This is a partial list of indie horror distributors and I'll be adding to it as I go... However, before I list them, I want to give you a big disclaimer. I, and many others, definitely feel that your first move after finishing your film is to push the festivals as hard as you can, that way you hope the distributors approach you, and with a few awards, you'll get a better deal and have more doors opened for you. However, if that's not an option, go ahead and send these guys screeners. Now, if a distributor is interested in your film, always read the fine print on a contract, weigh your options and think about any decision you make. I would also like to mention that if anyone wants to share any stories about dealing with distributors, good or bad, please send me an email. Really, we're a community here and we need to look out for each other. There's a lot of sharks out there and they prey on indie filmmakers, especially the ones that dress like seals...
Anthem Pictures - From their website: "Anthem continues to grow as one of the leading independent film and DVD distribution companies. With over 100 films and television shows, Anthem is the little company that functions like a "micro" studio. With over 6 1/2 years in the marketplace and production industry, Anthem's recognition and brand have grown into a well known name worldwide." One thing that I love is that they have four options to get their titles; DVD, VOD, Burn-On-Demand and Mobile. However, for the life of me, I can't figure out how those options work... Maybe they're new and if so, cool. If I just can't figure it out, please email me and tell me how it works. Either way, with options like that, they could be ones to watch. Recently, they've released such titles as "Dead Moon Rising", "Sex Machine" and "Bloodshed". If you go to the "contacts" page, you can get the email addresses of everyone, so... shoot an email their way and get your film over there.
Brain Damage Films is where it seems that most low to no budget horror gets distributed through. Some sample titles would be "The Veil", "Satan's Whip", "The Blood Stained Bride"... all of which are low to no budget films, shot on DV. Brain Damage bills itself as "a full service distribution house and film production company dedicated solely to scaring the hell out of you." They distribute worldwide and domestically and they invite you to send your film on over... Contact them at email@example.com
Breaking Glass Pictures was named after David Bowie’s 1977 hit song and was founded by Richard Wolff and Richard Ross is committed to distributing a wide range of provocative and challenging films from all genres. They plan on distributing up to twelve titles a year through their new specialty label, Vicious Circle Films, which is dedicated to extreme material. They've distributed some great indie and micro-cinema films, including "Brainjacked", "Sympathy" and "Ticked off Trannies with Knives". If you click on the link at the top there, they have all their contact info on their site - go ahead, get in touch with them and send them your screener.
Camp Motion Pictures is parent company to three labels: Camp Motion Pictures, Bloody Earth Films and Secret Key Motion Pictures. Bloody Earth Films is probably what you should be looking at. It's the contemporary horror label of Camp Motion Pictures, a feature film acquisition and production company dedicated to reviving the DIY spirit of filmmaking. You can browse the Bloody Earth Films stuff at their Alternative Cinema page, they've released stuff like: "Splatter Beach", "Zombie Bloodbath Trilogy" and "Trailer Trash!". If you want to contact them, you need to go to their contact us page.
Darclight is a division of Arclight and they're devoted to showcasing the best in the horror, thriller and action genres from around the world. Formed in 2004, the Darclight banner encompasses a wide variety of genres including horror, thriller and action feature films, with recent successes being the horror films "Wolf Creek", "Perfect Creature" and "Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror". They tend to deal with bigger budget films that have run or will run the festival circuit, but you never know. If you go to their site there, they have all the contact information you'll need to get in touch with their head of acquisitions.
Dimension Extreme - From their website: "DIMENSION EXTREME is home to the most intense, edgy and provocative programming that will continually push the envelope. Horror films, thrillers, sci-fi adventures, and bawdy, outrageous comedies are a few of the genres that will drive DIMENSION EXTREME." The are, of course, owned by The Weinstein Company and generally just pick up festival movies or big foreign films for North American release, so... I wouldn't go soliciting them, but they're worth mentioning because they come out with a lot of good films and they've really pushed the genre forward. Recently, they've released such titles as "Inside", "Diary of the Dead" and "Teeth".
Elite Entertainment mostly distributes restored 'classics', but they will, occasionally, release a low-budget, never seen before indie film. You'll have to be a cut above the regular fare, but it is possible. Founded in 1993, Elite "was initially created to fill a void in the laserdisc community. At the time it was clear that horror/sci-fi were not getting any special treatment. Once the world made the jump to DVD, so did Elite Entertainment. This year will bring many new classic DVD titles as well as several new and never-before-seen films premiering on DVD." They can be contacted through their website or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Film Baby calls themselves a "haven for independent filmmakers and those that love independent film" and it's more like a self-serve type of deal. As in, there's really no submissions policy. Just get them the film, they'll distribute it and most, if not all, of the marketing and promoting is up to you. Some of the "cool tidbits", as they call it on their site, are: they're non-exclusive, there's a one time fee of $40, they only keep $4 of the sales price of your film and you set the sticker price, they pay you every week and they'll distribute it digitally, if you're interested. You can go here to set up an account and get started.
Image Entertainment is a big home entertainment company that acquires, licenses, finances and produces exclusive content for worldwide video distribution through its direct relationships with major North American retailers and foreign sublicensees such as Sony/BMG and Warner Music. Long and short, they're not a little indie company. However, they do distribute little indie films. They've released "Die You Zombie Bastards!", "Day X" and a personal favorite, "Evil Aliens", among many other films. Once again, they don't make it hard to get in touch with their acquisitions department. You can just go to their site there and click on 'contact us' and you'll find the aquisitions email address.
Indican Pictures - From their site: "Indican Pictures was opened to better serve the public by filling the void left by the studio acquisitions of Miramax, New Line, Good Machine, October, etc. We are a distributor of quality independent films with an American flair. Our objective from the start has been to establish a reputation as a "quality" company. We have achieved that goal and now look to take our commitment of very high quality products into the home video market. The Indican brand stands for a "quality and trusted" label." Looking through their site, nothing on their site says that they're actively looking for new films, but you can always contact them and give it a go. Recently, they've released such titles as "Black Wine", "Dead in the Water" and "Pariah". To be honest, they don't do a ton of horror, but maybe your film fits with what they're doing.
I've talked to a few guys who've distributed their films under Indie-Pictures and they've had nothing but rave reviews. To be honest, it's one of the only distributors that's batting 1.000 with people I've talked to. I actually reached out to these guys, as I wanted to talk with them and find out more, but... well, they haven't got back to me yet. I'm sure they're just taking the time to draft a proper letter or something. Anyhow, and this is from their website, they've "developed a model of distribution specifically designed to support the independent filmmaker, challenge many of the existing assumptions about distribution of independent films, and create opportunities for both films and filmmakers which have until now not existed." There's more on their website there, including contact information for both the CEO and Chairman of the Board.
ITN Distribution, according to them, has become a leading film distribution company known to buyers worldwide. They hold offices at the Cannes Film Festival and Market, the American Film Market, Mipcom, Natpe and Mifed, although their head offices are in Las Vegas. They distribute all kinds of films, including a lot of horror. They've recently released such titles as "Rapturious", "The Toybox" and "Chill".
Passion River is another new company that's been brought to my attention. Actually, they're not new... just new to me. They've been around since 1998, which some in this industry would consider an enternity. Now, they operate a little differently than other distributors. They do acquire, distribute and represent indie film projects, but it looks like they'll also act as a sort of shopping cart for indie filmmakers, meaning... you want us to just wholesale out your film? Fine. You want marketing services? Fine. You want us to take care of the whole thing? Fine. You want more information on how to contact them? Fine. Here's a link to their film submissions page.
POPcinema is "home to long-standing genre film labels Seduction Cinema, Retro-Seduction Cinema and Shock-O-Rama Cinema, which have achieved a level of popular and critical success uniquely tied to their consumer-centric marketing and branded style of entertainment". There's a certain type of camp film that they like, but if your film fits the bill, you may be in luck. POP Cinema has released films like: "Creature from the Hillbilly Lagoon", "Chainsaw Sally" and "Kinky Kong".
Tempe Entertainment - From their site: "TEMPE VIDEO was first spawned as a mail-order distributor in the summer of 1991 as an offshoot of producer/director J.R. Bookwalter's The Suburban Tempe Company (later Tempe Entertainment). Their first release, BASIC HOW-TO HALLOWEEN MAKEUPS VOLUME ONE, paved the way for many more VHS releases to come and spawned an offshoot label, Video Outlaw, in 1994. Tempe Video took a hiatus in 1996 during a move to Los Angeles, California but was resurrected for the digital age as Tempe DVD in 2001." So, these guys specialize in low-budget horror, but are trying to branch out. If you want to submit your film for consideration, go to their FAQ page, the instructions are all there. Recently, they've released such titles as "Bonejacks Splatter Platters", "Teenape Goes to Camp" and "The Bonesetter".
TLA releasing - From their site: "Launched in 2001 by TLA Entertainment Group in Philadelphia, TLA Releasing is dedicated to broadening the choices available to film lovers by specializing in quality independent, international and gay/lesbian-themed films by distributing them in theaters and on home video." I will say this about TLA, they do have a horror category that they call "Danger After Dark" and they are actively looking for new aquisitions. Recently, they've released such titles as "Meatball Machine", "Hell's Ground" and "Storm".
Unearthed Films is a little tougher to get distributed through, as they're also into securing rights to Asian films and old, forgotten horror movies, but they will look at your film. They've released some indie films, such as: "Bone Sickness", "Nails" and "City of Rott". It's "the brainchild of a group of hard-core cult film enthusiasts who intend to blow the lid off of the DVD industry as we know it. Setting their sights on rare underground horror films, lost animated gems and psychotic action films, Unearthed Films is making a dramatic impact in the North American DVD market." They can be contacted at email@example.com