Revolver Films and the dark side of distribution
A friend of mine sent me a link of an article stating that Revolver went down the toilet. He also went on to say that it was a good thing they were out of business as they were fleecing people but let’s face it; the distribution industry is full of rip off merchants and badly paying sharks. For those that are old enough to remember there was Palace Pictures run (badly!) by Nik Powell and Stephen Woolley which released seminal classics like Evil Dead, the early John Woo films and a host of others who went under leaving a lot of people out of pocket. Ironically the biggest hit in their history, The Crying Game, was released after their bankruptcy by Miramax who sold it cleverly on the ‘willy surprise’. This windfall would have saved Palace but only for the short term, as they were really bad when it came to bookkeeping and would only have postponed their inevitable death. Miramax themselves (prior to selling out to Disney) were another distributer notable for its financial banditry but champions of films that would otherwise never reach a wide audience.
There is also the toilet-scraping cinematic scat fetishistic Troma Films, now these guys won’t ever pay you for distributing your shining mini epic but with their wacky methods they will find an audience for your movie. That’s the payoff to jumpstart a career.
Remember, if you have a small niche film going through the major distributers, they really don’t put the effort in selling your film as they are more geared for high end big budget multiplex fodder so they best place are the small hungry guys. A simple case of better the devil you know.
Face it, all distributors are crooks and the likelihood of ever seeing a profit is nearly impossible but the smaller outfits have the energy and passion of getting movies released to market that are cooler and different to the mainstream dross. That’s what Revolver did and knowing their dark side of their business ethics, they were the place to go.