Recently I was shocked to hear that an old friend of mine, and director of several indie feature films, Julian Richards, has become embroiled in some tragic events. Many of you will have heard of the double murder in the press recently, but what you might not have heard, unless you read the Mail or Sun, is that his recent film, The Last Horror Movie, has been linked to the murders. One witness claimed that the boy who is accused of the murders repeatedly watched Julians film before committing them, as though this were in some way, the reason he did what he is accused of doing. Of course none of us can really say why, if he is indeed guitly, he did what he did, but a movie is an excellent scapegoat. I myself became implicated in crimes when my film White Angel was tied to Fred West in the nineties. On that occasion, the charges were utterly ludicrous though.
Putting aside the tragedy of the murders, what has saddened me further, is to find out that Tartan Video have decided to drop the title. This appeared in Screen Daily yesterday…
Cutting-edge UK distributor Tartan Video announced today (Mar15) that it will cease supplying retailers with DVD copies of The Last Horror Movie. The award-winning UK film, which was released theatrically in 2005, was an alleged inspiration for two murders committed by a teenage boy currently on trial, who watched it repeatedly in the four days leading up to the crimes. A spokesman for Tartan said: “In the light of such tragic events it is only right that Tartan ceases to profit from the sale of the film. We are taking these actions as a mark of respect for the families of all concerned, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.”
While I completely agree that this is an appropriate action to take and sensitive to the families, what was surprising is that no-one from Tartan bothered to tell Julian that they were pulling the film. He only heard about the withdrawal of the film when I called him to give him some moral support.
Let’s hope that when the heat dies down, Tartan allow the film back into the marketplace.