Allen Kovac and Higher Noise pivoted to horror motion pictures through the pandemic – and located a promotional goldmine for rock artists.
It was March 2020 and the Display Actors Guild rep on-site at The Retaliators Connecticut capturing location declared that it was formally the final film being shot within the USA. All different movies had ceased filming as a result of pandemic.
Unknown to all on-site that day, the primary Keep At House order for US residents was just some days away.
Producer Allen Kovac (CEO of Higher Noise Movies, and finest identified within the music trade as CEO of Higher Noise Music), plus Dan Lieblein (CFO Higher Noise Movies) and Director and lead actor Michael Lombardi, determined for workers security that the Christmas-themed horror film’s shoot needs to be shuttered till additional discover.
A vaccine was barely being mentioned on the time, not to mention administered, and Kovac’s connections within the medical discipline knowledgeable him that lockdown would possibly final for a whole 12 months, if not longer. He knew he needed to devise a brand new plan for The Retaliators.
“We have been thrilled to create a state of affairs the place we might expose our artists’ music and on-screen skills to a brand new comedian con, movie competition and horror fan viewers.”
Alan Kovac, Higher Noise Movies & Music
“It’s 2020, Covid is now rife, with touring at a halt, we pivoted to place 100% consideration on the movie,” recollects Kovac. “Our imaginative and prescient from the start was at all times to harmonize the 2 worlds of cinema and music in a contemporary approach. As soon as in lockdown, we utilized the time to focus much more on creating small components for our artists within the film.
“We have been in a position to curate the roles and the songs with actual consideration and care. We have been thrilled to create a state of affairs the place we might expose our artists’ music and on-screen skills to a brand new comedian con, movie competition and horror fan viewers.”
Provides Kovac: “When Higher Noise Movies launched Motley Crue’s The Filth, we managed the advertising and press for Netflix, and because of this we noticed the massive spike in consumption of Motley music which led to the largest rock tour of 2022 and the largest [single artist] deal BMG had ever achieved [at that point] with the acquisition from their catalog.
“We all know what movie can do to music consumption and noticed that we might do that for the opposite acts on the Higher Noise Music label with The Retaliators.”
Filming of The Retaliators was allowed to recommence later in 2020 – with Covid security laws in place – and the shoot restarted at a contemporary location.
With a full roster of Higher Noise artists instantly free on account of lack of touring commitments, Kovac and his crew started to marry their music skills with their in-progress film manufacturing.
“We’re proud to marry movie and rock music with a contemporary spin.”
Michael Lombardi, Director
“In-between the assorted lockdowns we moved the manufacturing to Las Vegas the place we shot with Ivan Moody, Zoltan Bathory and Chris Kale of 5 Finger Dying Punch, Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, and Spencer Charnas from Ice 9 Kills,” explains Lombardi.
“Papa Roach’s frontman Jacoby Shaddix was additionally solid within the movie and has his first film function portraying a sadistic killer who’s dealt some tough justice by Marc Menchaca (Ozark / Homeland).”
Provides Lombardi: “There’s a lengthy historical past of horror movies starring rock stars – Alice Cooper, David Bowie, Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, Blondie and extra.
“There’s additionally a beloved custom from the ’80s and ’90s the place huge rock soundtracks typically punctuated and complemented the discharge of a movie — The Crow, The Misplaced Boys, Final Motion Hero and lots of extra. We’re proud to marry movie and rock music with a contemporary spin.”
As filming wrapped in early 2021, The Retaliators rating started to take form by way of Stranger Issues Emmy-winning composers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein.
Concurrently, Higher Noise Movies started submitting The Retaliators for movie competition submissions, receiving international laurels from over 30 festivals.
The Retaliators had its first public screening in 2021 with a robust reception at London’s Frightfest, adopted a month later by Screamfest in L.A.
Nikki Sixx – who wrote The Retaliators’ theme tune, 21 Bullets –together with a number of of the movie’s actors and several other musicians (who have been additionally featured on its soundtrack) walked the Screamfest Black Carpet.
“We at the moment are within the third [promotional] window of 4 for The Retaliators,” says Dan Waite, President of Higher Noise Music. “We began with the grass-roots issue by going to the style movie festivals – with out their blessing the horror market wouldn’t embrace the challenge.
“Following a number of movie competition awards and 30 international movie competition laurels, we launched in over 2,000 international theatres in September 2022. Now, the movie is in its third window of VOD rental and buy. It’s obtained an 89% viewers rating and an 88% critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes plus a 4.5/5 rating on Amazon Prime, all of which is being pushed by horror and music followers.
“Our subsequent window will see the movie being distributed on streaming websites, which is able to drive the mass consumption of the soundtrack and elevate the artists within the movie.”
Dan Waite, Higher Noise Music
“Our subsequent window will see the movie being distributed on streaming websites, which is able to drive the mass consumption of the soundtrack and elevate the artists within the movie, much like what we noticed with The Filth.”
That Christmas theme outstanding all through The Retaliators isn’t prone to harm its publicity through the Vacation season, in fact.
The Retaliators’ soundtrack was written and carried out by some vital names in rock: its theme tune was written by Nikki Sixx and options Motley Crue, Asking Alexandria, Ice 9 Kills and From Ashes To New,
Steve Kline, COO Higher Noise Music, says this starry line-up has “pushed quite a lot of the attention of the film with DJs the world over”.
He provides: “We timed going to radio globally in order that [21 Bullets] would drive consciousness to its theatrical launch this September and proceed to climb the lively rock chart by to Halloween when the movie debuted within the USA and Canada by way of its VOD launch. When you may have a roster of acts showing each within the movie and on the soundtrack, that’s a strong driver for social media, YouTube, press and radio. It creates a convergence that’s simple.”
“When you may have a roster of acts showing each within the movie and on the soundtrack, that’s a strong driver for social media, YouTube, press and radio.”
Steve Kline, Higher Noise Music
With the movie’s trailer having launched in 2021, and its launch not slated till 2022, Higher Noise needed to spend a lot of final 12 months constructing consciousness and anticipation by to the theatrical launch.
Using the movie’s rating and soundtrack – launched as separate tasks – Higher Noise Music started releasing music movies from each albums highlighting their attachment to the movie.
“The technique at YouTube has been to incorporate The Retaliators footage in music movies of the artists by 2020 to this 12 months,” reveals Paolo Bettaglio, VP Digital of Higher Noise Music.
“In consequence, over 150 million views of music movies with The Retaliators footage have taken place on YouTube alone, with TikTok and Fb video numbers multiplying that.
“Followers have been getting very animated concerning the film and people who bought an opportunity to see the movie on the international movie festivals have been social ambassadors for the movie because it went into the theatres, and now VOD.”
“over 150 million views of music movies with The Retaliators footage have taken place on YouTube alone, with TikTok and Fb video numbers multiplying that.”
Paolo Bettaglio, Higher Noise Music
Provides Lombardi: “The Retaliators has continuously been talked about in the identical breath as Die Onerous. Horror followers are making that hyperlink as [our movie is] set at Christmas: it’s been seen by some as a Vacation film with a darkish twist.
“[Because of that] we consider that The Retaliators will preserve delivering for the artists, plus the soundtrack and rating of the movie, 12 months after 12 months.”Music Enterprise Worldwide