‘Teenage Caveman.’ ‘The Undead.’ ‘War of the Colossal Beast.’ ‘The Day the World Ended.’ These films, and thousands more, were the classic B movies that packed the drive-ins throughout the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. Now a number of low budget flicks from yesteryear are slated to be remade for modern audiences, including the previously mentioned titles, along with ‘Girls in Prison,’ ‘Viking Women and the Sea Serpent,’ and more.
As Deadline reports, Jeff Katz, Lou Arkoff, and Hal Sadoff, are working together to remake these films. It so happens that Lou is the son of B movie king Sam Arkoff, the president of American International Pictures (AIP). AIP was the #1 B movie company for three decades, where Roger Corman produced and directed many drive-in greats, including the original ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ ‘House of Usher,’ and ‘The Wild Angels,’ just to name a few.
The B movies of yesteryear were the true independent movies of their time. Long before there was ever a Miramax, B movie companies made movies completely independent of the major studio system, and made a ton of money because there were more drive-in screens than regular theaters in those days.
Although the B movie days are long behind us now, Sadoff told Deadline, “The independent film marketplace has never been stronger, with traditional along with new and exciting distribution platforms for consumers to access content. We will be working with established and cutting edge talent to create films that are fun and commercial, while maintaining the integrity of the classic AIP titles.”
If done in the right spirit, these remakes could be a lot of fun! People often forget that Hollywood makes tons of B movies today, just with bigger budgets and better special effects. (‘Jaws’ and ‘Alien’ have both been considered B movies done the A way.) At the same time, you wonder if today’s audiences will understand these stories in context, because previous attempts at bringing B movies into modern day, like ‘Grindhouse,’ failed miserably.
Then again, the whole point of exploitation films was that they weren’t hard to market. Audiences knew what to expect just from looking at the posters, which were usually better than the actual movies by a wide mile. With a title like ‘Girls in Prison,’ and the kind of lurid, sexy ad campaign that came with it, what else did you need to know? So here’s hoping the old low budget charm of ‘The She Creature’ and ‘The Brain Eaters’ will translate well through a modern filter, and that today’s audiences will enjoy them as much as they did back in the day.