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