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Long-Lost Roger Corman-Produced Film Picked up by Screen Media


You're not a cinephile unless you know who guys like Roger Corman are. One of the most famed B-movie directors of all-time, he has been called "The Pope of Pop Cinema" and is known as a trailblazer in the world of independent film. In particular, he was known a string of low-budget cult films adapted from the tales of Edgar Allan Poe and, in conjunction, his collaborations with actor Vincent Price. In addition, he mentored and gave a start to many young film directors such as Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante, John Sayles, and James Cameron. Through this, he became highly influential in the New Hollywood filmmaking movement of the 1960's and 1970's. He has never stopped being involved in the industry though, despite his last directorial effort being the 1990 science fiction film Frankenstein Unbound. He since then has served as a producer on many low-budget horror and action films. But, due to his independent nature, many of his projects have often been overlooked or unable to get distribution. One big example was the 2013 gamer film Virtually Heroes which, despite premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, was never picked up. That is, until now.

It's been confirmed today that Screen Media has picked up the North American distribution rights for the film. It will have a limited theatrical and digital release this December with Screen Media partnering up with corporate sibling Popcornflix to then premiere the movie to streaming audiences in February 2023. Screen Media released the following statement today:

“We’re thrilled to bring this lost Corman project to our audiences. The film is a perfect blend of action and campy, tongue-in-cheek comedy, and will be sure to delight viewers – whether this is their first foray into the world of Roger Corman or fiftieth.”

The film's concept evolved from Roger Corman's desire to utilize his extensive library of stock footage to create a modern war film before writers G.J. Echternkamp and Matt Yamashita came in. Drawing heavily on Corman's library to write their script, the story's world was turned into a video game world to justify the repurposed stock footage. As a result, the story ultimately became a tale about two two self-aware characters in a Call of Duty-inspired video game as they battle endless supplies of Vietcong, absurdly powerful level bosses, and their own existential crises. With the help of a Yoda-like monk, they attempt to win the game and get the girl. Echternkamp (who also directed and produced the film) had this to say about the project finally getting distribution.

Virtually Heroes was an ambitious project in many ways, and not exactly what you would call a conventional film. I’m so glad that Screen Media is at last bringing this cult movie out of the shadows and onto their platform to be discovered by a new audience.”

The film stars Robert Baker, Brent Chase, and Katie Savoy with Mark Hamill, as a wink to the audience, playing the Yoda-like monk. Stay tuned!

18 views3 comments


Aug 20, 2022

Sounds like a bunch of left over footage was cobbled together into a movie. There's probably a good reason it never got released.

Durand Simon
Durand Simon
Aug 22, 2022
Replying to

yeah I'm not sure either.

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