Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: As the Toronto Film Festival draws to a close, a deal that has been in the works nearly a week has finally been closed. Anchor Bay Films acquired U.S. distribution rights to Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem, which debuted to a raucous crowd last Monday in the fest’s Midnight Madness section. The deal was worth in the $2 million minimum guarantee range, putting it in line with the deals that Dimension made for the Eli Roth-produced genre films Aftershock (which premiered at the fest) and Clown. Anchor Bay was the frontrunner all along, even though Image and Millennium Entertainment bid. After that, several larger distributors were in the mix, but Anchor Bay finally closed.

Scripted and directed by Zombie, The Lords of Salem stars Sheri Moon Zombie, Bruce Davison, Jeff Daniel Phillips, Ken Foree, Patricia Quinn, Dee Wallace and Judy Geeson. Anchor Bay’s Bill Clark and Kevin Kasha reeled this one in.

“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.”

Sheri Moon Zombie plays a radio station DJ who receives a wooden box containing a vinyl record, described as “a gift from the Lords.” She assumes it’s from a band trying to promote themselves. As she and others listen, they don’t realize 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?

Anchor Bay’s Kasha, Marc Barson and Josh Thomashow negotiated with Josh Braun of Submarine and Brian Kavanaugh-Jones for Alliance Films. Alliance financed the film, and Andy Gould, Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider produced it. Kavanaugh-Jones is executive producer.