Discovering good movies, one bad movie at a time

There have been horror movie icons since the 1920s, and naturally enough, every one of them has to have their Very Last Horror Movie. But not a one of them had a grand finale to their time as a star of horror movies like Vincent Price, who was shipped out of the genre in grand […]

1974 is awfully damn late to be indulging in William Castle-style carnival barker tactics to sell a movie – that belongs to an age of cheesy B-movies, not an age of grim, violent grind house fodder. But that is, nonetheless, exactly what The Beast Must Die gets up to, over the vehement objections of its […]

It is with a distinct tinge of melancholy that I welcome From Beyond the Grave to the pages of Alternate Ending. For with this 1974 release, we arrive at the seventh and final “portmanteau” film released by Amicus Productions, the little British horror studio that was, in ’74, just about to abandon the genre (the […]

By 1973, the British horror film industry was collapsing. The smallest of the three main studios focusing genre films, Tigon, released its final film in that year; the largest, Hammer Films, very famously spent the first five years of the decade desperately trying every new idea they could scrounge up, which in 1973 meant a […]

Lord knows if “sequel” is right word to describe The Vault of Horror, a 1973 anthology film based on horror stories published in the first half of the 1950s by EC Comics. Not, as it happens, stories published in the pages of The Vault of Horror, one of the company’s three dedicated horror titles. Of […]

Asylum might have the single best hook of any anthology film I have seen. The story opens with Dr. Martin (Robert Powell), a young psychiatrist, arriving at a remote insane asylum for a job interview. The man who runs the place, Dr. Rutherford (Parick McGee), seems like a bit of an asshole, the kind of […]

What Became of Jack and Jill? is the forgotten stepchild of the Amicus Productions filmography, the most obscure of all their horror/thriller films, and the only one that’s been basically ignored on home video (pretty much every version you can find these days is sourced from the same faded, full-frame 16mm print). And this goes […]

It is a truth that I think to be self-evident that 1972’s Tales from the Crypt is the best-known and most widely-seen of Amicus Productions’s seven horror anthology films – maybe even their best-known and most widely-seen film, period. How much of this has to do with the fact that it shares a title and […]

The most interesting thing about I, Monster, a 1971 showcase for the great Christopher Lee released by Amicus productions, is also the most baffling. Not to spoil the surprise – the film has already spoiled itself, quite thoroughly – but the film is an uncredited adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1886 novella Strange Case of […]

When people speak of Amicus Productions, what they’re really speaking of, I think, is the set of films beginning with our present subject, 1971’s The House That Dripped Blood. Between 1962 and 1970, Amicus produced 15 films on a variety of subjects, and only six of them were horror films (a number that already has […]

I would never have thought of this on my own, but now that I’ve been put in mind of it, it makes perfect sense that American International Pictures and Amicus Productions would team up together. You could never say that they occupy the same spot in their respective ecosystems, because the Hollywood and British film […]

Among those classic horror fans who are responsible for keeping its memory alive at all, Amicus Productions is first and foremost associated with its series of anthology films (or “portmanteaus”, to use the official company line), so much so that one  might suppose they never made anything else. On the contrary, the studio was awfully […]