Amicus Films – The Studio that Dripped Blood
A salute and overview
I am going to spend time reviewing most of the Amicus Films, horror and sci-fi releases. I am a big fan of Horror Anthologies and for years Amicus Films had been a name synonymous with that format of filmmaking. Before I delve into the film reviews, I thought it would be appropriate to post this history and overview of Amicus Films. Most horror fans probably know all the info gathered here but it bares repeating from time to time, especially for younger horror fans looking to explore the roots of horror.
Amicus Films is a British film production company created by Milton Subotsky and Max J. Rosenberg in 1962. The two had previously worked together on The City of the Dead (Horror Hotel) in 1960. The first two movies by Amicus Films were teenage, rock-n-roll, drive-in style movies. Not having much success with either, they steered Amicus Films into the field of horror. Emulating the format of the popular 1945 horror film, Dead of Night, the studio produced their 1st horror anthology, Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors. They would follow that with more horror anthologies, horror and thriller movies, and sci-fi features. Some of the horror anthologies were written by, or based upon stories by Robert Bloch. Tales From the Crypt and Vault of Horror were based upon stories from the EC Horror Comics of the same names.
Many Amicus films are often mistaken for Hammer Films. The biggest difference in each studio’s productions (especially early on) was; Hammer Films production’s were gothic period pieces, but the Amicus film’s were set in present day situations. Both studios procured mutual actors (Lee, Cushing) and directors. Amicus Films Studio’s most successful film, Tales From the Crypt, would later spawn a series on HBO in the late 1980’s and several films baring the Tales From the Crypt moniker through the 1990’s.
I own all of the horror films on dvd, and about half the sci-fi films. There is also a documentary called, Amicus House of Horrors: A History…. The documentary is mostly interviews with the actors and directors.
Amicus Films: Horror
Dr. Terror’s House of Horrors (1964)
The Skull (1965)
Torture Garden (1967)
The House That Dripped Blood (1970)
Tales from the Crypt (1972)
The Vault of Horror (1973)
From Beyond the Grave (1974)
And Now the Screaming Starts! (1973)
The Beast Must Die (1974)
Horror Hotel (1960)
The Uncanny (1977)
The Monster Club (1980)
Amicus Films: Sci Fi
Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965)
Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. (1966)
The Deadly Bees (1966)
They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
The Terrornauts (1967)
The Land That Time Forgot (1974)
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
At the Earth’s Core (1978)
The Psychopath (1966)
Danger Route (1967)
The Birthday Party (1968) (Directed by William Friedkin)
What Became of Jack and Jill? (1971)
The Mind of Mr. Soames (1969)
A Touch of Love (1969)
Rock N Roll films:
It’s Trad, Dad! (1962) (aka Ring-a-Ding Rhythm)
Just for Fun (1963)
Great post! I love these anthology films from Amicus. It’s funny, despite their obvious differences, how much they get mistaken for Hammer Films. I’m glad you mentioned that. I loved their 2 Edgar Rice Burroughs films, too. There are quite a few titles I have yet to catch. I have “Dead of Night” but have yet to get around to that one. “The Beast Must Die” and “And Now The Screaming Starts” are 2 others I have to catch. I’ll get to those very soon, thanks to your post. Thanks for all the great info. Good job!
Dead of Night is considered the first anthology horror flim. It’s ok but not as good as the Amicus anthos. The Beast Must Die is unique because 10 minutes before the end the picture freezes and the film asks you if you have figured out which character is the werewolf. So it’s a mystery/werewolf flick. Kinda’ cool for a novelty idea.
Cool! I like that. Gotta get a copy somewhere. Kooky idea but it sounds like fun. Thanks for the info!
I didn’t realize some of these were Amicus Films. Seen a bunch of them. I need to watch Torture Garden and Danger Route. Haven’t seen or heard of the Rock ‘N’ Roll fims. I can see where some people would confuse these with Hammer Films.
Torture Garden is awesome, I’ll have a review up by early next week . 🙂
Well, those movies ought to keep you busy for a while. Let’s all hope there won’t be much time left for making mischief in public!
Who me? never >;)
I’ve watched al their horror and sci-fi films. Most are good. They used to show us a movie on the last day of school every year in middle school. In 7th grade the teachers picked Tales from the crypt which was about ten years old at the time. I loved it and the first time I saw an Amicus film.
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Hammer were based at Bray and Elstree Studios, not Shepperton.
Thanks for the info, I’ll correct that.
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