Ready For Some Classic 70’s #31DaysOfHorror?
Bravo to Severin Films for releasing a great box set that celebrates a company called Amicus! This is what I’m digging into this Halloween season!
Known as ‘The Studio That Dripped Blood’, the British film company Amicus Productions – founded by American writer/producers Max J. Rosenberg and Milton Subotsky – built a legacy of horror anthologies and twisted thrillers that remains among the very best genre movies of the ‘70s.
I just bought the terrific Severin box set, and here’s how they describe it:
In this trio of Amicus classics – featuring stars that include Peter Cushing, Herbert Lom, Britt Ekland, Patrick Magee, Stephanie Beacham, Calvin Lockhart, Michael Gambon and Charlotte Rampling – you’ll discover the studio’s legendary portmanteau ASYLUM, their insane gothic shocker AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS, and – exclusive to this set – the infamous werewolf whodunit THE BEAST MUST DIE, as well as a Bonus Disc of Amicus trailers, TV commercials, rare interviews and more. The Amicus Collection is a Limited Edition, and Numbered to 3500 copies.
Begin By Entering The “Asylum!”
This 1972 horror film is their best known film, with lots of recognizable stars. It’s made up of several short tales, involving a group of people who are at a secluded “asylum”, and every story ties them all together more and more.
Here is the trailer:
Robert Bloch wrote the script for “Asylum” based his own short stories – and Bloch was also the author of the novel “Psycho”, which Alfred Hitchcock turned into the classic shocker.
I have to say again how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE this classic poster.
Here are the special features that Severin assembled on the blu-ray:
Two’s A Company: 1972 On-set report from BBC featuring Interviews With Producer Milton Subotsky, Director Roy Ward Baker, Actors Charlotte Rampling, James Villiers, Megs Jenkins, Art Director Tony Curtis and Production Manager Teresa Bolland
David J. Schow on Robert Bloch – Featurette
Fiona Subotsky Remembers Milton Subotsky – Featurette
Inside The Fear Factory Featurette with Directors Roy Ward Baker, Freddie Francis and Producer Max J. Rosenberg
Audio Commentary with Director Roy Ward Baker and Camera Operator Neil Binney
Terrific! Next up:
AND NOW THE SCREAMING STARTS!
OK, how about this for a plot:
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.
Here is the trailer:
I didn’t know about this film, and can’t wait to see it – as with the others, it comes with a ton of great extras:
The Haunting Of Oakley Court – Featurette with Allan Bryce, Author of “Amicus: The Friendly Face Of Fear”, and David Flint, Author of “Ten Years Of Terror”, visit the classic horror film location
Audio Commentary with Director Roy Ward Baker and Actress Stephanie Beacham
Audio Commentary with Star Ian Ogilvy
Archive Audio Interview with Actor Peter Cushing By Denis Meikle
Horror Journalist Denis Meikle Recalls And Now The Screaming Starts – Featurette
Next up, a film that included a revolutionary feature – a “werewolf break” in the middle of the film!
“THE BEAST MUST DIE!”
A group on an island search for a dreaded Werewolf, and we get to unfold the mystery along with the characters.
Legendary Horror Icon Peter Cushing stars in the film, which is enough reason for me to want to see it.
Here is the trailer:
The Infamous “Werewolf Break!”
Here’s where the movie offers up a novel concept: near the end of the film, there is an inserted 30-second break called the “werewolf break”, where the audience is asked to guess the werewolf’s identity, based on clues from the movie!
In the interview with director Annett on the DVD release, Annett says he hated the addition of the werewolf break. It was not in Annett’s version of the film; he attributes the idea to producer Milton Subotsky. He does admit that some, including critic Leonard Maltin, liked it.
And I love this classic poster!
Here are the special features that are exclusive ONLY to this set:
And Then There Were Werewolves – Audio Essay By Horror Historian Troy Howarth
Audio Commentary with Director Paul Annett
Directing the Beast:
Finally, the set come with a new documentary, THE VAULT OF AMICUS, which includes these special features:
Over An Hour of Amicus Trailers
Audio Commentary With British Horror Film Writers Kim Newman & David Flint
Phil Nutman Audio Interview with Milton Subotsky – Audio Interview With Accompanying Stills / Posters
Jonathan Sothcott Audio Interview with Max Rosenberg – Audio Interview With Accompanying Stills / Posters
Bonus Amicus TV spots
One last bravo to Severin for this incredible collection!
I am a huge fan of cult 70’s horror, and one person did it better than anyone:
Yes, The Afro-Tastic Vincent Price!
Yes, Vincent Price starred in a number of classic horror films like “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” and “Theater Of Blood”, which Actress Diana Rigg called her favorite film to work on! Read about it here:
Let me know if you’ve seen any of the Amicus films and Happy Halloween!