‘Bouncers’ kicks off Lampoon laffer pact

Vintage humor brand ventures into urban comedy

National Lampoon has inked a four-picture deal with Silver Nitrate, Street Alien Pictures and producer Angad Paul to develop and produce four low-budget original comedy features, starting this summer with “National Lampoon’s Bouncers.”

The first project is being made in partnership with hip-hop pioneers Full Force, who were involved in ’90s hits “House Party” and “House Party II.” It skewers club life in New York City and marks the first foray into urban comedy for vintage humor brand Lampoon. Full Force member B-Fine will direct and take a lead role with the rest of the trio.

Silver Nitrate and Street Alien will assemble financing on the four pics, which will range in budget from $1 million to $2.5 million.

New appetite

The deal underlines Lampoon’s increased appetite for original product since launching the National Lampoon Network last September. That channel is broadcast on 440 U.S. college campuses, reportedly reaching close to four million college students, which traditionally represent Lampoon’s core fan base.

“This partnership allows us to search for, develop and produce smart, funny and edgy comedy projects that our key audience, the 18-24 year-old demographic, get excited about,” National Lampoon COO Dan Laikin said. “This is all part of the revitalization of the National Lampoon brand over the past 12 months.”

The agreement covers both direct-to-video and theatrical, and is non-exclusive.

Laikin said the company this year is planning a theatrical reissue in selected cities, as well as a special DVD edition to mark the 25th anniversary of cult classic “National Lampoon’s Animal House,” while a 20th anniversary DVD is being prepared of “National Lampoon’s Vacation.”

New chapter

Headed by Wayne Mogel, Juan Carlos Zapata and Angad Paul, Street Alien Pictures is involved in the home entertainment, film and music sectors as a producer and distributor of music-driven documentary and film projects. London-based partner Paul served as exec producer on Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” and “Snatch.”

“Through this film development partnership, we are looking forward to being instrumental in helping write a new chapter in National Lampoon history,” Mogel said.

Silver Nitrate is one of a series of divisions formed in 1999 out of a partnership between Newmarket Capital Group and Ashland Entertainment to acquire and release films for the domestic homevideo and television markets.