News Article

News Article

AIP Rises From the Dead With Roger Corman Remakes


Back in the 1950s, the film industry went through some major changes. The studio system (in which the major studios had directors, actors, and writers under contract and matched them up for films) was dying, and the studios had lost ownership of most theater chains due to anti-trust laws, which meant theaters had more freedom in what they could screen. This gave rise to the independent studios, who would hire no-name directors and actors on a per-project basis, could churn out low-budget flicks with sensational topics that could turn a bigger profit.

American International Pictures (AIP) was one of the biggest independent studios of its time, with over 500 films produced and/or distributed by the company. AIP produced Roger Corman's earliest films. The company specialized in "teeny-bopper" films: juvenile crime, horror, and sci-fi tales. Throughout the years, AIP was bought and merged into a number of companies, with MGM currently owning the majority of AIP's films.

Lou Arkoff, son of AIP founder Samuel Z. Arkoff, held on to rights to a handful of his dad's films, and has joined with writer/producer Jeff Katz and former agent Hal Sadoff to remake 10 of Arkoff's 25 films. 

Included in these remakes are Corman classics Viking Women and the Sea Serpents, Teenage Cave Man, The Undead, and Day the World Ended. The other films are: Cool & the Crazy, Girls in Prison, She-Creature, War of the Colossal Beast, Runaway Daughters and The Brain Eaters. The 10 films will all be shot back-to-back, and the intention is that these films (mostly creature-features, a few juvenile delinquent films) will take place in the "same universe." Hollywood Reporter compares it to the way Marvel sets up its superheroes in individual films, then brings them together in The Avengers. I'm not really sure how that is going to work out. 

In a statement, Arkoff said: "The AIP spirit was all about innovation and giving new young talent a place to create. 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 fueled these titles decades ago.”