Blockbuster and Hollywood Video, whose shelves are quickly filling up with straight-to-DVD releases, have a new addition today - a locally-made comedy called The Mini. Unlike most straight-to-DVD films (you know, the ones starring Steven Seagal), The Mini is actually good.
The film follows a futon salesman (Larry Dahlke) as he trains for a mini-marathon in the hopes of impressing his boss and moving up to mattress sales (talk about dreaming big). This story may seem thin, but deep within it lies a biting look at our culture's celebration of the mediocre and superficial. The film delves into this satire rather subtly and quietly, which was the intended approach according to post producer Marty Allain.
"Instead of over-stylizing or trying to romanticize a sect of society's underbelly or simply being as profane as one can possibly be, we took a different route and tried to create a fun-loving and sweet comedy, more wacky and goofy than anything else," Allain elaborated.
Refreshingly, the film is not a rough, in-your-face comedy like most independent film efforts, but a nice, modest little comedy. Writer-director, Ron Beck shows that you don't need raunchy material to get laughs (listen up, Kevin Smith). Master of comedy, John Landis (Animal House, The Blues Brothers) praised The Mini as "a very funny, heart-warming comedy".
The Mini won several film festival awards around the country including Best of Fest at Temecula Valley International Film Festival (Temecula, California), Best Comedy at Bluegrass Independent Film Festival (Louisville, Kentucky), Best Narrative Feature at Foursite Film Festival (Ogden, Utah), and the Audience Choice Award at the Da Vinci Film Festival (Corvallis, Oregon).
Upon its release today, the film becomes one of only a handful of feature film productions shot exclusively in Indiana in the last 10 years that can boast national distribution.
"We are proud to be one of a small group of films made by Indiana filmmakers and shot solely at Indianapolis area locations to be available on the shelves at Blockbuster and Hollywood Video stores across the country. The hundreds of Hoosiers who helped with the film as actors, location owners, volunteer crew and extras should be proud that their hard work will be seen by so many" says director Ron Beck.
The Mini's national distribution also includes on-line availability starting today, May 11 through Blockbuster Digital, Netflix and Amazon.com. The film will be available on-demand - reaching approximately 20 million homes - through Avail TVN Network affiliates on-demand services in select markets starting May 24, 2010.
So, be on the lookout. This is one straight-to-DVD film actually worth watching.
For more information, visit www.theminimovie.com