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Ulmer was known as "the Capra of PRC". B movies in the s Ina Supreme Court ruling in a federal antitrust suit against the majors outlawed block booking and led to the Big Five divesting their theater chains. With audiences draining away to television and studios scaling back production schedules, the classic double feature vanished from many American theaters during the s. The major studios promoted the benefits of recycling, offering former headlining movies as second features in the place of traditional B films.
After barely inching forward in the s, the average U. Bythe old Monogram brand had disappeared, the company having adopted the identity of its higher-end subsidiary, Allied Artists.
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The following year, Allied released Hollywood's last B series Westerns. Non-series B Westerns continued to appear for a few more years, but Republic Pictures, long associated with cheap sagebrush sagas, was out of the filmmaking business by decade's end.
The age of the hour-long feature film was past; 70 minutes was now roughly the minimum. While the Golden Age-style second feature was dying, B movie was still used to refer to any low-budget genre film featuring relatively unheralded performers sometimes referred to as B actors.
The term retained its earlier suggestion that such movies relied on formulaic plots, "stock" character types, and simplistic action or unsophisticated comedy. Ida Lupinoa leading actress, established herself as Hollywood's sole female director of the era.
Its source is pure pulpone of Mickey Spillane 's Mike Hammer novels, but Robert Aldrich 's direction is self-consciously aestheticized.
The result is a brutal genre picture that also evokes contemporary anxieties about what was often spoken of simply as the Bomb.
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The fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, along with less expressible qualms about radioactive fallout from America's own atomic tests, energized many of the era's genre films. Science fiction, horror, and various hybrids of the two were now of central economic importance to the low-budget end of the business. Most down-market films of the type—like many of those produced by William Alland at Universal such as Creature from the Black Lagoon and Sam Katzman at Columbia including It Came from Beneath the Sea —provided little more than thrills, though their special effects could be impressive.
Director Don Siegel 's Invasion of the Body Snatchersreleased by Allied Artists, treats conformist pressures and the evil of banality in haunting, allegorical fashion.
Gordonis both a monster movie that happens to depict the horrific effects of radiation exposure and "a ferocious cold-war fable [that] spins Koreathe army's obsessive secrecy, and America's post-war growth into one fantastic whole". Nicholson and Samuel Z. American International helped keep the original-release double bill alive through paired packages of its films: When Hot Rod Gang turned a profit, hot rod horror was given a try: Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow David Cook credits AIP with leading the way "in demographic exploitationtarget marketingand saturation booking, all of which would become standard procedure for the majors in planning and releasing their mass-market 'event' films" by the late s.
Corman would go on to direct over fifty feature films through As ofhe remained active as a producer, with more than movies to his credit. Often referred to as the "King of the Bs", Corman has said that "to my way of thinking, I never made a 'B' movie in my life", as the traditional B movie was dying out when he began making pictures.
He prefers to describe his metier as "low-budget exploitation films". The creature feature The Tingler featured Castle's most famous gimmick, Percepto: In Januarythere were 96 drive-ins in the United States; a decade later, there were more than 3, The phenomenon of the drive-in movie became one of the defining symbols of American popular culture in the s.
At the same time, many local television stations began showing B genre films in late-night slots, popularizing the notion of the midnight movie. Indistributor Joseph E. Levine financed the shooting of new footage with American actor Raymond Burr that was edited into the Japanese sci-fi horror film Godzilla. InLevine's Embassy Pictures bought the worldwide rights to Herculesa cheaply made Italian movie starring American-born bodybuilder Steve Reeves.
Just as valuable to the bottom line, it was even more successful overseas. Golden age of exploitation[ edit ] Main articles: The AIP-style dual genre package was the new model. In Julythe latest Joseph E. Levine sword-and-sandals import, Hercules Unchainedopened at neighborhood theaters in New York.
A suspense film, Terror Is a Manran as a "co-feature" with a now familiar sort of exploitation gimmick: It was clearly an A film by the standards of both director and studio, with the longest shooting schedule and biggest budget Corman had ever enjoyed. But it is generally seen as a B movie: The combination of intensive and gimmick-laden publicity with movies featuring vulgar subject matter and often outrageous imagery dated back decades—the term had originally defined truly fringe productions, made at the lowest depths of Poverty Row or entirely outside the Hollywood system.
Many graphically depicted the wages of sin in the context of promoting prudent lifestyle choices, particularly " sexual hygiene ". Audiences might see explicit footage of anything from a live birth to a ritual circumcision. With the majors having exited traditional B production and exploitation-style promotion becoming standard practice at the lower end of the industry, "exploitation" became a way to refer to the entire field of low-budget genre films.
Motorpsycho was not hard to market. It had director Russ Meyer 's reputation for eroticism; the biker theme "MURDERcycles" that would soon prove its popularity in historic fashion; and that trendy title word—psycho. Exploitation movies in the original sense continued to appear: Best known was Russ Meyerwho released his first successful narrative nudie, the comic Immoral Mr.
Teasin Five years later, Meyer came out with his breakthrough film, Lornawhich combined sex, violence, and a dramatic storyline. Crafted for constant titillation but containing no nudity, it was aimed at the same "passion pit" drive-in circuit that screened AIP teen movies with wink-wink titles like Beach Blanket Bingo and How to Stuff a Wild Bikinistarring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.
One of the most influential films of the era, on Bs and beyond, was Paramount's Psycho. And, as William Paul notes, this move into the horror genre by respected director Alfred Hitchcock was made, "significantly, with the lowest-budgeted film of his American career and the least glamorous stars. Lewis's business partner David F. Friedman drummed up publicity by distributing vomit bags to theatergoers—the sort of gimmick Castle had mastered—and arranging for an injunction against the film in Sarasota, Florida—the sort of problem exploitation films had long run up against, except Friedman had planned it.
Julius discovers that Vincent lives in L. Julius bails Vincent out, but Vincent does not believe his story and abandons him in a car park. Julius pursues Vincent to his workplace and finds him being beaten up by Morris Klane, a loan shark enforcer.
Julius subdues Morris, earning Vincent's trust and respect. He later meets Vincent's girlfriend Linda Mason and enters a romantic relationship with her sister Marnie.
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Over dinner, Vincent shows Julius a document he stole from the orphanage that shows their mother is actually still alive, but believing that she abandoned him at birth, Vincent shows no interest in finding her. Julius tracks one of their six fathers to the address on the document.
The father directs Julius to Mitchell Traven in New Mexico, the other professor who headed the experiment. Vincent steals a late model Cadillac Sedan de Ville for his chop shop contact and finds a prototype fuel injector in the trunk that was to be delivered to an industrialist, Beetroot McKinley, in Houston, for five million dollars. Vincent decides to pose as the delivery man, Mr.
Webster, and deliver the fuel injector himself so he can collect the money and pay off his debts. In New Mexico, Traven reveals the truth to the twins, pointing out that Julius resulted from the best genes, and Vincent split from the useless genetic material. He directs them to Santa Fe, where their mother lives in an art colony. On the way to Santa Fe, the twins are accosted by the Klane brothers, but they fight them off for the last time.
At the art colony in Santa Fe, a painter informs Julius and Vincent that their mother has died. They leave, unaware that the painter was in fact their mother, Mary Ann, who didn't believe their story.