Saturday, December 27, 2008


I just received an email with this Barbican program featuring a huge range of Amicus productions that makes this an absolute Must Visit event if you're in the area.


barbican film


Friday 20 to Wednesday 25 February 2009 Cinema Hotline: 0845 120 7527

Ingrid Pitt; The House That Dripped Blood

For twenty years, Amicus Productions made the kind of unique horror movies that, along with those from the better-known Hammer studio, characterised Britain’s world-domination of the genre in the 1960s and ‘70s. Helmed by American producer Max Rosenberg and screenwriter Milton Subotsky, Amicus’ 30 film output showcased the talents of directors such as Freddie Francis, William Friedkin and Roy Ward Baker and showed us the true faces of horror with stars Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and Vincent Price. With this retrospective of trademark portmanteau chillers and creature-feature thrillers, Barbican Film celebrates the infamous studio that slashed, gored and clawed its way into British cinema history.

Friday 20 February

7.00pm - The House That Dripped Blood (PG) (UK 1971 Dir. Peter Dufell 102 min)

The titular house is the spooky lynch pin around which the stories in Amicus’ second horror compendium revolve. When the famous owner of a gothic mansion disappears, the investigating officer discovers that dark deeds befell the house’s previous occupants too, including a writer stalked by his own imagination and a film star who got too close to the evil character he played. With Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Denholm Elliott and the delectable Ingrid Pitt.

Friday 20 February

9.15pm - Dr Terror’s House of Horrors (PG) (UK 1965 Dir. Freddie Francis 98 min)

Amicus’ first anthology proved the popularity of portmanteau, with five strangers on a train being shown their fates by the diabolical Dr Schreck and his ‘House of Horrors’ tarot card deck. Werewolves, vampires, creeping vines and voodoo form the future for our unlucky anti-heroes, who include Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and a young Donald Sutherland.

Saturday 21 February

2.00pm - The Land That Time Forgot (U) (UK 1975 Dir. Kevin Connor 90 min)

The last film made under Subotsky and Rosenberg was the studio’s most ambitious, expensive and ultimately successful feature. Based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, a U-boat lost in the South Pole discovers a hidden tropical island where dinosaurs still roam, untouched by modern human intervention - until Death Race star Doug McClure and his band of WWII renegades arrive to get trapped, mauled and eaten, Amicus-style. An action classic.

Saturday 21 February

4.00pm - Scream and Scream Again (18) (UK 1970 Dir. Gordon Hessler 95 min)

Whilst investigating a spate of murders dubbed ‘the vampire killings,’ a police inspector (Alfred Marks) discovers that terrifying human experiments are being performed by a maniacal Doctor (Vincent Price) and his unstoppable henchmen. Conceived as Coogan’s Bluff meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Scream... was the first feature to unite the unholy trinity of Price, Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee – quite a coup for Amicus.

Saturday 21 February

6.30pm - Tales from the Crypt (18) (UK 1972 Dir. Freddie Francis 92 min)

In perhaps the best known of the Amicus anthologies, a group of people trapped in a crypt are shown their futures - variously involving murder, cruelty and ‘accidental’ death - by the mysterious vault keeper. He then offers them the chance to change their fates, but only if they choose to forfeit their own lives… Here Joan Collins and Ralph Richardson add support to Peter Cushing’s domination of the genre.

Saturday 21 February

8.30pm - ...and Now the Screaming Starts (15) (UK 1973 Dir. Roy Ward Baker 91 min)

A hefty budget for Amicus’ supernatural period tale of a young aristocrat couple plagued by a malevolent ancestor provided the requisite opulence for Baker’s second film for the studio. The film is crowned by a suitably intense performance by star Stephanie Beecham as Cathryn Fengriffen, the unwilling victim of Grandfather Fengriffen’s evil curse. With Herbert Lom, Ian Oglivy and Peter Cushing, again.

Sunday 22 February

2.00pm - The Birthday Party (15) (UK 1968 Dir. William Friedkin 123 min)

Filming Harold Pinter’s enigmatic play was a cerebral choice for the studio synonymous with terror; though director Friedkin went on to prove his horror credentials admirably with The Exorcist in 1973. Robert Shaw is the seaside boarder subjected to a macabre birthday party by strangers Patrick Magee and Sydney Tafler, whose bemusing array of tricks and torments ultimately drive him insane.

Sunday 22 February

4.30pm - Madhouse (18) (UK 1974 Dir. Jim Clark 92 min)

Tempted back to England by an old friend and persuaded to resurrect his famous alter-ego Dr Death, aging horror actor Paul Toombes must confront the memory of his wife’s murder - a murder some think he committed. When the gruesome killings begin again, Toombes begins to question whether Dr Death is just a character after all… A rare opportunity to see Peter Cushing and Vincent Price in starring roles together.

Sunday 22 February

6.30pm - The Psychopath (15) (UK 1966 Dir. Freddie Francis 82min)

Billed as ‘a new peak in shriek’, this disturbing offering focuses on a gruesome spate of murders by a killer whose modus operandi is to leave a creepily life-like doll replica of the victim next to their mutilated body. Patrick Wymark is the inspector on the case and Amicus stalwart Freddie Francis directs this Robert Bloch (Psycho) penned thriller.

Sunday 22 February

8.30pm – TITLE TBC

Monday 23 February

6.30pm - Asylum (15) (UK 1972 Dir. Roy Ward Baker 88 min)

The pairing of director Baker with writer Robert Bloch provided a jewel for Amicus’ crown with this grotesque portmanteau set in an institution where ‘you have nothing to lose but your mind’... In order to gain a position at Dunsmoor Asylum, a young psychiatrist must interview four patients to determine which one is the recently sectioned Dr Starr - and each inmate has a particularly nasty tale to tell. With Peter Cushing, Charlotte Rampling, Britt Ekland and Herbert Lom.

Tuesday 24 February

6.30pm - I, Monster (12A) (UK 1971 Dir. Stephen Weeks 77min)

Christopher Lee puts in a barnstorming performance as the doctor experimenting with the darker side of human nature. Horror supremo Peter Cushing is the friend who tries to save him in Amicus’s take on ‘Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde’. The film boasts a curiously experimental look, the result of attempting a new 3D process that studio boss Subotsky himself invented but that ultimately didn’t work.

Wednesday 25 February

6.30pm - The Beast Must Die (15) (UK 1974 Dir. Paul Annet 93 min)

Who’s the werewolf? Not many movies can boast a ‘werewolf break’ to allow the audience time to ponder which one of the film’s characters (each hiding a distinctly murky past) is the deadly lycanthrope in question. Just one of the many quirks which make this darkly funny, superbly bloody, country estate set who-dunnit the very definition of ‘cult film’.

Notes for editors:

1. Special thanks to Allan Bryce (Author; Amicus: The Studio That Dripped Blood), Jonathan Sothcott (Black & Blue films) and Tony Earnshaw (Director; National Media Museum, Bradford). Cinema Hotline: 0845 120 7527

Ticket prices:

Book online and get up to £2 off every ticket! (or save up to £2 on every ticket)
Standard: £7.50 online (£9.50 full price)

Barbican Members: £6.50 online (£7.50 full price)

Concessions: £7.50

Under 15: £4.50

Monday Madness: all tickets £5.50

Amicus Season Multi-buy offer - Buy 3 or more tickets and get each ticket for just £6.00

For further information contact:

Laura Bushell / Sarah Harvey, SarahHarveyPublicity: 020 7703 2253; /

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