My Collection of Amicus Films

by oxhine | created - 28 Aug 2012 | updated - 23 May 2014 | Public

Just look for the Subotsky-Rosenberg label!

Often regarded as Hammer's poor relation, the little production company known as Amicus established a distinctive identity all its own and was brought into being through the collaboration of two managing partners whose tempestuous relationship gave lie to the amiable company name.

Milton Subotsky, an engineering major, and Max J. Rosenberg, a lawyer, were two New York-based, would-be producers with polar opposite personalities who partnered on a few films Stateside under the Vanguard label before shifting the operation to England as Amicus. Starting with a slate that included a couple of hard-hitting dramas, four rock musicals, a family film and only one actual horror movie, the duo decided to capitalize on the appetite for fright films that Hammer had recently awakened.

It is a bit ironic that Amicus would perpetually be in Hammer's shadow since they had actually kick-started the Hammer juggernaut when Subotsky wrote a screenplay adaptation of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" which Rosenberg then sold to Hammer through a middle-man. Although Subotsky's treatment was supposedly scrupulously faithful to the source material, Hammer scribe Jimmy Sangster significantly re-shaped the script into the film that would put Hammer on the map: "The Curse of Frankenstein".

While Amicus and Hammer films often get confused with one another due to the use of similar casts and crews, there are three trademarks to most of Amicus' horror output: setting, structure and theme. Amicus horror almost always has a contemporary setting, usually is structured as an anthology and often features a theme of bleak moral relativism. Hammer films, by contrast, generally have Victorian/Edwardian settings, stand-alone narrative structure and themes of black-and-white Manichean morality. While yielding a distinct aesthetic difference, it should be noted that such choices were largely made for budgetary reasons as modern dress and shorter shooting schedules for costly cast members were cheaper.

Despite a few forays into other genres such as sci-fi, drama and adventure, horror was the name of the game with only the Dr. Who and Burroughs films making a splash outside the company's usual fare. In the end, a third managing partner named John Dark who was brought on board by Rosenberg began exerting his own influence which brought the volatile relationship between Milton and Max to the boiling point resulting in a dissolution of the partnership. All three men went on to produce their own projects individually.

However, Rosenberg kept the company's copyright alive and, 30 years later, two new movies have been made under the Amicus label by his successor paralleling Hammer's similar resurrection.

As Amicus films are defined as much by the men who made them as they are by their content, the list below includes all the movies I own that bear their fingerprints. Entries 1-5 are Proto-Amicus films from the American Vanguard years, entries 6-32 are Classic Amicus films from the British period, entries 33-38 are Post-Amicus projects by Dark, Subotsky and Rosenberg, respectively, and entries 39-40 are the Neo-Amicus releases.

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1. Rock Rock Rock! (1956)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Music

5.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A young teenage girl (Tuesday Weld) desperately tries to earn enough money to buy a dress for a school rock and roll dance. This early rock and roll feature, the 3rd in a series of 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Will Price | Stars: Alan Freed and his Rock 'n Roll Band, Fran Manfred, Tuesday Weld, Connie Francis

Votes: 387

*** Proto-Amicus ***

DVD Distributor: Network [Region 2]

2. Jamboree! (1957)

86 min | Musical

5.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Pete Porter and Honey Wynn become overnight sensations as a romantic singing duo. But what will become of their budding love affair when their feuding, back-stabbing managers persuade them ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Lockwood | Stars: Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy Bowen, Buddy Knox

Votes: 117

UK Title: Disc Jockey Jamboree

DVD Distributor: Warner Home Video

3. The Last Mile (1959)

Not Rated | 81 min | Drama, Thriller

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A prison break is attempted the same night an execution occurs on death row.

Director: Howard W. Koch | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Frank Overton, Michael Constantine, John Vari

Votes: 228

DVD Distributor: MGM Archive

4. The City of the Dead (1960)

PG-13 | 78 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A young college student arrives in a sleepy Massachusetts town to research witchcraft; during her stay at an eerie inn, she discovers a startling secret about the town and its inhabitants.

Director: John Llewellyn Moxey | Stars: Patricia Jessel, Dennis Lotis, Christopher Lee, Tom Naylor

Votes: 4,431

US Title: Horror Hotel

DVD Distributor: VCI Entertainment

{uncut UK version}

5. Girl of the Night (1960)

93 min | Drama

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Girl of the Night is about Bobbie (Anne Francis), a sensitive, lonely call girl who is manipulated and ultimately used by her madame, played by Kay Medford.

Director: Joseph Cates | Stars: Anne Francis, Lloyd Nolan, Kay Medford, John Kerr

Votes: 48

DVD Distributor: Warner Archive

6. Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (1965)

Unrated | 98 min | Horror

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Aboard a British train, mysterious fortune teller Dr. Schreck uses tarot cards to read the futures of five fellow passengers.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Max Adrian, Ann Bell

Votes: 3,866

*** Classic Amicus ***

DVD Distributor: Anchor Bay [Region 2]

7. The Skull (1965)

Not Rated | 83 min | Horror, Thriller

6.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A collector comes into possession of the skull of the Marquis de Sade and learns it is possessed by an evil spirit.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Peter Cushing, Patrick Wymark, Jill Bennett, Nigel Green

Votes: 1,870

DVD Distributor: Legend Films (The Cult Horror Collection)

{grouped with "The Deadly Bees" and Hammer's "The Man Who Could Cheat Death"}

8. Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)

Not Rated | 82 min | Adventure, Family, Sci-Fi

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An eccentric inventor and his companions travel in his TARDIS to the Planet Skaro and battle the evil menace of the Daleks.

Director: Gordon Flemyng | Stars: Peter Cushing, Roy Castle, Jennie Linden, Roberta Tovey

Votes: 3,134

DVD Distributor: Optimum Home Releasing [Region 2] (The Dalek Collection)

{paired with "Daleks -- Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D."}

9. The Psychopath (1966)

82 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Four men who were involved in the investigation of a German millionaire at the end of the Second World War are found murdered with tiny dolls left next to their corpses.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Patrick Wymark, Margaret Johnston, John Standing, Alexander Knox

Votes: 475

DVD Distributor: Collector's DVD-R

10. Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966)

Not Rated | 84 min | Family, Sci-Fi

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The Daleks' fiendish plot in 2150 against Earth and its people is foiled when Dr. Who and friends arrive from the 20th century and figure it out.

Director: Gordon Flemyng | Stars: Peter Cushing, Bernard Cribbins, Ray Brooks, Andrew Keir

Votes: 2,657

DVD Distributor: Optimum Home Releasing [Region 2] (The Dalek Collection)

{paired with "Dr. Who and the Daleks"}

11. The Terrornauts (1967)

75 min | Sci-Fi

5.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A group of scientists are kidnapped and taken into outer space aboard a saucer.

Director: Montgomery Tully | Stars: Simon Oates, Zena Marshall, Charles Hawtrey, Patricia Hayes

Votes: 261

DVD Distributor: Collector's DVD-R

12. The Deadly Bees (1966)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

3.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

Trouble strikes when an exhausted pop singer, sent on a vacation to a farm, realizes that the farm's owner grows deadly bees.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Suzanna Leigh, Frank Finlay, Guy Doleman, Catherine Finn

Votes: 1,484

DVD Distributor: Legend Films (The Cult Horror Collection)

{grouped with "The Skull" and Hammer's "The Man Who Could Cheat Death"}

13. They Came from Beyond Space (1967)

Unrated | 85 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi

4.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

Scientists investigating an unusual meteor shower in a rural field are possessed by an alien force bent on an ulterior purpose.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Robert Hutton, Jennifer Jayne, Zia Mohyeddin, Bernard Kay

Votes: 1,057

DVD Distributor: Studio Canal [Region 2]

14. Danger Route (1967)

Approved | 92 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

During the Cold War, a British secret agent is ordered to kill a Soviet-bloc defector held by the CIA in England but this straightforward mission turns into a convoluted plot involving double-agents.

Director: Seth Holt | Stars: Richard Johnson, Carol Lynley, Barbara Bouchet, Sylvia Syms

Votes: 137

DVD Distributor: Collector's DVD-R

15. Torture Garden (1967)

Approved | 93 min | Fantasy, Horror

6.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

An anthology of four short horror stories about people who visit Dr. Diabolo's fairground haunted-house attraction show.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Jack Palance, Burgess Meredith, Beverly Adams, Peter Cushing

Votes: 1,847

DVD Distributor: Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment

16. The Birthday Party (1968)

G | 123 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The down-at-heel lodger in a seaside boarding house is menaced by two mysterious strangers, who eventually take him away.

Director: William Friedkin | Stars: Robert Shaw, Patrick Magee, Dandy Nichols, Sydney Tafler

Votes: 460

DVD Distributor: Pearson Television Video [Region 2]

17. A Touch of Love (1969)

M | 107 min | Drama

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A young London woman, studying for her doctorate in the British Museum, spends her nights trying to avoid the sexual admiration of men in her life.

Director: Waris Hussein | Stars: Sandy Dennis, Ian McKellen, Michael Coles, John Standing

Votes: 161

Original UK Title: A Touch of Love

DVD Distributor: Optimum Home Releasing [Region 2]

18. Scream and Scream Again (1970)

R | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Horror

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A serial killer who drains his victims' blood is on the loose in London; the police follow him to a house owned by an eccentric scientist.

Director: Gordon Hessler | Stars: Vincent Price, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Judy Huxtable

Votes: 2,565

DVD Distributor: MGM Video (Midnite Movies)

{paired with the non-Amicus "The Oblong Box"}

19. The Mind of Mr. Soames (1970)

GP | 92 min | Sci-Fi, Drama

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A man who has been in a coma since infancy is awakened.

Director: Alan Cooke | Stars: Terence Stamp, Robert Vaughn, Nigel Davenport, Christian Roberts

Votes: 425

DVD Distributor: Sony Archive

20. The House That Dripped Blood (1971)

GP | 102 min | Horror

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An anthology of four horror stories revolving around a mysterious rental house in the UK.

Director: Peter Duffell | Stars: John Bryans, John Bennett, Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing

Votes: 3,652

DVD Distributor: Lions Gate Home Entertainment

21. I, Monster (1971)

PG | 75 min | Horror

5.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Christopher Lee stars in the Amicus production of "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde" where the names have been changed to Dr. Marlowe and Mr. Blake. Lee as Dr. Marlowe experiments with intravenous ... See full summary »

Director: Stephen Weeks | Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Mike Raven, Richard Hurndall

Votes: 978

DVD Distributor: Optimum Home Releasing [Region 2]

22. What Became of Jack and Jill? (1972)

PG | 93 min | Horror

6.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

In order to collect inheritance money, a slacker tries to induce a heart attack in his invalid grandmother by convincing her that she's become the target of youth supremacists who want to enact a genocide on the elderly.

Director: Bill Bain | Stars: Vanessa Howard, Mona Washbourne, Paul Nicholas, George Benson

Votes: 99

DVD Distributor: Collector's DVD-R

23. Asylum (I) (1972)

PG | 88 min | Horror

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In order to secure a job at a mental institution, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients inside the asylum.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Barbara Parkins, Richard Todd, Sylvia Syms, Peter Cushing

Votes: 4,430

DVD Distributor: Dark Sky Films

24. Tales from the Crypt (1972)

PG | 92 min | Horror

7.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Five strangers get lost in a crypt and, after meeting the mysterious Crypt Keeper, receive visions of how they will die.

Director: Freddie Francis | Stars: Joan Collins, Peter Cushing, Roy Dotrice, Richard Greene

Votes: 7,366

DVD Distributor: 20th Century Fox Home Video (Midnite Movies)

{paired with edited version of "Vault of Horror"}

25. The Vault of Horror (1973)

R | 87 min | Horror

6.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An anthology of five horror stories shared by five men trapped in the basement of an office building.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Curd Jürgens, Terry-Thomas, Tom Baker, Dawn Addams

Votes: 3,701

DVD Distributor: VIPCO [Region 2]

{uncut UK version}

26. And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)

R | 91 min | Horror

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

England, 1795: the young Catherine has just married Charles Fengriffen and moves into his castle. She becomes the victim of an old curse that lays on the family. On her wedding night she is raped by a ghost and gets pregnant.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham

Votes: 1,659

DVD Distributor: Dark Sky Films

27. From Beyond the Grave (1974)

PG | 97 min | Fantasy, Horror

6.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An anthology of four short horror stories revolving around a British antique shop and its mysterious owner.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Peter Cushing, Ian Bannen, Ian Carmichael, Diana Dors

Votes: 2,819

DVD Distributor: Warner Home Video

28. Madhouse (1974)

PG | 89 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A horror movie star returns to his famous role after years in a mental institution. But the character seems to be committing murders independent of his will.

Director: Jim Clark | Stars: Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Robert Quarry, Adrienne Corri

Votes: 2,687

DVD Distributor: MGM Video (Midnite Movies)

{paired with the non-Amicus "Theater of Blood"}

29. The Beast Must Die (1974)

PG | 93 min | Horror, Mystery

5.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Eight people have been invited to an island estate for the weekend. One of them is a werewolf. Can you guess which one?

Director: Paul Annett | Stars: Calvin Lockhart, Peter Cushing, Marlene Clark, Charles Gray

Votes: 2,220

DVD Distributor: Dark Sky Films

30. The Land That Time Forgot (1974)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Fantasy

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

During World War I, a German U-boat sinks a British ship and takes the survivors on board. After it takes a wrong turn, the submarine takes them to the unknown land of Caprona, where they find dinosaurs and neanderthals.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Doug McClure, John McEnery, Susan Penhaligon, Keith Barron

Votes: 4,484

DVD Distributor: MGM Video (Midnite Movies)

{paired with "The People That Time Forgot"}

31. At the Earth's Core (1976)

PG | 89 min | Adventure, Fantasy

5.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

A Victorian era scientist and his assistant take a test run in their Iron Mole drilling machine and end up in a strange underground labyrinth ruled by a species of giant telepathic bird and full of prehistoric monsters and cavemen.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Doug McClure, Peter Cushing, Caroline Munro, Cy Grant

Votes: 3,370

DVD Distributor: MGM Video (Midnite Movies)

{grouped with "The Beast with 1,000,000 Eyes", "The Phantom from 10,000 Leagues" and "War-Gods of the Deep"}

32. The People That Time Forgot (1977)

PG | 90 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

5.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

In 1919, a British expedition in the Antarctica region is searching for a lost American explorer and finds a hidden prehistoric world instead.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Patrick Wayne, Doug McClure, Sarah Douglas, Dana Gillespie

Votes: 2,282

DVD Distributor: MGM Video (Midnite Movies)

{paired with "The Land That Time Forgot"}

33. Warlords of the Deep (1978)

PG | 96 min | Fantasy, Adventure, Sci-Fi

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Searching for the lost world of Atlantis, Prof. Aitken, his son Charles and Greg Collinson are betrayed by the crew of their expedition's ship, attracted by the fabulous treasures of ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Doug McClure, Peter Gilmore, Shane Rimmer, Lea Brodie

Votes: 1,574

*** Post-Amicus John Dark ***

Original UK Title: Warlords of Atlantis

DVD Distributor: Cinema Club [Region 2]

34. Arabian Adventure (1979)

G | 98 min | Fantasy, Adventure

5.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

An evil magician seeks to gain power by obtaining a magic rose. A peasant boy and a prince join forces to stop him.

Director: Kevin Connor | Stars: Christopher Lee, Milo O'Shea, Oliver Tobias, Emma Samms

Votes: 674

DVD Distributor: Optimum Home Releasing [Region 2]

35. The Martian Chronicles (1980– )

360 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

6.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

In the 21st century, Earth begins the colonization of Mars. However, things do not go as planned, at first due to the hostile Martian natives and later because of the self-destructive Earthmen.

Stars: Rock Hudson, Gayle Hunnicutt, Bernie Casey, Christopher Connelly

Votes: 1,708

*** Post-Amicus Milton Subotsky ***

DVD Distributor: MGM Video

36. The Monster Club (1981)

Unrated | 104 min | Comedy, Horror

5.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A writer of horror stories is invited to a "monster club" by a mysterious old gentleman. There, three gruesome stories are told to him; between each story some musicians play their songs.

Director: Roy Ward Baker | Stars: Vincent Price, John Carradine, Donald Pleasence, Stuart Whitman

Votes: 2,159

DVD Distributor: Network [Region 2]

37. Cat People (1982)

R | 118 min | Fantasy, Horror, Thriller

6.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
62 Metascore

A young woman's sexual awakening brings horror when she discovers her urges transform her into a monstrous black leopard.

Director: Paul Schrader | Stars: Nastassja Kinski, Malcolm McDowell, John Heard, Annette O'Toole

Votes: 15,776 | Gross: $7.00M

*** Post-Amicus Max J. Rosenberg ***

DVD Distributor: Universal Pictures

38. Perdita Durango (1997)

R | 126 min | Action, Crime, Horror

6.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A psychotic criminal couple kidnaps a random teenage couple. The woman rapes the male captive, and lets him watch his lover being raped by the man. They then plan to sacrifice the couple.

Director: Álex de la Iglesia | Stars: Rosie Perez, Javier Bardem, Harley Cross, Aimee Graham

Votes: 6,972

Original Title: Perdita Durango

DVD Distributor: Metrodome [Region 2]

{uncut 2006 DVD re-release version}

39. Stuck (2007)

R | 85 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

6.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
61 Metascore

A young woman commits a hit-and-run, then finds her fate tied to her victim.

Director: Stuart Gordon | Stars: Mena Suvari, Stephen Rea, Russell Hornsby, Rukiya Bernard

Votes: 8,509 | Gross: $0.07M

*** Neo-Amicus ***

DVD Distributor: Image Entertainment

40. It's Alive (2008)

R | 80 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

3.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.5/10 X  

A baby born to a human couple turns out to be a mutant monster with an appetite to kill when scared.

Director: Josef Rusnak | Stars: Bijou Phillips, James Murray, Raphaël Coleman, Owen Teale

Votes: 2,485

DVD Distributor: First Look Studios