Legendary B-movie production house American International Pictures is back from the dead — sort of — thanks to Cinedigm, which is "launching a reinvention of [AIP] exploitation titles in a 10-picture project within a single movie universe." Expect viking women, brain-eaters, and teenage cavemen.
Above quote from Variety, which is reporting the news.
Under the watchful eyes of James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff, AIP thrived in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s as a studio dedicated to exploitation flicks aimed at teenagers. Favored themes included juvenile delinquents, rock 'n' roll rebellion, biker gangs, hippies, beach parties, and gleefully trashy scifi and horror. In other words, all things awesome. (It shuttered in 1980; one of the last titles it distributed was Mad Max.)
Arkoff's son, Lou Arkoff, is involved as a producer on the Cinedigm project. All ten films, which will have interlinking storylines and characters, were written by Jeff Katz; his previous credits include producing Snakes on a Plane (speaking of exploitation flicks). The classic AIP films involved are Girls in Prison, Viking Women and The Sea Serpent, The Brain Eaters, She-Creature, Teenage Caveman, Reform School Girl, The Undead, War of the Colossal Beast, The Cool and the Crazy, and The Day the World Ended.
No casting or directing news yet, but Variety notes a September start date, as well as some tantalizing quotes from behind the scenes.
"In a unique twist on the current filmmaking model, all 10 films will shoot back-to-back and share a single movie universe with a big recurring cast of antiheroes, monsters and bad girls," said Arkoff. "This format will allow our casts and directors to build a strong relationship with the characters — and our audience — over the course of several films."
Katz said audiences should respond to the hybrid format, which he called "binge-viewing at the feature film level."
"Each movie in this series has a complete beginning, middle and end, yet watched over all 10 films we're really telling one larger, epic story," he added. "These are very much, at heart, indie comic book movies. Unpretentious. R-Rated. It's fantastic to have a distribution model that fits that sensibility."
Image via Movie Poster Exchange.