Code Red To Close Doors in 2011

As per usual, critical information on the Code Red company and release schedule are nowhere to be found on their official blog, instead buried in a multi-year flame war over at Horror DVDs.

“I am ending the company in summer 2011.” stated President Bill Norton while battling detractors.

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About the Author

Editor, Retro Slashers. Producer, Sleepaway Camp 4.

40 Responses to “ Code Red To Close Doors in 2011 ”

  1. Good Riddance. “Norton” is a liar and a fraud.

  2. Sad. Sad news. I feared this was coming, but in the economy and dwindling market, I’m not surprised.

  3. That subject of that company is so divisive! Why all the hatred?

    The few of there releases of theirs I have are decent.

  4. I love Code Red. All the assholes that always talk shit can suck my dick! I feel that Code Red shutting down is partly due to the people that always had some fucking nitpicky comment about Code Red’s releases.
    Code Red is one of the best! Who cares if there are delays on releases? Who cares if you don’t get all of the extras you want? You fuckers should have been happy that Code Red released some of these flicks at all!
    This sucks!

  5. This really sucks. I don’t understand how true fans of horror and slashers could even begin to be joyous about this news. They brought us Don’t Go in the Woods, The Forest, Doom Asylum, Sole Survivor, Dead Pit, Beyond the Door, The Unseen, Sweet Sixteen, The Strangeness, Weekend Murders, Messiah of Evil, Slithis, Devil Times Five, Boardinghouse, Primal Rage, Dead Are Alive, Night Child and are continuing to deliver to us this fall. They are doing great work. I hope Bill reconsiders. The hatred for them is pathetic and shows the poor side of the shallow horror community.

  6. I hope Redeemer(Class Reunion Massacre) Still gets released this fall.
    But too bad, I think Code Red is great !!

  7. I just discovered Code Red DVD and was over joyed that there was another fantastic horror DVD distro. And now they’re shutting they’re doors. Horrible horrible news. Now I have to go and buy as many of there DVDs as possible before people start jacking the prices up because they’re out of print.

  8. I didn’t know The Redeemer was back on track. Yay!

    As far as the company closing, it would be a shame, but it sounds more like a heat-of-the-moment flame war statement then a real announcement. Wait and see how the sales for Nightmare and The Redeemer go since I’m sure they will be the biggest sellers of
    Code Red’s catalog.

    The problem is it seems like Bill is no longer able to seperate constructive criticism (which benefits ANY company if they pay attention to it) from stupid trolls’ venomous comments.

  9. Sad news!

    Bill may not always have made the best business decisions, but hey, it was a one man operation, so it couldn’t have been easy.

    But as horror fans, we have much to be thankful for. Some of the movies released by Code Red might not have been released it all. I’ve said this on several occasions – Code Red is a labor of love. I agree that constructive criticism is one thing, and that some consumers have not vented their dissatisfaction in a mature manner. And again, considering that Code Red is a one man operation, it must be difficult not to take all the criticism personally.

    I am happy to own several Code Red releases, and if Bill Norton should decide to let the company continue, I will continue to support it!

  10. Sorry zmbdog but it has been confirmed on Horror Yearbook he is closing the doors on Code Red.

  11. Actually here is the e-mail he sent:

    “thank you for being one of the 865 people who bought STRANGENESS, CODE RED will release what new film they are working on, then stop production after majority of them is out. Past title will still be in print and sold. Nothing new will be release after the few films we have left. One did dvd label told people he was going to put me out of business, I guess he won.”

    http://www.horroryearbook.com/community/horror_movie_news/code_red_dvd_shutting_down_in_summer_of_2011-t4685.0.html

  12. Seems like BN was unwittingly or otherwise his own worst enemy… No sales outlet of his own – sold stuff at near cost to other retailers for them to make the mark up thru inflated web sales because CR titles weren’t on the high streets. What kind of business sense is that?! You work hard for something, then sell it yourself on your own site for a nice mark up – hell, the man only needed a paypal account and a tax declaration once a year!

    Not only that – he’d promise Butcher Baker Nightmare Maker, Nightmares in a Damaged Brain… fail to deliver on those promises repeatedly, fail to provide updates, fail to respond to customers concerns. Ok, a lot of criticism was not in the best of taste BUT it was out of the sheer heart-felt frustration of one of the most committed and devoted genre DVD fanbases which was constantly being fobbed off and ignored. That I can undestand – I am pretty hacked off over Scavolini’s Nightmare too. Trying to bail out the water coming through a ‘Nightmare’ sized hole by offering piddly public domain bargain basement releases that nobody really wanted was never going to plug the gap and make the business work. For BN to throw his rattle out of the pram and talk of closing in 2011 is just a childish prima donna tantrum – if he’d given us one damned good reason why he deserved our custom, our trust, and to be in business, he still would be!

  13. It is sad news. I think Code Red is pretty kickass. But let’s be truthful. As long as people keep downloading movies instead of buying we can expect more DVD compnies to follow suite.

  14. i hope nightmare is still coming as promised by norton himself

  15. If Code Red was proud of the work they’ve done and if they knew they had done a good job, they wouldn’t let a few fans nitpicking on a message board bother them. However, I suspect that Mr. Norton knows the work they have been doing is NOT their best they can do. I’m not saying Code Red is a terrible company, they have put out some good releases like Messiah of Evil and Beyond the Door, but I will say that I’ve had a strange feeling about that company right from the very beginning. They started posting very weird messages on the forums and making threats about not releasing DVDs because of the fans. It’s nice that they are attempting communication with the fans, but threats are not the way to go. I mean, does Blue Underground do that? Did Anchor Bay do that? No, because their work speaks for itself. Those companies don’t have to explain themselves.

    Code Red, on the other hand, has been so uneven with their output, and in some cases not releasing films they have been promising for years… not that they are the first company to act this way but it doesn’t look very good for anybody. If Norton is upset because people aren’t buying his movies, first of all, he should be releasing movies that people want, like Nightmare and Night Warning, not stuff like Night of the Dribbler. And he should ensure that the transfers are the very best they can be. Extras are fun, but they aren’t necessary. Just get the movies out there! And PROMOTE! People won’t know the movies exist if you don’t tell them. Just look at Shout Factory. They have been getting the word out there about their releases through their website, through Facebook, and other sources. And it seems they are doing very well (it helps, as I said, that they’re releasing movies people want).

    Sorry for the long-winded post, but I just had to say that I find the people behind Code Red to be a very odd lot. I wish them all the success in the world, but I’m afraid they won’t see it unless they change their business practices.

  16. Why is NIGHT OF THE DRIBBLER seems to be the #1 complaint? Damm film out sold many film I recently put out. Many of you guys do not realize that in order to get some popular films (ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE, THE CARPENTER) you have to put out another (NIGHT OF THE DRIBBLER). I recall Don May was looking for the rights to ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE, and i’ll bet if he put out NOTD no one will complaint.

    BTW, you are metioning muti-million dollars company like Shout factory to Anchor Bay with 20+ employees. They can take a hit or two on bad sales.

  17. This sucks, Code Red are one of the few DVD companies that actually pulled out obscure titles and gave them great releases. Don’t Go in the Woods and The Dead Pit were excellent, nice transfers with interesting extras.

    So they don’t always release what they announce, but I imagine he doesn’t do it to piss fans off. Between awkward producers, the current economical climate and the fact that some of the titles are cheap movies that are decades old, I’m amazed they manage to find any extras at all.

    I just wish so-called fans would stop bitching and just be grateful that distributors with little money are trying to unearth these lost treasures!

  18. cant wait for redeemer dvd

  19. I’m sorry if my post sounded harsh, Code Red, but that’s just how I see it. I realize that Shout Factory and Anchor Bay are bigger companies than you are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use Facebook and your blog and your website to promote your releases and get the word out there effectively like they do. I’m not picking on Night of the Dribbler specifically; I was using it as an example. If that DVD has sold well, good for you. But many people out there are more excited about the possibility of seeing Nightmare and Night Warning on DVD, among other films, and it doesn’t seem fair to be releasing stuff like Dribbler while leaving us salivating, and then threatening to not release the movies we want when we complain about the company.

    Anyway, I recently bought Night Child and I have The Redeemer on pre-order. I will continue to support Code Red if they release films I want and do a good job with the presentation. However, while it is sad to hear that you want to shut down the company, I’m not really surprised.

  20. I can only hope they release RITUALS and NIGHTMARE before they close shop. I haven’t dealt with them personally, so I’m not here to bicker like others have done. I like the company based on the fact that they’ve released some great and semi-obscure titles at reasonable prices. I for one will miss them.

  21. NIGHTMARE is on a stand still due to the subtitling Romano Sacavolini’s interview.

  22. Is RITUALS still on the release list?

  23. I do listen to request via email and message board. But what I did learn that if 3 people wants a movie out on dvd, doesn’t mean the rest of the world will buy it. It’s kind of hard to run a company when another dvd label keep bothering your rights owners telling them I am a crook. Been in the home video business for 24 years, never ripped anyone off.

  24. Thanks for the info code red.

    Is ritiual still being released??

  25. i thought the director’s interview wasnt going to be on the NIGHTMARE dvd due to it taKING so long to subtitle that the dvd will include the film and a few extras without the interview???

  26. Honestly, how hard is it to get an interview translated into english? Just call any community college and get a language teacher to translate. That should take about a day. It seems like there are people who know how to get things done, and then there are those who just don’t.

  27. a poster in horrordvd name springjack is translating the interview. When Mario finish, then the street date of NIGHTMARE will announced. he is currently on location and unable to work on it. So please be patient.

  28. We have a commentary with star Baird Stafford and The REAL make-up artist (Florida set) Cleve Hall modorated by David DeCocteau. One camera with Baird, Cleve and ex-distributor Tom Ward. We are planning some more interview, but so far we got turned down by many people. Most people who worked on the film think the film is a pieces of garbage. I might get one of the actor in a few weeks, hopefully.

  29. Thanks for the update Code Red, I hope we see Nightmare soon, Picked up The Redeemer through Pre-Order, arrived yesteday. While the print is less than stellar to say the least, I am very happy to have this lost slasher gem finally in my collection, I can retire my old VHS copies finally.

  30. Bill, just wanted to drop a note saying that you do have supporters out there rooting for you. I have almost every Code Red release (whether bearing the “official” spine number, through BCI, through Media Blasters, or under the Saturn logo), and while it did take me a bit to truly appreciate the “cinematic trash” aesthetic of your releases, once I “got it”, I fell into it hard (same as with Something Wierd a few years earlier). Sorry to hear about the financial issues, and admit to being rather baffled at the response of a fair portion of the online community (I continue to be astonished at the nitpicking and viciousness out there – as some have noted, we’re lucky to be getting some of these films at all, much less in decent transfers and with extras). I’ve absolutely loved almost every release you put out this year (starting with Scream and continuing from there), and am particularly thankful for your Italian genre releases, most of which (Weekend Murders, Beyond the Door, Night Child, Dead are Alive, Superargo…) I’ve been waiting for YEARS to see a legit release of (I can tack Messiah of Evil and Horror High onto that list as well – their earlier “bargain” releases were pure crap). As it stands, there are still several holdings you have I’m seriously hoping you still intend to release before you close up shop (if such must be the case) – Nightmare, Gang Wars, Ninja Assassins 1978 and Rituals being my top four, but there are a good 10 all told, none of which are on the current release list. If you do by chance manage to turn things around, there are a few early 80′s flicks begging for release still, all of which would have been right up Code Red’s alley: Humongous, Boogens, Blood Beach – and that doesn’t even begin to cover the Italian and Spanish horror and genre films still languishing without a proper release (Ultimo Deseo/People Who Own The Dark, anyone?). I can only hope that if not yourself, then Don at Synapse might consider some of these titles for release on DVD proper (sorry, all you home theater aficionados, some of us have no use for the Blu-Ray format whatsoever). At least please release all of the titles you still have distribution rights on (hopefully with your usual extras, but even without if need be) – many of us have been waiting for several years for some of these titles. And again, let me just offer a final, honest word of encouragement and thanks for your efforts, as I for one have appreciated the better part of your efforts to date.

  31. A documentary on the movie, charting the making, the marketing and video nasty scandal (such as a guy getting sent to prison) would be good, but I know it’s not feasible, as it’s time and money that probably wouldn’t be justified for such a small film. Still, I can dream.

  32. We did a telecine on NINJA ASSASSIN from the two 35mm print Clyde Kudnson send us, and it look like hell. Commentary is done, but the print was beyond repair and scenes are missing.

    BLOOD BEACH and BOOGENS is owned by paramount, and HUMONGOUS rights owner seems to want alot of money.

    As for teaming-up with Don at Synapse, read his post from the past regarding CODE RED on horrordvd. Russ Meyer once told me when I was a kid that never deal with someone who throws rocks at your glasshouse. Don has a cult following and everyone buys his disc no matter what he release. He’s a million dollar company and his worst selling title out sold MESSIAH OF EVIL and HORROR HIGH so he has a large following fanbase. In this business, it matter who you are and not what you put out on dvd.

    as for the video nasty angle and a guy going to jail on NIGHTMARE in the UK. The only nasty I see is a UK company who got a 15 years rights on 1983 still selling the film on dvd and vhs after the contract expired. I will never sell more copies then that bootleg Vipco dvd. So far UK dvd companies bootleg UNSEEN, DEVIL TIMES FIVE, THE FOREST, NIGHTMARE, and STRANGENESS. all 5 film I haven’t got my investment back.

    As for PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK! I only have one beat-up 35mm print and a 1 inch tape master from Sun Video. I guess I can put that out, maybe both version for $16.66??

  33. enjoyed the unseen and redeemer which i just got both yesterday thanks code red hopefully nightmare want take much longer

  34. Code Red……IS RITUALS being released on DVD?

    Yes / No (Answer Required)

  35. All for People Who Own the Dark – you put it out, I’m there. If you’re talking Redeemer quality, that works for me. Insofar as Ninja Assassins, hopefully there’s a better (or at least more complete) print floating around out there? In terms of the other 3 movies you replied about, it figures that the majors are (once again) still sitting on more titles than the independents can ever get out there for interested buyers…

  36. All for People Who Own the Dark – you put it out, I’m there. If you’re talking Redeemer quality, that works for me. Insofar as Ninja Assassins, hopefully there’s a better (or at least more complete) print floating around out there? In terms of the other 3 movies you replied about, it figures that the majors are (once again) still sitting on more titles than the independents can ever get out there for interested buyers…

  37. PEOPLE WHO OWN THE DARK 35mm print is 20 times worse than THE REDEEMER. This is why they are letting me use the 1′ inch tape from Sun Video. 1′inch is crap quality, sort of notch above vhs, but that is not saying much. For a basement bootleg operation that sells dvd-r for $20, it’s okay. But for a real dvd label, it’s not.

    as for closing shop. I am a car running without a gas, I will try to push the car till the end, but I am not some label that has a rich business partner who pays for everything. Bank of America will own my beautiful place one day. It’s fate as majority of the horror never wanted CODE RED around anyway.

  38. beyond the usual suspects (Devil’s Express, Nightmare, Butcher Baker, Forced Entry), any word on a release date for The Obsessed One? Saw the trailer and am really looking forward to that one as well…

  39. I purchased “The Strangeness” and “Sweet Sixteen” from CODE RED and they were excellent! It’s too bad that they will be closing their doors.

  40. got the forest,sweet sixteen and the visitor last week all great dvds any news or updates on nightmare i see the special features that are listed here
    http://www.codereddvd.com/movies/code_red_dvd_vers6_webpage_040.htm

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