Corman has Sundance debut with 'Virtually Heroes'

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PARK CITY, Utah (AP) — Roger Corman has been to the Cannes and Venice film festivals. But for some reason, the independent filmmaker with nearly 400 movies to his credit has missed the Sundance Film Festival — until now.

The video-game tale "Virtually Heroes" is the first Corman production to premiere at the indie-cinema showcase, appropriately playing in Sundance's midnight-movie program of way-out horror, comedy and action.

True to Corman's low-budget approach, "Virtually Heroes" was made for less than $500,000 by blending combat footage from the producer's previous Vietnam war movies with a new story about two self-aware video-game characters battling the Vietcong.

Corman's films usually are considered schlock. But he felt director G.J. Echternkamp had come up with a clever twist that made "Virtually Heroes" right for Sundance. So he contacted festival officials, who agreed.

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