×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Artisan’s ‘Impact’ vid flies into issue of sensitivity

'Just an oversight,' sez spokesman

Creepy coincidence, prophetic filmmaking or the worst kind of war profiteering? Only 11 days after the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Artisan began flogging “Sonic Impact,” a year-old straight-to-vid thriller starring Ice-T.

In “Sonic Impact,” in which the rapper co-stars with James Russo, three men hijack a 747 en route to New York City. They herd passengers into the back of the plane and threaten to crash it into the “biggest metropolitan area” they can find. A nail file becomes a weapon in the unfolding drama. And when talks fail, the President scrambles F-16s to shoot down the plane.

While the pic is now prominently displayed on new-release shelves of Blockbuster and other vid chains, an Artisan spokesman stressed that “Sonic Impact” is a repackaged and discounted re-release, and was “probably just an oversight.”

Helmer Rodney McDonald understands how, in the present political climate, his low-budget thriller could be perceived as both insensitive and exploitive.

“Yes, I personally think there could have been a better time to release this film,” said McDonald, whose other straight-to-video pics include “Steel Sharks” and “Surface to Air.” “It does have a lot of the same elements that could have happened that day in the air. And it may be too close to home for some people to watch. … But it has nothing to do with the Trade Center, and I don’t think anyone at Artisan is trying to capitalize off this.”

Should the video be pulled out of respect for the national mood?

“I think it’s a good movie for its genre, but I don’t think people are going to watch it now,” McDonald said.

“Personally, I think people will be looking for different types of entertainment.”

More Film

  • Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    Film News Roundup: 'Lawnmower Man' Director Brett Leonard Boards 'Elijah'

    In today’s film news roundup, “Elijah” gets a director, a French fry documentary starts shooting and “Uglydolls” moves its release date forward. PROJECT LAUNCH Brett Leonard, best known for directing ”The Lawnmower Man” and “Virtuosity,” will direct the supernatural feature film “Elijah,” based on the Old Testament prophet. The project is set up at Winter [...]

  • SAG-AFTRA HQ

    SAG-AFTRA Commercial Negotiations Set for February

    With no fanfare, SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry have set a mid-February start for negotiations for a successor deal to the union’s master contract, Variety has learned. The current three-year deal — which covers about $1 billion in annual earnings — expires on March 31. SAG-AFTRA and the Joint Policy Committee of the ad industry [...]

  • SONDRA LOCKESONDRA LOCKE - 1986

    Oscar Nominee Sondra Locke Dies at 74

    Actress and director Sondra Locke, who received a supporting actress Oscar nomination in her first movie role for “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter,” died Nov. 3 at 74. The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed her death. She died due to breast and bone cancer, according to Radar Online, which reported that she [...]

  • Clint Eastwood and Alison Eastwood'The Mule'

    Clint Eastwood: Why Alison Eastwood Came Out of Acting Retirement for Her Dad

    Clint Eastwood’s daughter Alison Eastwood was done with acting after appearing in 2014’s “Finding Harmony.” Or so she thought. It was a Friday night and she and her husband were heading to dinner when her father’s producer Sam Moore called. “He [says], ‘You know, your dad wants you to do this film,” Alison recalls. “I [...]

  • 'Dead Women Walking' Review: Uncompromising, Powerful

    Film Review: 'Dead Women Walking'

    The sober and gripping “Dead Women Walking” focuses on the final days of a series of female inmates facing the death sentence. Divided into nine chapters, each inching its way inexorably closer to the moment of execution, the drama turns the fragmentation of its approach to a powerful advantage. Not only do the individual stories [...]

  • Sam Mendes

    Sam Mendes' World War I Drama '1917' Set for Awards-Season Launch on Christmas 2019

    Universal Pictures has given an awards-season release date of Dec. 25, 2019, to Sam Mendes’ World War I drama “1971.” Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners is producing “1917” through its DreamWorks Pictures brand. “1917” will open in limited release on Christmas Day then go wide two weeks later on Jan. 10, 2020. Mendes wrote the script [...]

  • Ventana Sur Queer Latin Film Panel

    Ventana Sur: Panel Talks Merits, Setbacks in Latin Queer Cinema

    BUENOS AIRES — Four venerable professionals from the cinema world joined on Monday evening for Queer Cinema In Latin America, a frank discussion on Latin America’s role within the queer filmscape for Ventana Sur’s Industry conference series held at the UCA campus in Buenos Aires. Touching on advancements in character arc and notable achievements in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content