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 Posted:   Mar 23, 2014 - 10:13 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

In the 70's after the success of AIRPORT-70-The film industry through the next decade would go on to make family oriented disaster films in which the cast were made up of many well known stars of the past and the then present. The formula worked for a while with the thinking, at that time, most of the cinemagoer's were young, so maybe with these films we will not only get the young but ma and pa and maybe even grandma and grandpa with these stars in the cast.For a while it worked[THE POSIDEN ADVENTURE, THE TOWERING INFERNO, EARTHQUAKE ETC, by the end of the decade it didn't work[METEOR, BEYOND THE POSIDEN ADVENTURE, WHEN TIME RAN OUT ETC].A decade or 2 before, large cast with well known stars were often in biblical films[50's 60's] However there was another set of films in it's history that on a smaller scale did the same procedure. the wonderful MILT SUBOTSKY and his AMICUS FILM COMPANY. From 1965 till 1973 Milt and amicus made 7 anthology films and his intentions must have been similar because going to the movies over 40 years of my life now that I think about it. I never saw such a high ratio of old people going to horror films in the theatres then with these films. 7 FILMS DIG THIS GREAT CAST-PETER CUSHING, CHRISTOPHER LEE,DONALD SUTHERLAND,BURGESS MEREDITH,JACK PALANCE,JOAN COLLINS,RALPH RICHARDSON,RICHARD GREENE,DONALD PLEASENCE,TERRY THOMAS,CURD JURGENS, MARGERET LEIGHTON,BARBARA PERKINS,HERBERT LOM,RICHARD TODD,GLYNIS JOHNS,INGRID PITT, DIANA DORS,PATRICK MAGEE, ROBERT POWELL,CHARLOTTE RAMPLING,BRITT EKLAND,TOM BAKER,EDWARD JUDD,IAN HENDRY,IAN BANNON,DAVID WARNER,LESLEY ANN DOWNE,DENHOLM ELLIOTT, ROY CASTLE,MICHAEL RIPPER ETC ETC.A nice contrast of popular vets of the day , stars big at that time and upcoming stars who would be very popular.Milt also for a while knew what he was doing but like those big disaster films the trend of success would falter. R,I,P MILT you were a great guy.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 23, 2014 - 6:54 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I don't know if Milton Subotsky was a great guy, but I always enjoyed the latest Amicus film when it came out. I got to see THE MIND OF MR. SOAMES (1970), THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1970), TALES FROM THE CRYPT (1971), THE VAULT OF HORROR, ASYLUM (1972), AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS (1973), I MONSTER, FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE (1974), THE BEAST MUST DIE (1974), THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT (1975), AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976) and THE PEOPLE THAT TIME FORGOT (1977) when they opened. Each film loaded with a great cast of names and familiar faces. Each film a low-budget exercise in style and genre fun. Being a repeat customer, I saw each film a few times, but HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD was my favorite, and still is.

At Halloween festivals during the 1970s I got to see scrappy prints of some of the older Amicus films projected on the big screen, including DR. TERRORS HOUSE OF HORRORS (1965), THE SKULL (1965) and TORTURE GARDEN (1967). The rest I saw on TV -- including DR. WHO AND THE DALEKS, DALEKS INVASION EARTH 2150 A.D., THE TERRORNAUTS, THE PSYCHOPATH, THE DEADLY BEES and THEY CAME FROM BEYOND SPACE -- all 1960s films. I didn't see DANGER ROUTE (1969) until the 1990s. I've never seen WHAT BECAME OF JACK AND JILL?

The one Amicus Film I've always wanted to see projected and never did is THE CITY OF THE DEAD (1960). I saw it many times on television in a truncated version under the title HORROR HOTEL. It aired at least twice a year in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s, and it always aired on Halloween. The DVD released by VCI, with missing footage reinstated and photochemical restoration, was a revelation. I consider it one of the best horror films ever made.

I uploaded posters on previous threads about Amicus.

 
 Posted:   Mar 23, 2014 - 9:54 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

I don't know if Milton Subotsky was a great guy,

I do. He was a lovely man. Some friends and I had the pleasure of having tea at his house shortly before he died. We were not long out of film school and looking to make contacts in the industry. He very graciously granted us an audience to chat about possible projects. He was friendly and supportive to us young folk. Sadly, he died before we had chance to chase anything up. He had a wonderful house in London. The exterior was painted bright red and he was proud of that! Inside... well, beyond a library, I've never seen as many books as were on Milton's shelves.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 23, 2014 - 10:47 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

I envy you your meeting with Milton Subotsky. Did you ever start making genre films, Heath?

This thread prompted me to watch ASYLUM (1972 release) written by Robert Bloch and directed by Roy Ward Baker. It so happens I had begun a correspondence with Bloch about the time he wrote this film. I was impressed by the little collections of thrillers contained in ASYLUM. What a cast -- we go from Barbara Parkins to Charlotte Rampling sharing scenes with Britt Ekland. It's a pleasure to spend 90 minutes with so many fine English actors.

Amicus made tiny little pictures on tiny little budgets on quick schedules. Today they would be "small" films even on the made-for-TV scale. The films consist almost entirely of character interaction on a one-to-one or two-to-one basis. Simple and intimate but demanding substance to the writing and a mastery of visual style. Good professional filmmaking is the only real production value. I doubt if some the stars worked longer than a single day. An Amicus film depended more than most on the actors and on the directing to flesh out the writing because that's all there was.

Amicus got a little more money for THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and AT THE EARTH'S CORE. They could afford some limited location shooting, special effects, extras and some spectacle, but even those were small films. I'm not saying that as a criticism. I like the scale of the typical Amicus film just as I prefer the smaller scale of first two Bond films.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 24, 2014 - 6:20 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

In the world of films one often will see the money guy working with the guy who was more interested in the creative process and the love of what they were doing At AIP you had SAM ARKOFF[money man] and JAMES NICHOLSON, the creative source. With AMICUS MAX ROSENBERG was more the money man and MILT was the creative force. He loved and was excited by what he did. He was down to earth. He had an ego but he was never stuck up. he stood his ground.I would have liked to work with him, but he was pretty much wrapping things up by the time I was starting. However I always enjoyed the money he sent me for issues of my magazine in the 80's. Nice guy.I remember reading VARIETY with my line producer in a diner on Broadway one night and reading he had died. It really got to me.Sadly you don't find a lot of guys in the entertainment industry like he. without bragging as TERRY LEVINE FROM AQUARIUS FILMS SAID ABOUT ME as I left his office THERE GOES ONE OF THE GOOD GUYS. Thanks TERRY, REST IN PEACE.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 24, 2014 - 9:53 PM   
 By:   Richard-W   (Member)

Well Dan, if you know of a money person who wants to hook up with the creative person, introduce him to me, will you? I know how to make some financier tons of money in the picture business.


Richard

 
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