AUSTIN, Texas—"Homo Erectus," a comedy set in prehistoric times, which was produced by Burnt Orange Productions in association with the University of Texas Film Institute, has been acquired by National Lampoon, Inc. (AMEX: NLN).
To be released in September as "National Lampoon's Homo Erectus," the film stars and was written and directed by Adam Rifkin ("Underdog," "Mousehunt," "Detroit Rock City"). It also stars Ali Larter ("Heroes," "Final Destination") as Rifkin's love interest. The cast also features Hayes MacArthur ("The Game Plan," "Atlanta"), David Carradine ("Kill Bill," "Big Stan"), Gary Busey ("Lost Highway," "The Firm") and Talia Shire ("Blue Smoke," "I Heart Huckabees").
The film was produced by Carolyn Pfeiffer ("The Quiet") and Brad Wyman ("Monster," "Freeway") with Dr. Thomas Schatz, executive director of the University of Texas Film Institute, serving as executive producer.
"Homo Erectus" follows the exploits of the hapless Ishbo (Rifkin), a philosophical caveman who yearns for more out of life than sticks, stones and raw meat. Larter plays his unrequited love interest who is never impressed with Ishbo's inventions such as the toilet, the spoon and pants. Even though he is single-handedly striving to advance the human race, Ishbo continually irritates his fellow Neanderthals who write off his absurd gizmos and forward thinking ideas as the ravings of an idiot. The movie was filmed in and around Austin in fall 2005.
"Having National Lampoon's stamp of approval is a lifetime dream come true," said Rifkin. "One of my favorite movies of all time is 'National Lampoon's Animal House.' 'Homo Erectus' being a part of that legacy of film comedy is an honor beyond words."
More than 30 University of Texas at Austin graduate and undergraduate students worked on the film in all stages of production as apprentices and interns, from accounting and office management, to set production, props and costumes, to casting and publicity.
"Working on a professional film set is a rare opportunity for students in film school," said Schatz. "Performing an essential role on a film that's released commercially is extraordinary."
"Homo Erectus" has already garnered praise from Entertainment Weekly, Cinemablend and IndieWire.
"Homo Erectus" will receive theatrical distribution under National Lampoon Releasing and home video distribution through National Lampoon Home Entertainment.
For more information contact: Erin Geisler, 512-475-8071, College of Communication, The University of Texas at Austin; Dawn Miller, 310-300-0950 x 231, and Alastair Duncan, 310-300-0950 x 223, LCO PR.