TIFF 2012: Anchor Bay Acquires US Distribution for Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem - Dread Central
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TIFF 2012: Anchor Bay Acquires US Distribution for Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem

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On the final day of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, US distribution rights to Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem (review here) were acquired by Anchor Bay Films.

From the Press Release:
After much speculation and a heated bidding war, Anchor Bay Films emerged as the new home for Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem. Under the agreement, Anchor Bay will handle all U.S. distribution rights on the film. Written and directed by Rob Zombie, The Lords of Salem stars Sheri Moon Zombie (Halloween) as well as Bruce Davison (X-Men), Jeff Daniel Phillips (Halloween 2), Ken Foree (Dawn of the Dead), Patricia Quinn (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Dee Wallace (E.T.) and Judy Geeson (To Sir, With Love). The film premiered last week at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and received rave reviews from mainstream and genre critics alike. Anchor Bay Entertainment President Bill Clark made today’s announcement.

“We’re extremely excited to be working on this film with Rob,” commented Kevin Kasha, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions and Co-Productions. “It’s a perfect fit for Anchor Bay.”

“I have always been a fan of the care and respect Anchor Bay has put into their genre titles,” said Zombie. “I can’t wait to work together to bring this bizarre, special movie to the masses.”

The Los Angeles Times dubbed The Lords of Salem “his darkest most unnerving yet,” IndieWire declared it “Rob Zombie’s best film” and Dread Central said “fans couldn’t stop talking about the film” after its premiere in Toronto.

Rock star-turned-horror maven Rob Zombie conjures up a nerve-wracking chiller involving Heidi (Sheri Moon Zombie), a radio station DJ, who receives a wooden box containing a vinyl record, “a gift from the Lords.” She assumes it’s from a band trying to promote themselves. Heidi and others listen but unbeknownst to them, the bizarre sounds within the grooves immediately trigger flashbacks of Salem’s violent past. Is Heidi going mad or are the Lords of Salem returning for revenge on modern day Salem?

The deal was negotiated by Kevin Kasha, Marc Barson and Josh Thomashow for Anchor Bay Films and by Josh Braun of Submarine and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones for Alliance Films. Alliance Films financed the film which was produced by Andy Gould, Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider. Kavanaugh-Jones is the executive producer.

Related Story: TIFF 2012: Exclusive Lords of Salem Interview with Director Rob Zombie

The Lords of Salem stars Barbara Crampton as Virginia Cable, a camera operator for a local kid’s show at Salem Public Access TV called “Lobster Joe’s Fishy Fun Show”; Brandon Cruz as Ted Delta, a local Salem drug counselor; Michael Shamus Wiles as Jarrett Perkins, owner of Salem’s Engine House Pizza; Michael Berryman as Virgil Magnus, 50% of a well-known witch hunting duo called “The Brothers”; Sid Haig as Dean Magnus, the other half of “The Brothers”; Christopher Knight as Keith Williams, aka Lobster Joe, the host of “Lobster Joe’s Fishy Fun Show”, a staple of local Salem television; Patricia Quinn as Megan, the town’s palm reader; Judy Geeson as Lacy Doyle, owner and landlady of Heidi Hawthorne’s apartment; Ken Foree as Herman Jackson, one third of The Big H Radio Team; Richard Lynch as the film’s protagonist, Reverend John Hawthorne; Lisa Marie, who plays Priscilla Reed, a woman who gives her all to support “the cause of the coven“; Billy Drago as Judge Samuel Mather, a key player in the history of the Lords; Dee Wallace as Sonny, a self-help guru; Bruce Davison as Francis Matthias, author of the book Satan’s Last Stand – The Truth About The Salem Witch Trials; Maria Conchita Alonso as Francis’ wife, Alice Matthias; Torsten Voges as Count Gorgann, lead singer of the Norwegian death metal band Leviathan the Fleeing Serpent; Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman “Whitey” Salvador, one third of The Big H Team; Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan, the leader of a secret coven of witches in Salem; Ernest Thomas, as Chip “Freakshow” McDonald, the station manager at Salem’s #1 rock station; and Sheri Moon Zombie as Heidi, the final third of The Big H Team.

Synopsis
Heidi, a blonde rock chick, DJs at a local radio station and, together with the two Hermans (Whitey and Munster), forms part of the “Big H Radio Team”. A mysterious wooden box containing a vinyl record arrives for Heidi, “a gift from the Lords”. She assumes it’s a rock band on a mission to spread their word. As Heidi and Whitey play the Lords’ record, it starts to play backwards, and Heidi experiences a flashback to a past trauma.

Later Whitey plays the Lords’ record, dubbing them the Lords of Salem, and to his surprise, the record plays normally and is a massive hit with listeners.

The arrival of another wooden box from the Lords presents the Big H Team with free tickets, posters and records to host a gig in Salem. Soon Heidi and her cohorts find that the gig is far from the rock spectacle they’re expecting: The original Lords of Salem are returning, and they’re out for BLOOD.

TIFF 2012: Anchor Bay Acquires US Distribution for Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem

TIFF 2012: Anchor Bay Acquires US Distribution for Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem

TIFF 2012: Anchor Bay Acquires US Distribution for Rob Zombie's The Lords of Salem

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Honest Trailers Takes on Stephen King’s IT

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Who out there loves Screen Junkies Honest Trailers?

Well, then today is your lucky day as the YouTube channel has just released their Honest Trailer for director Andres Muschietti’s take on Stephen King’s IT.

I don’t tend to watch these Honest Trailers videos but I have to admit this one was pretty fun. I’m not for mercilessly poking fun at movies that don’t deserve it, but when someone can point out issues I never realized (that are kinda valid) then I’m all in.

You can check out the Honest Trailer for Stephen King’s IT below and then let us know what you think!

Stephen King’s IT is now available on Blu-ray.

BUY IT NOW!

Synopsis:

Seven young outcasts in Derry, Maine, are about to face their worst nightmare — an ancient, shape-shifting evil that emerges from the sewer every 27 years to prey on the town’s children. Banding together over the course of one horrifying summer, the friends must overcome their own personal fears to battle the murderous, bloodthirsty clown known as Pennywise.

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Before We Vanish Review – A Quirky and Original Take on Alien Invasions

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Starring Masami Nagasawa, Ryûhei Matsuda, Hiroki Hasegawa

Written by Kiyoshi Kurosawa

Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa


During the J-horror rampage of the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Kairo (aka Pulse). A dark, depressing, and morose tale of ghosts that use the internet to spread across the world, the film’s almost suffocatingly gloomy atmosphere pervaded across every frame of the film. Because of my love of this film, I was eager to see the director’s upcoming movie Sanpo Suru Shinryakusha (aka Before We Vanish), which follows three aliens who recently arrived on Earth and are preparing to bring about an alien invasion that will wipe humanity from the face of the planet. Imagine my surprise when the film turned out to be barely a horror title but was instead a quirky and surreal dramedy that tugged at my heartstrings.

Admittedly, I was thrown completely for a loop as the film begins with a scene that feels perfectly at home in a horror film. Akira (Tsunematsu), a teenage girl, goes home and we enter moments later to blood splashed on the walls and floor and bodies strewn about. However, the disturbing visuals are spun around as the young girl walks down a highway, her clothes and face streaked with blood, Yusuke Hayashi’s music taking on a lighthearted, almost jaunty attitude. From there, we learn of the other two aliens (yes, she’s an alien and it’s not a secret or a twist, so no spoilers there): Amano (Takasugi), who is a young man that convinces a sleazy reporter, Sakurai (Hasegawa), of his true form and tasks Sakurai with being his guide, and Shinji (Matsuda), the estranged husband of Narumi (Nagasawa).

What sets these aliens, and their mission, apart from other invasion thrillers is their means of gathering information. They’re not interested in meeting leaders nor do they capture people for nefarious experimentations. Rather, they steal “concepts” from the minds of people, such as “family”, “possession”, or “pest”. Once these concepts are taken, the victim no longer has that value in their mind, freed from its constraints.

While this may seem like a form of brainwashing, Kurosawa instead plays with the idea that maybe knowing too much is what holds us back from true happiness. A man obsessed with staking claim to his family home learns to see the world outside of its walls when “possession” is no longer a part of his life. A touchy boss enters a state of child-like glee after “work” has been taken. That being said, there are other victims who are left as little more than husks.

Overly long at 130 minutes, the film does take its time showing the differences between the aliens and their individual behaviors. Amano and Akira are casually ruthless, willing to do whatever it takes to send a beacon to begin the alien invasion, no matter how many must die along the way, while Shinji is the curious and almost open-minded one, whose personal journey finds him at one point asking a priest to envision and describe “love”, a concept that is so individualistic and personal that it can’t be taken, much less fathomed, by this alien being. While many of these scenes are necessary, they could have easily been edited down to shave 10-15 minutes, making the film flow a bit more smoothly.

While the film begins on a dark note, there is a scene in the third act that is so pure and moving that tears immediately filled my eyes and I choked up a little. It’s a moment of both sacrifice and understanding, one that brings a recurring thread in the story full circle.

With every passing minute, Before We Vanish makes it clear that it’s much more horror-adjacent than horror. An alien invasion thriller with ultimate stakes, it will certainly have appeal to genre fans. That being said, those who go in expecting action, violence, and terror will certainly be disappointed. But those whose mind is a bit more open to a wider range of possibilities will find a delightful story that attempts to find out what it means to be human, even if we have to learn the lesson from an alien.

  • Before We Vanish
4.0

Summary

Before We Vanish is a beautiful, wonderful tale that explores what it means to be human when faced with the threat of extinction.

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Director Doug Liman Says Edge of Tomorrow 2 Could Be His Next Film

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I don’t know if you ever bothered to see the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt sci-fi action flick Edge of Tomorrow, but if you missed out, you should make time for the stellar flick.

I kept putting the film off myself, but then when I finally peeped the Groundhog Day-style shenanigans contained within, I was a fan signed, sealed, and delivered D.O.A.

It is with this in mind I’m excited to share the news that Edge of Tomorrow 2 just might be director Doug Liman’s next film! Recently the director spoke with Collider and dropped some new info on the possible sequel.

“We’re just working on the script…,” Liman said. “[We’re no longer working on scheduling issues]; now it’s down to we have a window where we could go do it, and we’re frantically working on the script. It’s one of those movies that we’ll only go make if we love the script. It’s not one of those things where the studio is pushing us to make it and they don’t really care if it’s good or not. If the movie happens, it will be because Emily Blunt, Tom Cruise, and myself are passionate about making it, which is a great place to be. She doesn’t need this movie, he doesn’t need this movie, and I don’t need it. We’re gonna make it if we really believe in it. We have [a] story that the three of us love, so we’re working hard on the script.”

So when he was asked if the film could be his next flick, he said: “It could be. It has the possibility of being my next film.”

Good enough for me!

You can check out the trailer for the original film out again below; and for your own good, if you’ve been passing on the film for the last few years, give it a shot tonight. You will not be disappointed.

Synopsis:
When Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them. Maj. William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has never seen combat, is assigned to a suicide mission. Killed within moments, Cage finds himself thrown into a time loop, in which he relives the same brutal fight — and his death — over and over again. However, Cage’s fighting skills improve with each encore, bringing him and a comrade (Emily Blunt) ever closer to defeating the aliens.

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