(OPENPRESS) November 28, 2009 — Lady Magdalene’s — the comic thriller starring Star Trek‘s original Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, that won “Best Cutting Edge Film” and “Audience Choice” awards in its film-festival play — has just been released by Video On Demand.

“The decision to release Lady Magdalene’s for Video on Demand wasn’t an easy one,” said Lady Magdalene’s writer/producer/director, J. Neil Schulman. “I still feel Lady Magdalene’s has theatrical box-office potential, and after the $11,000-unknown-actors thriller Paranormal Activity‘s gross of over $100 million at the box office I don’t think any quality indie feature should be written off as unreleasable, no matter how low its budget or its lack of so-called A-list stars. But I need to build audience-support for our movie and along with film festival play I see Video on Demand as another way of doing that so distributors can recognize our broad commercial potential both in theatrical release and later on DVD/Blu-Ray.”

Lady Magdalene’s tells the story of Jack Goldwater, a federal agent who gets in trouble when, on a jetliner, he searches the violin case of a young Arab-American he suspects is an al Qaeda operative, and as punishment for racial profiling is assigned to be the federal receiver in charge of running a Nevada brothel in tax default. There he meets the brothel’s colorful owner, Lady Magdalene — played by the iconic Nichelle Nichols — and his assignment takes a left turn when, with her help, they discover that one of the working girls is part of a domestic al Qaeda cell with plans to smuggle in a crate from Mexico that’s supposed to be unloaded at Hoover Dam. It’s a plot-driven suspense thriller with lots of comic relief and strong character interplay.

Why hasn’t Lady Magdalene’s found a commercial distributor to put it into brick-and-mortar venues yet?

“Some studios won’t even look at an indie film not headlined by stars on their white-list,” said Schulman. “Other studios won’t consider distributing indie films anymore, period. I think the problem is that a lot of indie films are made for specialized audiences, whereas — even with our budget limitations — I wrote, directed, and cut Lady Magdalene’s to entertain as wide an audience as we could get in front of. But studios have gotten into the mindset of thinking that if they don’t have an above the line of $20 million and a special-effects budget of $40 million then audiences won’t buy tickets. Steven Spielberg — by releasing Paranormal Activity — has once again proved why he knows more than all the rest of Hollywood’s heads put together. I’m just hoping that we’ll catch the attention of some studio execs who want to prove themselves as smart as Spielberg.”

“Then again,” Schulman says, “these days, any time you make a movie that has al Qaeda characters in it, you’re accused of being either left-wing anti-American or a right-wing NeoCon. It’s hard for a filmmaker like me to convince the studios that I was just trying to tell a good story with contemporary topics that are in the news every day.”

“Reviewers have called Lady Magdalene’s a comedy,” Schulman continues, “but it’s really more in the genre of a 50’s Hitchcock movie like North by Northwest where you have a straight suspense plot with frequent comic relief. This formula was continued in the 60’s with the Bond films. Of course I was shooting a movie for a half million instead of studio-level budgets, so I had to be particularly creative in how to give audiences the impression they’re seeing lots of action. I’ve been telling people that I made a Jerry Bruckheimer tent pole on an Ed Wood budget. It helped a lot that I had access to great Nevada locations. The point is, despite my low budget, I was trying to tell the best story I could with the best actors I could get, and use every trick in the book to make the audience forget that I couldn’t afford to crash or blow something up every five minutes. But in addition to some great performances I also think we have a kick-ass musical soundtrack — with original songs and performances, including three by Nichelle Nichols — that can rival movies made for fifty times what ours cost.”

Full information on Lady Magdalene’s — including trailer, buzz, reviews, photos, and music videos — are on the movie’s official website at

Lady Magdalene’s can be found on Video on Demand as either a sale or rental.

Lady Magdalene’s: The Musical Soundtrack can also be found on as either a two-CD set or as MP3 downloads.

Bookmark and Share