Salem film about extraterrestrial crabs on cocaine gets streaming, Blu-ray deal

Extraterrestrial, murderous crabs could be in your home soon thanks to a new distribution deal for local filmmaker Chuck Magee.

Magee’s film, “Cocaine Snorting Crabs From Outer Space,” has landed a DVD and streaming release through a contract with SRS Cinema LLC, a distributor specializing in underground horror, indie and b-movies.

In the film, the crustaceans exit their spacecraft and find themselves in the backyard of two frat boys who treat them to a heaping pile of cocaine. Within moments, cherry-red blood sprays and the crabs embark on a murderous journey through businesses and landmarks around Salem.

The idea came to Magee when he got bored during the pandemic, and took two years to make. It features local actors, and his friends and family.

The five-year deal, in the U.S. and Japan, comes with a new poster, and a new title: “Cocaine Crabs From Outer Space.” dropping the action of snorting for the sake of marketability, Magee said.

Magee has made three feature-length films, but this is his first to get a deal.

“I think it’s great. I didn’t see it coming,” he said. “After looking at SRS and some of the other films they’ve distributed, I mean there’s all these other low budget gems out there that kind of fit the flavor of what I make.”

Other SRS Cinema-supported movies include “Nanoshark – You’re Gonna Need a Smaller Boat!” “Mansplained” and “Amityville Death Toilet.”

Magee connected with SRS Cinema after his film was accepted to play at the 2023 TerribleFest Toronto, a low-budget oddities film festival in March. 

So far, the film has received a positive audience reception, he said. In November, the premiere at Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre was a smash hit. Some attendees wore plastic claws and crab hats. 

“I don’t know how – well I kind of know how – I managed to sell out The Grand. 411 tickets,” he said. “They’re supposed to seat 380 and they accidentally oversold but they brought in benches.”

Magee credited the opening’s success to Sean Mulrooney, owner of 105.5 The Moon, who promoted the film on social media and ran advertisements on air.

Magee said plans to distribute are in their final steps, and the film will be available to stream on Amazon Prime Video soon. Presales for the Blu-Ray disk start Thursday.

“I look forward to seeing how far this thing spreads,” he said.

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.