I first became aware of them a couple of days ago when Ryan Rotten from Shock Til You Drop sent over a YouTube link for a rapping math bear… thing. TV show, I’m guessing. Maybe an educational video. Anyway, it was pretty awful, but what was most interesting was the sheer incompetence displayed in the editing of the clip - it just sort of fades out right in the middle of the scene. The clip opened with a big A1 Media Distribution logo and I had to know more.
Lord am I glad I did.
I found a goldmine. A1 Media Distribution is making (or supposedly making - I suspect many of the films listed on their site and that have trailers on YouTube don’t actually exist yet) some of the cheapest, shoddiest looking movies of all time. And what’s better is that they have what appears to be a house crew - directors named Jeremy Isbell and Cameron White show up again and again, and their President of Acquisitions is going to be starring in their upcoming movie Office Paranormal (more on that in a minute). And of course they have a certified schlock legend in their bullpen: Joe Estevez himself! Except they tend to call him Mr. Estevez on their posters (and on the cover of the book they’ve self-published at Lulu).
Some of A1 Media Distribution’s films seem to be pick-ups (their website exclaims “CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve made a movie… Now What?”), but many, many more seem to be coming from in-house. They carry the names of A1’s head honchos, Joseph Guinan (co-author with actress/Acquisitions President Chelsea Zotta of the $49.99 tome Get The Callback With The Guinan Quick 6 (introduction by Mr. Estevez)) and Dr. Asad Farr. They appear to be located in Palmdale, outside of Los Angeles, where they have a ranch for filming (and where Dr. Farr takes many photos with Z-grade actors like Frank Stallone).
But forget the behind the scenes stuff. Let’s take a look at some of their movies. First up is Nephew Julian. There are two trailers, and the film’s title is spelled wrong in both. Also, neither trailer makes it clear what the film is about. Or what it’s tone is. At all.
Nephew Julian 1
Nephew Julian 2
Oh, and here’s the rapping math bear thing that got this all started:
The next film is easier to classify: it’s a werewolf movie. You can tell by the guy with tufts of hair glued to his face, and by the fact that the title is Sphere of the Lycanthrope. Is that a reference to the Moon?
A1 Media Distribution is also in the action business. Check out Scape Goat, which has the best voice over I have ever heard in a trailer AND an incredibly bad CGI car wreck:
End of All Things is about… nuclear war? I don’t know. It looks to have a budget, though - they hired a stretch Humvee for at least one scene.
It seems like A1 Media might have gotten their start in softcore. Come Home With A Feminine Woman is just such a title, but the trailer is deeply disturbing. Why does that woman cry out ‘Suck my dick!’? Sort of safe for work, not safe for libido:
I have watched a lot of trailers from A1 Media Distribution and I think this is my favorite one. It’s NSFW because of a quick boobie shot, but there is just a shitload of magic in here, especially in the fight scenes against a black drape and the insane jump cuts. And it has Wings Hauser. This movie, which has probably been just sitting around for a decade or two, appears to be titled Geteven.
This is just the tip of the A1 Media Distribution iceberg. They have many more movies in the works, including one called Office Paranormal that stars not only home girl Chelsea Zotta but - get this - Jack Black, Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke, Armand Assante and Eva Mendes. Well, that was the case at AFM 2010 when this poster debuted:
But you’ll note under the cast it says “All Stars Pending Availability and Negotiation Contracts.” Turns out nobody was available, so the film ended up starring Joe Estevez and Dr. Farr himself and Shalim Ortiz, who was apparently in Heroes at one point.
Coming up soon for A1 Media: Dream Wagon, a movie about… well, let’s allow A1 Media to explain it to you:
The happy owners on a beautiful spread of land in Palmdale, California have an unusual dream. Mr. Asad Farr and Charlie are driving away from their land and notice a green canvas wagon lead by a tough looking man in a black Cowboy hat, who is sitting next to a young Squaw. They look at each other and say, “I just saw this in my dream.”
They follow the wagon in their car and watch as the wagon vanishes in front of their eyes. They now know that they’ve seen a Spirit.
After research, they discover that the spirit was a real special agent, hired by the U.S. government in 1834 to execute and eliminate the entire Indian tribe housed on the Palmdale land. Even though the Indians have been pushed hundreds of miles to the west, this was not enough to satisfy the United States.
The Sheriff learns of the government’s plans and goes about hunting down this agent, Gabriel Sampson. However, Gabriel Sampson aborts his mission when he falls in love with the Indian Chief’s daughter. The agent asks all of the Indians to evacuate this land for their own safety and he wed s the daughter. Gabriel Sampson and the Indians live the rest of their lives happily and safely in the mountains.
Mr. Estevez is going to be in that one too. Here’s the poster:
I’ve tried contacting A1 Media Distribution, but I keep getting their voicemail. I’m trying to figure out how to get my hands on some of these films; I did discover that you can order Sphere of the Lycanthrope directly from the filmmaker for 20 bucks, so I don’t know what exactly A1 Media’s role is in that, if not distribution.
So remember, if you scraped together thirty bucks and made a movie, A1 Media Distribution is out there, waiting for you.