MVD Entertainment Group and Rue Morgue Magazine To Launch Midnight Movie Society
Alright alright, here we are again, another streaming service is being launched. Another platform that is vying for your attention and attempting to take the cord cutter idea of “I’ll just pay a few bucks each month and get a bunch of movies, no adverts and no Fox News” to “oh wow, now I’m paying more for all these services combined than I was for cable, just on the off chance that one day I may be in the mood to watch a shot on S VHS horror film from bumblefuck Indiana made in 1986 that someone in a VHS forum on Facebook told me was ‘so bad it’s good you have to see it dude!’.”
MVD Entertainment Group, the full-service music and movie distribution firm, and Rue Morgue, which I always thought was a horror magazine that wasn’t as popular as Fangoria or The Dark Side but is apparently “the world's leading horror in culture and entertainment brand” (according to their press release), have teamed up to launch the Midnight Movie Society, a curated Subscription Video on Demand service specializing in Extreme Underground, Taboo and Cult Horror movies. Now genre fans can gain access to a film library of shocking underground, outrageous gore, creature features, cult classics and much more. Those with a taste for the weirdest and wildest reaches of genre cinema will not be disappointed!
"The bigger platforms are catering to the masses and have gone puritanical in many cases, making it very difficult for filmmakers to reach their audience," says Ed Seaman, C.O.O. of MVD Entertainment Group. "MVD has a great deal of this type of content and when it is live on major platforms, it performs really well. Maybe too well for some of the mainstream platforms."
Now I am not sure what any of that means - sure if this platform was being invented in a world that didn’t have Shudder, Scream Box, Midnight Pulp, Full Moon Streaming, FrightPix (now popcornflix), Troma Now, Shout/Scream Factory TV and Tubi maybe they’d have a point. If the only avenues to watch horror movies was Netflix and Hulu then maybe I’d agree but even Amazon Prime has a ton of great, uncut horror films. Maybe this is the same rational that inspired Rue Morgue to claim they are the world's leading horror in culture and entertainment brand despite many others existing that I think most horror fans would put first.
Their press release goes on to say:
MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY will also cater to more traditional horror fare as well, pulling from the thousands of film hours from in MVD's vast catalog. In addition, RUE MORGUE will also be finding and curating fresh and unusual content for the service.
"As larger streaming platforms continue to crack down on content, there's an urgent need to create a space for boundary-pushing films unencumbered by strangling content restrictions," said Adrianna Gober, Director of Programming. "As a lifelong horror fan, I'm proud and excited to be working with MVD Entertainment Group and genre champions Rue Morgue Magazine to bring Midnight Movie Society to the masses."
So a little something about MVD’s catalogue: MVD distributes Arrow Video and now, Blue Underground in the U.S., if this new streaming service includes some of the Arrow and BU Blu-Ray releases we’ve been seeing lately then it might almost be worth it. Especially if like, the much beloved and sorely missed, Film Struck they include some of the extras - a practice all streaming services should start in my opinion. The Arrow and BU Blus can have a high price point and sometimes the movies themselves are only curiosities and not necessarily worth the $25+ price tag, but if I can stream them for $4.99 a month, then maybe that’s actually worth it. This all depends because Blue Underground (and some of the other boutique, cult and horror blu-ray companies) already have deals with the likes of Full Moon Streaming and others.
A quick scroll through the MVD website kicks up a few other curiosities amongst the shot-on-video, grungy, indie stuff and the more modern indie horror films that are sort of sub-par SyFy channel movies that litter their catalogue - A few 70s monster movies, some Hammer Horror documentaries and some obscure zombie titles - but it remains to be seen if these can carry the day when it comes to the horror community deciding to shell out more money for another service.
Also why are MVD restricting themselves to just horror? if anything they have a far greater catalogue of action, drama, thrillers and more. Their MVD Rewind Collection alone would make the great basis for a streaming service.
At the end of the day the streaming landscape is currently in an interesting position. As large media corporations, owned by even larger cable and cell phone companies, buy each other up like ravenous buzzards tear apart a dead buffalo, we see some excellent services like FilmStruck and Warner Archives disappear and we see other, established services like Netflix lose a ton of their content to those same huge corporations who plan to set up even larger and crazier streaming services.
While the regular consumer will look at the Disney+ and Netflix and make the choice between them (or shell out for both), film fans and collectors are finding that, instead of the glorious world we hoped where we could have multiple studios’ film collections under one or a few roofs at a fairly reasonable cost, instead we are seeing the movie focussed streaming world splintered and fragmented in a ton of different directions. Also, while I am a huge fan of horror and cult cinema, where are the action streaming services? the western ones? hell the Sci-Fi one? - Film Noir is horribly under represented, so is silent cinema, so is 70s cinema and hell, even mainstream 80s cinema is split between Amazon Prime, Hulu, Epix and Starz.
While I encourage everyone to check out the content on Midnight Movie Society when it launches and make their own decision (as will I), in the world of horror & cult streaming, I do wonder how long this model is sustainable. I feel that Shudder, Scream Box, Full moon, Blue Underground, Shout, Arrow etc. should be pooling their resources together. Media companies don’t play nice together though and neither do the stupid, outdated and endlessly tangled copyright rules that mean we still have different things available in different regions and on different platforms. I can’t help but think that until people put ego and some of the old paperwork aside, we’ll see these services pop up, struggle to keep their head above water and then maybe fold without anyone, anywhere really being satisfied.
MIDNIGHT MOVIE SOCIETY will be available for $4.99 per month, or $47.88 per year subscription, and will launch on iOS, Roku and web on Friday the 13th, September 2019.