Samuel Z. Arkoff - News Poster

News

Drive-In Dust Offs: Q: The Winged Serpent (1982)

Larry Cohen: Party of One. That’s the way I see him, anyway; he’s always made the films he’s wanted, the way he’s wanted – with varying results, sure, but at the end of the day they are nothing less than Larry Cohen Films: unique, challenging, quirky, funny, and almost always a blast to watch. Which brings us to Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), his tribute to the Aip monster movies of days gone by, overshadowed by his patented blend of offbeat characters and intriguing dialogue. The flying lizard? Merely a delightful distraction.

Released by United Film Distribution Company (and co-produced by legendary Aip honcho Samuel Z. Arkoff) in late October, Q returned only a quarter of its $1.2 million budget, but reviews were fairly kind, with most critics singling out not the movie itself, per se, but a wonderful turn by Michael Moriarty (A Return to Salem’s
See full article at DailyDead »

Drive-In Dust Offs: Empire Of The Ants (1977)

Schlock should never be a dirty word in the world of cinema. Some of my favorite films are utterly devoid of taste and frequently, refinement. The majority of drive-in treasures lie somewhere between perspiration and inspiration, covered in flop sweat and trying desperately to entertain. This is often where you’ll find the films distributed by American International Pictures, and always where you’ll see director Bert I. Gordon’s oeuvre. Empire of the Ants (1977) is no exception.

Released by Aip in July and bringing in $2.5 million, Empire was the follow up to Gordon and producer Samuel Z. Arkoff’s success from the previous year, The Food of the Gods, another “loose” H.G. Wells adaptation, and was an even bigger hit (in B.I.G. terms, anyway—everything’s relative, folks). Naturally dismissed by critics, Empire continues the winning Gordon formula of B stars and groovy, goofy, rear projection grisliness.
See full article at DailyDead »

The Angry Red Planet

Hey, Ib Melchoir’s Opus Mars-us is back, in a not-bad new scan and color-grading job. If the nostalgia bug has bitten you deep enough to appreciate a fairly maladroit but frequently arresting space exploration melodrama, this may be the disc for you. Let’s be honest: Nobody can resist the allure of the fabulous Bat-Rat-Spider-Crab, and in glorious Cinemagic, no less.

The Angry Red Planet

Blu-ray

Scream Factory

1960 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 83 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / 17.28

Starring: Gerald Mohr, Nora Hayden, Les Tremayne, Jack Kruschen.

Cinematography: Stanley Cortez

Film Editor: Ivan J. Hoffman

Original Music: Paul Dunlap

Written by Ib Melchior from a story by Sid Pink

Produced by Norman Maurer & Sid Pink

Directed by Ib Melchior

Unjust though it may be, not all Savant reviews make the national news feed, but my old 2001 coverage of the pretty miserable MGM DVD of The Angry Red Planet got quoted all over the place,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Let Us Now Praise The Mad Genius Of Richard Harland Smith

A few years ago, in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the death of influential film critic Pauline Kael, I wrote the following:

“I think (Kael) did a lot to expose the truth… that directors, writers and actors who often work awfully close to the surface may still have subterranean levels of achievement or purpose or commentary that they themselves may be least qualified to articulate. It’s what’s behind her disdain for Antonioni’s pontificating at the Cannes film festival; it’s what behind the high percentage of uselessness of proliferating DVD commentaries in which we get to hear every dull anecdote, redundant explication of plot development and any other inanity that strikes the director of the latest Jennifer Aniston rom-com to blurt out breathlessly; and it is what’s behind a director like Eli Roth, who tailors the subtext of something like Hostel Part II almost as
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Gas-s-s-s

Gas-s-s-s – Or – It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It.

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1970 / Color / 1:85 widescreen/ 79 min. / Street Date October 18, 2016 / Gas-s-s-s / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring: Elaine Giftos, Robert Corff, Cindy Williams, Bud Cort, Ben Vereen, Tally Coppola, Lou Procopio.

Cinematography: Ron Dexter

Film Editor: George Van Noy

Original Music: Country Joe and the Fish

Written and Produced by George Armitage

Directed by Roger Corman

Roger Corman finally accepted himself as an iconic filmmaker for this, his final show for A.I.P.. Barely released and long considered a failure, Gas-s-s-s – Or – It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It sees Corman and his writer associate George Armitage attempting a Mad magazine- like amalgam of all the counterculture trends of the late 1960s. That tactical mistake becomes eighty minutes of unfocused and unfunny satire. Armitage’s script and dialogue might occasionally hit some serendipitous notes,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Curtis Hanson Rip: 1945-2016

Curtis Hanson--Confidentially

By

Alex Simon

Curtis Hanson was my first interview with a fellow film buff and film journalist. He was nice enough to sit down with me twice, first at the Rose Cafe in Venice, then at a lunch spot in the Marina, the name of which has been lost to time. He was then kind enough to invite me to the world premiere of "L.A. Confidential" at the Chinese Theater as his guest, my first time on the red carpet at a real-life Hollywood premiere, and called me after this piece ran to thank me personally. A nice man. Hanson, and co-writer Brian Helgeland, would go on to win Best Adapted Screenplay Oscars for "L.A. Confidential."

Years later, I ran into Hanson at a book signing party for Pat York that was held in Westwood. I approached him and reminded him of our interview a decade or so earlier.
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Blood Bath

This four-feature set is the weirdest cinematic treasure box of the year, a sort of anti-matter film school. Three of the films are derived from a single Yugoslavian picture rejected by Roger Corman. His acolytes Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman proceeded to add serial killings, supernatural hauntings, a goofy vampire, and an ending that could be called 'Zombies In The Wax Museum.' Tim Lucas tells the whole story in a fascinating feature-length extra docu. Blood Bath Blu-ray Arrow Video (USA) 1963 - 1966 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 95 - 81 - 62 - 75 min. / 2-Disc Limited Edition / Street Date May 30, 2016 / 49.95 Starring William Campbell, Patrick Magee, Rade Marcovic, Miha Baloh, Irena Prosen; Marissa Mathes, Linda Saunders, Sandra Knight, Carl Schanzer, Biff Elliot, Sid Haig, Jonathan Haze. Cinematography Nenad Jovicic, Dan Telford, Alfred Taylor. Original Music Bojan Adamic, Ronald Stein, Written by Vlasta Radovanovic, Vic Webber, Jack Hill & Stephanie Rothman Directed by Rados Novakovic, Michael Roy,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Panic in Year Zero!

Hey, we're having a Nuclear family crisis, so load up your shotgun, grab the grenades and head for the hills, stealing what you need as you go. Ray Milland's tense tale of doomsday survival shook up a lot of folks with its endorsement of ruthless violence. Fortunately the worst never happened, allowing us to ask, "Where were you in '62?" Panic in Year Zero! Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1962 / B&W / 2:35 widescreen / 92 min. / Street Date April 19, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Ray Milland, Jean Hagen, Frankie Avalon, Mary Mitchel, Joan Freeman, Richard Bakalyan, Cinematography Gilbert Warrenton Production Designer Daniel Haller Film Editor William Austin Original Music Les Baxter Written by John Morton, Jay Simms Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff, Arnold Houghland, James H. Nicholson, Lou Rusoff Directed by Ray Milland

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

There's nothing like good old atom-scare hysteria, which Hollywood dished out as early as 1952's Invasion,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Journey to the Seventh Planet

What horrors will we find on the planet Yoo-rah-nuss? A cyclopean dinosaur? Nasty spider monsters? A megalomaniac cerebellum that can turn our X-rated sex fantasies into flesh and blood people? Let's go! Sid Pink's flashy and slightly idiotic adventure stars space cadet John Agar as an average guy willing to have sex with a phantom from his own imagination. Say, doesn't Woody Allen make dirty jokes about that? Journey to the Seventh Planet Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1962 / Color / 1:66 widescreen / 77 min. / Street Date April 5, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring John Agar, Carl Ottosen, Ann Smyrner, Greta Thyssen, Peter Monch, Ove Sprogoe, Louis Miehe-Renard, Ulla Moritz, Mimi Heinrich, Annie Birgit Garde. Cinematography Aage Wiltrup Visual Effects Krogh, Wah Chang, Jim Danforth, Ronny Scheemmel. Art Director Otto Lund Editor Tove Palsbo Original Music Jerry Capeheart, Ib Glindemann, Mitchell Tableporte Written by Ib Melchior & Sid Pink Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff & Sid Pink
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Murders in the Rue Morgue / The Dunwich Horror

Look out! Here come two A.I.P. horror pix from the soggy end of the Poe cycle: the first features Jason Robards, an impressive cast and a disorganized storyline. The second is an almost-good Lovecraft horror with interesting performances from Dean Stockwell and Sandra Dee.     Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Dunwich Horror Blu-ray Color Scream Factory Street Date March 29, 2016 / 26.99

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Scream Factory's new double feature disc finishes off two different American-International horror series. The first picture is the last fright film made for the company by the directing and writing team of Gordon Hessler and Christopher Wicking. It's no gem, but it's a lot more interesting on a second viewing. The second is the company's final try to make that old joker H.P. Lovecraft into a filmic horror icon, like Edgar Allan Poe. It has a lot going for it, but also its own set of problems.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Contest: Win The Vincent Price Collection III on Blu-ray

  • DailyDead
On February 16th, Scream Factory will release their third home media celebration of a cinematic legend with The Vincent Price Collection III, and we've been provided with three copies of the four-disc Blu-ray set to give away.

------------

Prize Details: (3) Winners will receive (1) Blu-ray copy of The Vincent Price Collection III.

How to Enter: For a chance to win, email contest@dailydead.com with the subject "The Vincent Price Collection III Contest”. Be sure to include your name and mailing address.

Entry Details: The contest will end at 12:01am Est on February 19th. This contest is only open to those who are eighteen years of age or older that live in the United States. Only one entry per household will be accepted.

------------

Previous Press Release: On February 16, 2016, collectors, classic film aficionados and horror enthusiasts will relish the 4-Disc Blu-ray™ release of Scream Factory’s The Vincent Price Collection III.
See full article at DailyDead »

The Vincent Price Collection III Blu-ray Clips & Trailers

  • DailyDead
On February 16th, Scream Factory will release their third celebration of a cinematic legend with The Vincent Price Collection III on Blu-ray. Ahead of the collection's release, we have high-definition clips and trailers from the four-disc tribute.

Previous Press Release: On February 16, 2016, collectors, classic film aficionados and horror enthusiasts will relish the 4-Disc Blu-ray™ release of Scream Factory’s The Vincent Price Collection III. This extraordinary collector’s set is an essential collection for every movie library and brings together Five Vincent Price masterpiece classics, featuring the first-ever Blu-ray movie presentation of Master Of The World (1961), Tower Of London (1962), Diary Of A Madman (1963), An Evening Of Edgar Allan Poe (1970) and Cry Of The Banshee (1970). Packed with a bevy of chilling bonus content including new interview with producer/director Roger Corman and writer/producer/director Kenneth Johnson, new audio commentary with actor David Frankham, film historians, original theatrical trailers, archival materials,
See full article at DailyDead »

The Vincent Price Collection III Blu-ray Bonus Features Revealed

  • DailyDead
Vincent Price fans have seen Scream Factory distribute two collections honoring the horror legend, and now they're about to witness a third. On February 16th, Scream Factory will release The Vincent Price Collection III, a four-disc tribute to Price containing five of his films and an abundance of bonus features:

Press Release: On February 16, 2016, collectors, classic film aficionados and horror enthusiasts will relish the 4-Disc Blu-ray™ release of Scream Factory’s The Vincent Price Collection III. This extraordinary collector’s set is an essential collection for every movie library and brings together Five Vincent Price masterpiece classics, featuring the first-ever Blu-ray movie presentation of Master Of The World (1961), Tower Of London (1962), Diary Of A Madman (1963), An Evening Of Edgar Allan Poe (1970) and Cry Of The Banshee (1970). Packed with a bevy of chilling bonus content including new interview with producer/director Roger Corman and writer/producer/director Kenneth Johnson, new audio commentary with actor David Frankham,
See full article at DailyDead »

Gillian Armstrong applauds Screen Australia's "affirmative action"

  • IF.com.au
Australia's leading directors have voiced their support for Screen Australia's plan to address the gender imbalance in Australian film.

Screen Australia is investing $5 million over three years to address the gender imbalance in the Australian film industry.

The screen funding body recently unveiled a five point plan which includes an immediate $3 million allocation of .jump start. funding to get female-led projects production-ready within two years, and a further $2 million of support for placements, distribution incentives, marketing and industry networking.

This also includes a goal to have production funding targeted at teams that are at least 50 per cent female by the end of 2018..

The plan follows the Australian Directors Guild's commitment to have women fill 50 per cent of the attachments and for 75 per cent of the attachemnts to reflect both gender and cultural diversity..

Australian Director's Guild president, Sam Lang, said she was pleased to see that Screen Australia had taken
See full article at IF.com.au »

Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Xxxiv Review

Brad Cook reviews Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume Xxxiv…

Shout! Factory’s previous MST3K set, Volume Xxxiii, was a solid release with a nice complement of bonus features. This new one, Volume Xxxiv, seems to take a step back with a more sparse set of extras, like Volume Xxxii, but upon taking a closer look, I realized that what’s here is on par with the previous set.

The extras centerpiece in Volume Xxxiv is a 90-minute retrospective, It Was a Colossal Teenage Movie Machine: The A.I.P. Story, which I’m almost certain is the longest such historical piece found in an MST3K volume. It accompanies the Roger Corman film Viking Women and the Sea Serpent, an A.I.P. release that was skewered during the series’ third season. It Was a Colossal Teenage Movie Machine covers the history of American International Pictures (A.I.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Queen of Blood

Curtis Harrington took an assignment nobody else would and fashioned a gem of low-budget Sci-Fi. A Russian space epic provides expensive-looking special effects scenes for a new horror show about a deadly alien rescued from a crash landing on Mars. The extras include excellent interviews with Roger Corman and effects specialist / historian Robert Skotak.

Queen of Blood Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1966 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 80 min. / Street Date December 1, 2015 / 29.95 Starring John Saxon, Basil Rathbone, Florence Marly, Judi Meredith, Dennis Hopper, Robert Boon, Don Eitner, Forrest J Ackerman. Cinematography Vilis Lapenieks Film Editor Leo Shreve Original Music Ronald Stein Written by Curtis Harrington from the Soviet film Mechte navstrechu Produced by Samuel Z. Arkoff, George Edwards Directed by Curtis Harrington

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

A.I.P. released some tacky movies in its day but none were less respected than those cobbled together from foreign imports spiked with new filmed-in-Hollywood storylines.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

DVD Review: "Operation Bikini" (1963) Starring Tab Hunter And Frankie Avalon

  • CinemaRetro
By Lee Pfeiffer

Founded by producers James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, American International Pictures (A.I.P.) hit upon a formula of financing and releasing low-budget exploitation films for non-discriminating audiences (translation: the youth market). Specializing in horror films and goofy comedies, A.I.P. occasionally strayed into other genres. In 1963, the company capitalized on the always-popular WWII genre with the release of "Operation Bikini". Ostensibly, the movie's title referred to the obscure atoll in the Pacific where atomic bomb tests were conducted during the Cold War era. However, in true A.I.P. style, the advertising campaign was designed to imply that the title might also refer to the fact that the bikini bathing suit was popularized here by a French designer who conducted a photo shoot on the atoll just days after an atomic blast. (Ignorant of the risks from radiation poison, he merrily pronounced that "like the bomb,
See full article at CinemaRetro »

20 Things We Learned from Larry Cohen’s Commentary for Q the Winged Serpent

Larry Cohen hasn’t directed a film since 1996 (Original Gangstas), but he’s stayed busy as a writer with thrillers like Phone Booth, Best Seller and Cellular. It’s a bit of a shame as the man’s directorial touch is usually a guarantee that a movie is going to be a fun ride — think It’s Alive, The Stuff, The Ambulance — and one of his best is 1982’s flying monster movie, Q the Winged Serpent. Scream Factory released the film to Blu-ray in 2013 complete with a new commentary track from Cohen, and we decided it was time to give it a spin. It was a smart decision as the track is a fun, informative and occasionally surprising listen. Keep reading to see what I heard on the commentary track for Q the Winged Serpent. Q the Winged Serpent (1982) Commentator: Larry Cohen (writer/director) 1. They had an early preview of the film prior to distribution, and
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

The Brain Eaters, The She-Creature, The Undead & More Aip Titles to be Remade & Linked Together

  • DailyDead
Roger Corman fans are familiar with at least a few of them, movie memorabilia collectors have hung posters of them on their walls for decades, and some first saw them at double bill matinees on Saturdays or summer nights at the drive-in. If you have fond memories of watching the pulpy onscreen offerings of American International Pictures from the bucket seat of a Buick or the comfortable cushions of your own couch, then you might be pleased to know that ten of the company’s titles have been acquired by Cinedigm and will be remade as individual films linked together by one massive story arc.

Girls in Prison, Viking Women and The Sea Serpent, The Brain Eaters, The She-Creature, Teenage Caveman, Reform School Girl, The Undead, War of the Colossal Beast, The Cool and The Crazy, and Day the World Ended will all be reimagined, with filming slated to start
See full article at DailyDead »
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Credited With | External Sites