeatedly postponed the release--recently pulling its early December date, saying it's aiming for a January opening.

Color Spheeris disappointed: "It's hard to remain level-headed and fair-minded when it's taken almost nine months for your movie to come out--but I'm trying."

Color MCA disturbed. "These postponements have really hurt us," explained MCA film/music v.p. Kathy Nelson. "With a release of a sound track, timing is crucial--if you don't have the movie to back up your record, you lose all the momentum from your marketing campaign. This was a special project for us because of Penelope and her ability to attract a great roster of bands. We still believe the record can find its niche, but it's going to be an uphill fight because of these unexpected delays."

Color Herb Jaffe, head of Vista, one of New Century Vista's parent companies, reassuring: "We're behaving like a dutiful parent would with its own child. There's no lack of affection for this film. We're screening it everywhere to build word-of-mouth. In fact, we've just made a three-picture deal with Penelope, which you don't do unless you believe in the film maker.

"But it's a minefield out there--you've got 135 damn movies opening between Labor Day and Christmas. This is a film that needs special treatment--if we'd thrown it out now, it would've drowned. Instead, we're waiting till January, when it'll have a better shot at survival."

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