They might not be quite as strong a part of cinematic tradition over here than in the car-happy US, but drive-in movie chains and the B-movies they spawned are still a glorious sight to behold. Now a group of producers are planning to remake a batch of classic titles from the 1950s, raiding the library of American International Pictures to bring The Brain Eaters, Teenage Caveman, She-Creature and more back to the world.
The team includes Lou Arkoff, son of Samuel Z. Arkoff, who founded AIP in 1954 with James H. Nicholson to churn out such low-budget efforts as The Undead and Viking Women And The Sea Serpent. They intend to remake 10 of the bigger AIP titles, building on their efforts to redo the movies for the US cable network Showtime in the 1990s. This time, however, their aim is the big screen.
“The AIP spirit was all about innovation and giving new young talent a place to create,” says Arkoff. “We are now using that independent spirit and our library of classic titles to create something brand-new for the modern media model, with a coordinated social effort to accelerate interest in these properties. Our goal is to engage young audiences and drive the spirit of the times with the same excitement that fuelled these titles decades ago.” Back in the day, AIP helped to launch the careers of several filmmakers, most notably Roger Corman.
How the cheesy, OTT tone will play to modern audiences is anyone’s guess, though with low budgets and plenty of affection, there’s certainly a chance for some fun films. After all, the Supergator-loving team at The Asylum can’t have all the fun, can they? Meanwhile, if you’ve got the time, check out the full version of one of the titles scheduled to be remade, War Of The Colossal Beast, getting a Mystery Science Theater 3000 riffing…