Schlock-Wire: Severin Films Acquires Paul W.S. Anderson’s Controversial Debut, SHOPPING

Like him or loathe him, Paul W.S. Anderson is one of the kingpins of modern genre filmmaking thanks to the success of his Resident Evil series.  Cult film types interested his work will get a chance to see his debut film because Severin Films is preparing DVD and blu-ray versions of Shopping.  This film, which featured Jude Law in his first screen role, was very controversial in the U.K. and will be presented in an remastered, uncut version with extras.  Read on for the early news on this chav-chaos epic:





LOS ANGELES, CA, September 16, 2010 – Severin Films today announced the acquisition of North American home video rights to Paul W.S. Anderson’s controversial, action-packed debut feature SHOPPING.

Along with marking Oscar™-nominee Jude Law’s (SHERLOCK HOLMES, TALENTED MR. RIPLEY) feature film debut, SHOPPING packs an all-star British cast including Sean Bean (LORD OF THE RINGS), Jonathan Pryce (PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN, BRAZIL), Sadie Frost (BRAM STOKER’S DRACULA), Sean Pertwee (DOG SOLDIERS), and 60s icon Marianne Faithful.

Anderson, the director of the current worldwide #1 box office smash RESDIENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE has helmed an impressive string of big budget crowd-pleasing action blockbusters such as MORTAL KOMBAT, EVENT HORIZON, RESIDENT EVIL, ALIEN VS. PREDATOR and DEATH RACE. But it was SHOPPING, his hard-hitting cautionary tale of adrenaline-addicted youth run amok, that first brought Anderson to the attention of Hollywood. Which was fortunate since the  subsequent controversy surrounding SHOPPING nearly killed Anderson’s career in his native United Kingdom.

SHOPPING capitalized on a fissure in England’s early-90s youth culture – ram-raiding, the practice of using stolen cars to plow into storefronts, then stealing everything you could carry before authorities arrived. SHOPPING’s too-graphic depiction of ram-raiding (which included a scene that showed you how to steal an alarmed car in 60 seconds or less) caused a full-fledged tabloid outcry in England, with yellow journalists claiming the film would inspire a wave of copycat crimes nationwide.

The hysterical campaign against SHOPPING forced the infamous British film censorship board to stall its release for nearly a year, enforcing numerous cuts to Anderson’s gritty, post-apocalyptic vision. By the time a censored version limped into British cinemas a year later, SHOPPING’s commercial and critical prospects were irrevocably damaged. The press, laying in wait, savaged the then-unknown Jude Law’s performance to the point where Law’s nascent film career was put onto life support. Eventually, a even further-truncated version was released theatrically in the U.S. by Roger Corman.

But now for the first time in North America, the fully unhinged, uncut version of SHOPPING is roaring onto DVD and Blu-Ray with all the controversial ram-raiding footage restored in stunning high-definition. A host of exclusive special features are currently in production including interviews, commentary, deleted scenes and more.

“SHOPPING is a terrific acquisition for us,” says Carl Daft, co-founder and CEO of Severin Films. “The critics not only missed the boat on SHOPPING, they never set foot on the bloody pier. A level-headed review of 90s British cinema will reveal that SHOPPING was the actually the first of a wave crime-inspired UK films, including SHALLOW GRAVE, TRAINSPOTTING, and LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS. It’s undeniable that with SHOPPING, Anderson was first to the punch, with Danny Boyle and the like doing the own fine work bringing up the rear. It’s beyond high time this British action auteur was given his due as a maverick of popular cinema and our Special Edition release of his electrifying debut will start the ball rolling.”

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