Some terrific news has arrived on the final day of the Toronto International Film Festival. Rob Zombie’s highly anticipated new horror, The Lords of Salem, has finally bagged itself US distribution rights courtesy of Anchor Bay. The deal was struck on the final day of the festival, and Anchor Bay fended off strong competition from Image and Millennium Entertainment. This is great news, and while no US release date has yet been announced, it could mean that Anchor Bay just might plan to get a trailer out very soon. One can only hope I guess. The press release has all the details you need:
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.
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The terrific cast of veterans includes:
- Sheri Moon Zombie as Heidi Hawthorne
- Richard Lynch as Reverend John Hawthorne
- Bruce Davison as Francis Matthias
- Meg Foster as Margaret Morgan
- Ernest Lee Thomas as Chip “Freakshow” McDonald
- Jeff Daniel Phillips as Herman “Whitey” Salvador
- Ken Foree as Herman Jackson
- Torsten Voges as Count Gorgann
- Dee Wallace as Sonny
- Billy Drago as Judge Samuel Mather
- Lisa Marie as Priscilla Reed
- María Conchita Alonso as Alice Matthias
- Barbara Crampton as Virginia Cable
- Christopher Knight as Keith “Lobster Joe” Williams
- Michael Berryman as Virgil Magnus
- Sid Haig as Dean Magnus
- Judy Geeson as Lacy Doyle
- Patricia Quinn as Megan
- Daniel Roebuck as The Frankenstein Monster
- Camille Keaton as Doris Von Fux
- Udo Kier as Matthew Hopkins
- Clint Howard as Carlo Caravaggio
Jason Blum, Steven Schneider, and Oren Peli of Haunted Pictures are producing as well as Zombie regulars Andy Gould and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones. Zombie’s guitarist John 5 is set to handle the score.
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.
By Matt Wavish