The film career of troubled actor-director Mel Gibson reached a new nadir today with news that his latest movie, Get the Gringo (formerly known by the less kitschy title How I Spent My Summer Vacation), will bypass theaters entirely and premiere on DirecTV. According to TheWrap, Gibson’s film, in which he plays an American criminal who lands in a Mexican prison after a dust-up on the border, will be available exclusively to DirecTV subscribers starting May 1, providing they pony up $10.99 to watch it on demand. Outside the U.S., Get the Gringo will get a theatrical release in select countries whose consumers have far lower standards.
Gibson and DirecTV will no doubt try to spin the move as an innovative twist on traditional distribution strategy, but the decision to release a film straight to video is rarely an indicator of quality, and is traditionally reserved for low-budget projects starring the likes of Billy Zane or Stephen Baldwin. It certainly won’t go far in helping Gibson recoup the losses from his recent blockbuster divorce.