NO SLEEP, NO SURRENDER Charts ASTRON-6's Rise To The Exploitation Promised Land

J Hurtado, Contributing Writer
The greatest benefit of writing for this Twitch is the soapbox effect.

This site gives our staff the ability to champion projects that we believe in that often fall through the cracks at larger outlets. Astron-6 is a perfect example of this effect. Ever since we first scoped out their brilliant short film Lazer Ghosts 2: The Return to Laser Cove, we've had our fingers on the pulse of this crew of miscreants from Winnipeg and have attempted to bring you the latest news as well as promote them as the incredible talents they are.

After a successful run of short films, released last winter on DVD by Troma Entertainment, Astron-6 produced two feature films almost simultaneously, Manborg and Father's Day. Manborg was a self-funded micro-budget ($1,000) sci-fi adventure that slayed them at Fantastic Fest and numerous other film festivals since last fall. Father's Day was, well, something else.

Father's Day began its life as a fake trailer, not unlike the Hobo with a Shotgun trailer that landed fellow Canadian Jason Eisener his first feature film. However, rather than the almost magical experience shown in the Hobo with a Shotgun Making of Doc, "More Blood, More Heart", Astron-6 signed a deal with Lloyd Kaufman at Troma, and the resulting production and distribution experience seems to have been significantly less satisfactory.

No Sleep, No Surrender
is a feature length documentary from the Astron-6 folks showing the entire production process behind Father's Day. Every step of the journey is detailed, from conception and pre-production to distribution, and it seems to get a bit ugly by the end. As you'll see in the second half of this trailer, Kaufman appeared to be selling bootleg DVDs of the film during his tour for its opening, and when Astron-6 first saw the poster design, they were perturbed to find their logo missing while Troma's was in plain sight. Bad times all around.

Yesterday I posted a rather ranty update to the Blu-ray specs for Father's Day, which dropped several key bonus features and the proposed soundtrack CD. This announcement coming just one day after Best Movie News Ever premiered the No Sleep No Surrender trailer. Well, it would appear that Troma could be reacting to Astron-6 for speaking out against their poor treatment by the legendary independent studio. The film deserves to be seen, but part of me, and I'm sure most of Astron-6, wishes that they'd had a viable crowd funding option for this so that they could have retained control over it from beginning to end. Thankfully, they've taken that tact with their next project Fireman, which I'll link below for those of you inclined to donate.

Today on their Facebook page, Astron-6 deflected questions about the changes to their Father's Day disc, instead urging fans to question Troma about the decision. However, in the same breath, they made sure to let people know that No Sleep No Surrender will be available in some form, and I hope it's in a way that most directly benefits Astron-6, who deserve more support than they appear to have gotten.

Viva Astron-6!
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  • Conor

    ^ That release is exactly the same as the one on amazon.com, save for the EP with a couple of songs on it. There is no commentary, no documentary.

  • Ttv

    OFFICIAL!!! FATHER'S DAY BLURAY/2xDVD/CD WILL BE 4 DISCS!!!

    same price as the 3 discs!!

    You get the bluray movie, the SD DVD movie, Special features , BTS, SFX featurettes, slideshows and other extras, and an EP soundtrack CD including "Night of the Hunter'' "We are the Universe" and others!!!

  • mightyjoeyoung

    Are Twitch going to write a longer article about this Troma/Astron 6 conflict?

    I´ve heard stories about people not getting along with Roger Corman but never before with Troma/Kaufman.

  • Bryan

    No matter how poorly things went down with Troma, I'm glad these guys got the chance to make Father's Day. I can't remember which one of them I was talking to a couple of years back but he was telling me that it was looking like after Manborg wrapped, they were all going their separate ways and that was it for Astron 6. They're a remarkable bunch of filmmakers. I love everything they do. So it looks like we dodged a bullet on that one.

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