Focus World Releasing Cuban Film 'Juan of the Dead' VOD This Year
Give this a chance! Focus Features has announced they'll release Cuban horror comedy Juan of the Dead through their "digital distribution" label Focus World. Despite its too-similar-to-Shaun-of-the-Dead title, I got to see this at Fantastic Fest last year and it's damn good, an entertaining and well-made comedy that's even a bit subversive towards Cuban government. The Focus World agreement "allows for Juan to premiere at U.S. festivals and then from April enjoy a theatrical run from a separate distributor," eventually hitting digital VOD platforms from Focus World. While I still prefer theaters, I'm glad to see this land a distributor.
Juan of the Dead, directed by Alejandro Brugués, first hit the festival circuit last year, playing at the Toronto and Sitges Film Festivals. Variety (via SlashFilm) reported the news about it being picked up by Focus. A fest favorite that premiered last September, Juan is about a 40-year-old slacker named Juan who, when a zombie outbreak hits Cuba, starts a business to kill off any lingering undead. "Critics have been quick to see Juan as political allegory." But, "if it really says anything about Cuba, it is its inhabitants' knack of making ends meet, according to director Alejandro Brugues." Focus will release across video-on-demand and electronic sell-thru platforms, including cable providers, iTunes, Xbox 360, Playstation and YouTube.
I've included the first official trailer below (via YouTube), if you want to see it to get an idea. You can also visit the official website for Juan of the Dead here. It's a very funny film and one that caught off me guard by how much I enjoyed it, so I'm giving this some extra attention and pointing it out. The film is a labor of love for director Alejandro Brugués, who grew up in Cuba, and is worth watching at least once. We're not sure who will be releasing this in theaters first, but we'll be keeping an eye on it either way. Juan is coming!