When Film Movement was founded in 2003, the company represented a revolution in getting movies to movie-lovers, allowing people in the hinterlands access to some of the same festival-acclaimed world cinema that folks in the big cities were already getting—and at roughly the same time to boot. In the decade since, more independent distributors have followed Film Movement’s lead: not holding fast to the old model of slow-roll arthouse platforming, but using DVD, Blu-ray, and digital distribution to make sure that everyone who wants to see one of their movies has an opportunity to direct their dollars accordingly. And Film Movement has adjusted too, supplementing its “Film Of The Month” subscription service with digital downloads and rentals, via various retailers.
Last year, Film Movement announced a new genre-focused imprint RAM Releasing, and acquired a few buzzed-about festival titles, including Kim Ki-duk’s Moebius, which our own Mike D’Angelo described at TIFF as “a sick, over-the-top comedy of the sort generally produced in America by Troma.” Today, Indiewire has more information about RAM Releasing’s 2014 plans. In addition to the currently available Forgetting The Girl, RAM will be rolling out Hush and Hide And Seek (the latter a horror film that was a huge hit in its native South Korea) to different cable companies’ on-demand services over the next few months. The most potentially interesting films in the RAM pipeline though are Moebius (arriving in late July), App (a William Castle-esque Dutch thriller, out in May, that comes with its own second-screen cell phone app), and The Sarnos: A Life In Dirty Movies (a documentary about softcore auteur Joe Sarno, due in June). Each of these will be available on VOD and in select theaters—though I’d probably opt to watch App at home.
Film Movement is hardly the first indie distributor to carve out a separate niche as a purveyor of horror, action, and erotica. Dimension Films is probably the most famous of these, giving the Weinstein brothers’ Miramax (and now The Weinstein Company) a way to handle lower-budget films that don’t have the higher tone of its usual product. Magnolia Pictures has Magnet; IFC Films has IFC Midnight; and so on. The challenge for all of these companies has been to find quality Midnight Madness film-fest fare that deserves a wider audience and that would have a hard time getting it without the boost of a boutique company. Dimension eventually ceased to have much cachet as a curator of quality trash, while the IFC Midnight and Magnet names are still, by and large, a mark of some distinction. Film Movement and RAM Releasing will have to build that brand carefully. But at least while that’s happening, fans of edgy horror and the like will have yet another channel to follow.