Under the Radar – Amicus Productions

Ask a horror fan about the sixties and seventies, and it’s likely Hammer Films will come up. The studio was legendary for resurrecting the classic Universal Monsters (making icons of Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing) and their movies’ period gothic atmosphere. However, every now and again, it’s quite probable one of the more obscure films mentioned by said fan will turn out to be an Amicus production.

Strangely enough, Amicus Productions began its history with a couple of teen musicals before moving into horror and thrillers in 1965, putting it in direct competition with Hammer. While its rival built much of its fame on new versions of the classics, Amicus specialized in anthology films, often even casting Hammer favorites Cushing and Lee (hence some of the confusion mentioned above) in its productions. The studio also had a recurring relationship with horror author Robert Bloch whose stories comprised all the segments of Torture Garden, Asylum, and The House that Dripped Blood and were adapted by none other than the writer himself.

While some of Amicus’s films have become minor classics over time (i.e. its adaptation of EC’s Tales from The Crypt), the studio couldn’t survive to the eighties and released its last film, The People That Time Forgot, in 1977. Much like Hammer, Amicus was revived, releasing Stuart Gordon’s Stuck in 2005. Unfortunately, this new incarnation seems to have already fizzled out, leaving only its older properties to keep its memory alive.


About prutigli

Patrick Rutigliano grew up on a steady diet of comic books and horror movies. Making his first sale to Permuted press in 2007, he has since placed stories with several publications in addition to his first collection, Black Corners of a Blood-Red Room. The Untimely Deaths of Daryl Handy is his first independent release. During his off time, Patrick can usually be found attempting to recreate foreign cuisine, sacrificing cardboard to his cats, and having spirited debates with his wife over the failings of Disney villains.
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