The term B movie originally referred to a motion picture made on a low or modest budget and intended for distribution as the less-publicized, bottom half of a double feature during the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood. The double feature, also known as a double bill, was a Motion picture industry phenomenon in which theatre managers would exhibit two films for the price of one United States cinema has had a profound effect on cinema across the world since the early 20th century Although the U. S. production of movies intended as second features largely ceased by the end of the 1950s, the term B movie continues to be used in a broader sense, referring to any low-budget, commercial motion picture meant neither as an arthouse film nor as pornography. An Art film (also called an “art cinema” “art movie” or in the U Pornography or porn is the explicit depiction of Sexual subject matter with the sole intention of sexually exciting the viewer In its post–Golden Age usage, there is ambiguity on both sides: on the one hand, many B movies display a high degree of craft and aesthetic ingenuity; on the other, the primary interest of many inexpensive exploitation films is prurient. Exploitation film is a type of film that eschews the expense of quality productions in favor of making films inexpensively attracting viewers by exciting their more prurient interests In some cases, both are true.
In either usage, most B movies represent a particular genre—the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science-fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s. In Film theory, genre refers to the primary method of film categorization based on similarities in the narrative elements from which films are constructed The Western is a fiction Genre seen in Film, Television, Radio, Literature, Painting and other Visual arts. Science fiction Film is a Film genre that uses speculative, Science -based depictions of imaginary phenomena such as extra-terrestrial Horror films are Movies that strive to elicit Fear, Horror and terror responses from viewers Early B movies were often part of series in which the star repeatedly played the same character. Almost always shorter than the top-billed films they were paired with, many had running times of 70 minutes or less. The term connoted a general perception that B movies were inferior to the more handsomely budgeted headliners; individual B films were often ignored by critics. Latter-day B movies still sometimes inspire multiple sequels, but series are less common. A sequel is a work in Literature, Film, or other media that portrays events following those of a previous work As the average running time of top-of-the-line films increased, so did that of B pictures. In its current usage, the term has two primary and somewhat contradictory connotations: it may signal an opinion that a certain movie is (a) a genre film with minimal artistic ambitions or (b) a lively, energetic film uninhibited by the constraints imposed on more expensive projects and unburdened by the conventions of putatively "serious" independent film. An independent film, or indie film, is a film that is produced outside of the Hollywood Studio system, a series of oligopolistic practices by several The term is also now used loosely to refer to some higher budgeted, mainstream films with exploitation-style content, usually in genres traditionally associated with the B movie.
From their beginnings to the present day, B movies have provided opportunities both for those coming up in the profession and others whose careers are waning. Celebrated filmmakers such as Anthony Mann and Jonathan Demme learned their craft in B movies. Anthony Mann ( June 30, 1906 – April 29, 1967) was an American actor and film director Robert Jonathan Demme (born February 22 1944) is an Academy Award -winning American Film director, producer and B movies are where actors such as John Wayne and Jack Nicholson became established, and the Bs have also provided work for former A movie actors, such as Vincent Price and Karen Black. John Wayne ( May 26, 1907 &ndash June 11, 1979) was an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award -winning American John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (born April 22 1937) is an American Actor, internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals Vincent Leonard Price Jr ( May 27 1911 &ndash October 25 1993) was an American Film Actor, remembered Karen Black (born July 1, 1939) is an American actress, Screenwriter, Singer and Songwriter. Some actors, such as Béla Lugosi and Pam Grier, worked in B movies for most of their careers. Béla Lugosi (October 20 1882 &ndash August 16 1956 was an iconic Hungarian stage and film actor best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula in the American Pamela Suzette "Pam" Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an American Actress.
This article is part of
the B movie
|B movies (Hollywood Golden Age)|
|B movies (Transition in the 1950s)|
|B movies (The exploitation boom)|
|B movies (1980s to the present)|
It is not clear that the term B movie (or B film or B picture) was in general use before the 1930s, but a similar concept was already well established. In 1927–28, at the end of the silent era, the production cost of an average feature from a major Hollywood studio ranged from $190,000 at Fox to $275,000 at MGM. A major film studio is a movie production and distribution company that releases a substantial number of films annually and consistently commands a significant That average reflected both "specials" that might cost as much as $1 million and films made quickly for around $50,000. These cheaper films allowed the studios to derive maximum value from facilities and contracted staff in between a studio's more important productions, while also breaking in new personnel.  Studios in the minor leagues of the industry, such as Columbia Pictures and Film Booking Offices of America (FBO), focused on exactly those sort of cheap productions; their movies, with relatively short running times, targeted theaters that had to economize on rental and operating costs—particularly those in small towns and so-called neighborhood venues, or "nabes," in big cities. }} Columbia Pictures Industries Inc is an American Film production and distribution company Film Booking Offices of America (FBO was an American Film studio of the silent era, a producer and distributor of mostly low-budget films Even smaller, so-called Poverty Row outfits made films whose production costs might run as low as $3,000, seeking a profit through whatever bookings they could pick up in the gaps left by the larger concerns. Poverty Row is a slang term used in Hollywood from the late silent period through the mid-fifties to refer to a variety of small and mostly short-lived B movie 
With the widespread arrival of sound film in American theaters in 1929, many independent exhibitors began dropping the then-dominant presentation model, which involved live acts and a broad variety of shorts before a single featured film. A sound film is a motion picture with synchronized sound, or sound technologically coupled to image as opposed to a Silent film. Short subject is a format description originally coined in the North American Film industry in the early period of cinema. A new programming scheme developed that would soon become standard practice: a newsreel, a short and/or a serial, and a cartoon, followed by a double feature. A newsreel is a Documentary film that is regularly released in a public presentation place containing filmed News stories Serials, more specifically known as Movie serials or Film serials, were Short subjects originally shown in theaters in conjunction with a Feature An animated cartoon is a short hand-drawn (or made with computers to look similar to something hand-drawn Film for the cinema, Television or computer The second feature, which actually screened before the main event, cost the exhibitor less per minute than the equivalent running time in shorts. The majors' "clearance" rules favoring their affiliated theaters prevented the independents' timely access to top-quality films; the second feature allowed them to promote quantity instead.  The additional movie also gave the program "balance"—the practice of pairing different sorts of features suggested to potential customers that they could count on something of interest no matter what specifically was on the bill. The low-budget picture of the 1920s thus evolved into the second feature, the B movie, of Hollywood's Golden Age.
The major studios, at first resistant to the B feature, soon adapted. The B movie, whose roots trace to the Silent film era was a significant contributor to Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s The studio system was a means of film production and distribution dominant in Hollywood from the early 1920s through the early 1950s All established "B units" to provide films for the expanding second-feature market. Block booking became standard practice: to get access to a studio's attractive A pictures, many theaters were obliged to rent the company's entire output for a season. Block booking is a system of selling multiple Films to a theater as a unit With the B films rented at a flat fee (rather than the box office percentage basis of A films), rates could be set virtually guaranteeing the profitability of every B movie. The parallel practice of blind bidding largely freed the majors from worrying about their Bs' quality—even when booking in less than seasonal blocks, exhibitors had to buy most pictures sight unseen. Block booking is a system of selling multiple Films to a theater as a unit The five largest studios—MGM, Paramount, Fox, Warner Bros., and RKO (descendant of FBO)—also belonged to companies with sizable theater chains, further securing the bottom line. Paramount Pictures Corporation is an American motion picture production and Distribution company, based in Hollywood California. Warner Bros Entertainment Inc (or Warner Bros, Warner Bros Pictures) is one of the world's largest producers of Film and Poverty Row studios, from modest outfits like Mascot Pictures and Sono Art–World Wide down to shoestring operations, made exclusively B movies, serials, and other shorts; they also distributed totally independent productions and imported films. In no position to directly block book, they mostly sold regional distribution exclusivity to "states rights" firms, which in turn peddled blocks of movies to exhibitors, typically six or more pictures featuring the same star (a relative status on Poverty Row).  Two "major-minors"—Universal and rising Columbia—had production lines roughly similar to, though somewhat better endowed than, the top Poverty Row concerns'. Universal Studios (sometimes called Universal Pictures or Universal City Studios) a subsidiary of NBC Universal, is a major Global American They had few or no theaters, but they did have major-league-level distribution exchanges. 
In the standard Golden Age model, the industry's top product, its A films, premiered at a small number of select first-run houses in major cities. Double features were not the rule at these prestigious venues. As described by historian Edward Jay Epstein, "During these first runs, films got their reviews, garnered publicity, and generated the word of mouth that served as the principal form of advertising. " Then it was off to the subsequent-run market where the double feature prevailed. At the larger local venues controlled by the majors, movies might turn over on a weekly basis. At the thousands of smaller, independent theaters, programs often changed two or three times a week. To meet the constant demand for new B product, the low end of Poverty Row turned out a stream of micro-budget movies rarely much more than sixty minutes long; these were known as "quickies" for their tight production schedules—as short as four days.  As Brain Taves describes, "Many of the poorest theaters, such as the 'grind houses' in the larger cities, screened a continuous program emphasizing action with no specific schedule, sometimes offering six quickies for a nickel in an all-night show that changed daily. " Many small theaters never saw a big-studio A film, getting their movies from the states rights concerns that handled almost exclusively Poverty Row product. Millions of Americans went to their local theaters as a matter of course: for an A picture, along with the trailers, or screen previews, that presaged its arrival, "[t]he new film's title on the marquee and the listings for it in the local newspaper constituted all the advertising most movies got. " Aside from at the theater itself, B films might not be advertised at all.
The introduction of sound had driven costs higher: by 1930, the average U. S. feature film cost $375,000 to produce.  A broad range of motion pictures occupied the B category. The leading studios made not only clear-cut A and B films, but also movies classifiable as "programmers" (also known as "in-betweeners" or "intermediates"): "Depending on the prestige of the theater and the other material on the double bill, a programmer could show up at the top or bottom of the marquee. " On Poverty Row, many Bs were made on budgets that would have barely covered petty cash on a major's A film, with costs at the bottom of the industry running as low as $5,000.  By the mid-1930s, the double feature was the dominant U. S. exhibition model, and the majors responded. In 1935, B movie production at Warner Bros. was raised from 12 to 50 percent of studio output. The unit was headed by Bryan Foy, known as the "Keeper of the Bs. " At Fox, which also shifted half of its production line into B territory, Sol M. Wurtzel was similarly in charge of more than twenty movies a year during the late 1930s. Sol M Wurtzel ( September 12, 1890 &ndash April 9, 1958) was an American Motion picture producer
A number of the top Poverty Row firms consolidated: Sono Art joined another company to create Monogram Pictures early in the decade. Monogram Pictures Corporation was a Hollywood studio that produced and released films most on low budgets between 1931 and In 1935, Monogram, Mascot, and several smaller studios merged to form Republic Pictures. Republic Pictures (also known as Republic Entertainment Inc) is an independent film television and video distribution company that was originally a movie production-distribution The heads of Monogram soon pulled out and revived their company. Into the 1950s, most Republic and Monogram product was roughly on par with the low end of the majors' output. Less sturdy Poverty Row concerns—with a penchant for grand sobriquets like Conquest, Empire, Imperial, and Peerless—continued to churn out dirt-cheap quickies.  Joel Finler has analyzed the average length of feature releases in 1938, indicating the studios' relative emphasis on B production (United Artists produced little, focusing on the distribution of prestigious films from independent outfits):
|Studio||Category||Avg. This article is about the film studio Previously it was affiliated with a cinema chain bearing its name now owned by Regal Entertainment Group. duration|
|MGM||Big Five||87. 9 minutes|
|Paramount||Big Five||76. 4 minutes|
|20th Century-Fox||Big Five||75. 3 minutes|
|Warner Bros.||Big Five||75. 0 minutes|
|RKO||Big Five||74. 1 minutes|
|United Artists||Little Three||87. 6 minutes|
|Columbia||Little Three||66. 4 minutes|
|Universal||Little Three||66. 4 minutes|
|Grand National||Poverty Row||63. 6 minutes|
|Republic||Poverty Row||63. 1 minutes|
|Monogram||Poverty Row||60. 0 minutes|
Taves estimates that half of the films produced by the eight majors in the 1930s were B movies. Calculating in the three hundred or so films made annually by the many Poverty Row firms, approximately 75 percent of Hollywood movies from the decade, more than four thousand pictures, are classifiable as Bs. 
The Western was by far the predominant B genre in both the 1930s and, to a lesser degree, the 1940s.  Film historian Jon Tuska has argued that "the 'B' product of the Thirties—the Universal films with [Tom] Mix, [Ken] Maynard, and [Buck] Jones, the Columbia features with Buck Jones and Tim McCoy, the RKO George O'Brien series, the Republic Westerns with John Wayne and the Three Mesquiteers. Thomas Edwin Mix (born Thomas Hezikiah Mix; January 6, 1880 &ndash October 12, 1940) was an American film Actor Ken Maynard ( July 21, 1895 &ndash March 23, 1973) was an American motion picture Stuntman and Actor. Buck Jones ( December 12 1891 &ndash November 30, 1942) was an American Motion picture star of the 1920s 1930s and Timothy John Fitzgerald "Tim" McCoy (born April 10, 1891 - died January 29, 1978) was an American Actor. George O'Brien ( April 19, 1899 &ndash September 4, 1985) was an American Actor, popular John Wayne ( May 26, 1907 &ndash June 11, 1979) was an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award -winning American . . achieved a uniquely American perfection of the well-made story. " At the far end of the industry, Poverty Row's Ajax put out oaters starring Harry Carey, then in his fifties. This page is about the actor Harry Carey For the baseball broadcaster with a similar name see Harry Caray. The Weiss outfit had the Range Rider series, the American Rough Rider series, and the Morton of the Mounted "northwest action thrillers. " One notable low-budget oater of the era, made totally outside the studio system, profited from an outrageous concept: a Western with an all-midget cast, The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) was such a success in its independent bookings that Columbia picked it up for distribution. The Terror of Tiny Town is a 1938 Film, produced by Jed Buell and directed by Sam Newfield, and starring Billy Curtis. 
Series of various genres, featuring recurrent, title-worthy characters or name actors in familiar roles, were particularly popular during the first decade of sound film. Fox's many B series, for instance, included Charlie Chan mysteries, Ritz Brothers comedies, and musicals with child star Jane Withers. Charlie Chan is a fictional Chinese-American Detective created by Earl Derr Biggers, who acknowledged that he was inspired by the career of The Ritz Brothers were a comedy team who appeared in 1930s films and as live performers from 1925 to the late 1960s Jane Withers (born April 12[[ 926]] in Atlanta Georgia) is an American actress best known for being one of the most popular child film stars  These series films are not to be confused with the short, cliffhanger-structured serials that sometimes appeared on the same program. A cliffhanger or cliffhanger ending is a Plot device in which a movie, Novel, or other work of fiction contains an abrupt ending often leaving As with serials, however, many series were intended to attract young people—a theater that twin-billed part-time might run a "balanced" or entirely youth-oriented double feature as a matinee and then a single film for a more mature audience at night. In the words of one industry report, afternoon moviegoers, "composed largely of housewives and children, want quantity for their money while the evening crowds want 'something good and not too much of it. '" Series films are often unquestioningly consigned to the B movie category, but even here there is ambiguity: at MGM, for example, popular series like the Andy Hardy chronicles had leading stars and budgets that would have been A-level at some of the lesser majors. Andy Hardy was a Fictional character played by Mickey Rooney in an extremely successful MGM film series from 1937 to 1958  For many series, even a lesser major's standard B budget was far out of reach: Poverty Row's Consolidated Pictures featured Tarzan, the Police Dog in a series with the proud name of Melodramatic Dog Features. 
By 1940, the average production cost of an American feature was $400,000, a negligible increase over ten years. The B movie, whose roots trace to the Silent film era was a significant contributor to Hollywood's Golden Age of the 1930s and 1940s  A number of small Hollywood companies had folded around the turn of the decade, including the ambitious Grand National, but a new firm, Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), emerged as third in the Poverty Row hierarchy behind Republic and Monogram. Producers Releasing Corporation was one of the more humble Hollywood Film studios on Poverty Row in the late 1930s-mid-1940s The double feature, never universal, was still the prevailing exhibition model: in 1941, 50 percent of theaters were double-billing exclusively, with others screening under the policy part-time.  In the early 1940s, legal pressure forced the studios to replace seasonal block booking with packages generally limited to five pictures. Restrictions were also placed on the majors' ability to enforce blind bidding.  These were crucial factors in the progressive shift by most of the Big Five over to A-film production, making the smaller studios even more important as B movie suppliers. Genre pictures made at very low cost remained the backbone of Poverty Row, with even Republic's and Monogram's budgets rarely climbing over $200,000. Many smaller Poverty Row firms folded as the eight majors, with their proprietary distribution exchanges, now commanded "around 95 percent of all domestic (U. S. and Canada) rental receipts. " In 1946, independent producer David O. Selznick brought his bloated-budget spectacle Duel in the Sun to market with heavy nationwide promotion and wide release. David O Selznick, born David Selznick ( May 10, 1902 &ndash June 22, 1965) was one of the iconic Hollywood producers Duel in the Sun is a 1946 Western film, produced by David O Selznick, which tells the story of a Mestiza (half- Native American The distribution strategy was a major success, despite what was widely perceived as the movie's poor quality.  The Duel release anticipated practices that fueled the B-movie industry in the late 1950s; when the top Hollywood studios made them standard two decades after that, the B movie would be hard hit.
Considerations beside cost made the line between A and B movies ambiguous. Films shot on B-level budgets were occasionally marketed as A pictures or emerged as sleeper hits: One of 1943's biggest films was Hitler's Children, an RKO thriller made for a fraction over $200,000. A sleeper hit (often simply called a "sleeper" refers to a Film, Book, single, Album, TV show, or Video game It earned more than $3 million in rentals, industry language for a distributor's share of gross box office receipts. A box office is a place where tickets are sold to the public for Admission to a venue  Particularly in the realm of film noir, A pictures sometimes echoed visual styles generally associated with cheaper films. Film noir is a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation Programmers, with their flexible exhibition role, were ambiguous by definition, leading in certain cases to historical confusion. Ronald Reagan, frequently identified as a "B movie star," in fact often had leading parts not only in programmers but also run-of-the-mill A movies that were Bs only in the sense of perceived quality. As late as 1948, the double feature remained a popular exhibition mode—it was standard policy at 25 percent of theaters and used part-time at an additional 36 percent.  The leading Poverty Row firms began to broaden their scope: In 1947, Monogram established a subsidiary, Allied Artists, to develop and distribute relatively expensive films, mostly from independent producers. Allied Artists Pictures Corporation started life as a Subsidiary of Monogram Pictures in 1946 as an outlet for films with bigger names and higher budgets than Around the same time, Republic launched a similar effort under the "Premiere" rubric.  In 1947 as well, PRC was subsumed by Eagle-Lion, a British company seeking entry to the American market. Eagle-Lion Films was a British film production company owned by J Warners' former Keeper of the Bs, Brian Foy, was installed as production chief. 
In the 1940s, RKO stood out among the industry's Big Five for its focus on B pictures. From a latter-day perspective, the most famous of the major studios' Golden Age B units is Val Lewton's horror unit at RKO. Val Lewton ( 7 May  – 14 March) was an American Film producer and Screenwriter, who is best known for a sequence of nine brooding Lewton produced such moody, mysterious films as Cat People (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Body Snatcher (1945), directed by Jacques Tourneur, Robert Wise, and others who would become renowned only later in their careers or entirely in retrospect. Cat People is a Horror film produced by Val Lewton and directed by Jacques Tourneur. I Walked with a Zombie is a Horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur. The Body Snatcher ( is a Horror film directed by Robert Wise based on the short story The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson Jacques Tourneur ( November 12, 1904 &ndash December 19, 1977) was a French - American Film director. Robert Wise ( September 10, 1914 &ndash September 14, 2005) was an American sound effects editor film editor and Academy The movie now widely described as the first classic film noir—Stranger on the Third Floor (1940), a 64-minute B—was produced at RKO, which would release many additional melodramatic thrillers in a similarly stylish vein. Stranger on the Third Floor ( 1940) is a Film noir thriller featuring Peter Lorre, co-written by Nathaniel West, and released by The other major studios also turned out a considerable number of movies now identified as noir during the 1940s. Though many of the best-known film noirs were A-level productions, most 1940s pictures in the mode were either of the ambiguous programmer type or destined straight for the bottom of the bill. In the decades since, these cheap entertainments, generally dismissed at the time, have become some of the most treasured products of Hollywood's Golden Age. 
In one sample year, 1947, RKO produced in addition to several noir programmers and A pictures, two straight B noirs: Desperate and The Devil Thumbs a Ride. Desperate is a 1947 suspense film directed by Anthony Mann. Plot Steve Randall (Brodie is an independent trucker who is hired by an old friend Ten true B noirs that year came from Poverty Row's big three—Republic, Monogram, and PRC/Eagle-Lion—and one from tiny Screen Guild. Three majors beside RKO contributed a total of five more. Along with these eighteen unambiguous B noirs, an additional dozen or so noir programmers came out of Hollywood.  Still, most of the majors' low-budget production remained the sort now largely ignored. RKO's representative output included the Mexican Spitfire and Lum and Abner comedy series, thrillers featuring the Saint and the Falcon, Westerns starring Tim Holt, and Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller. Lupe Vélez ( July 18, 1908 &ndash December 13, 1944) was a Mexican actress Lum and Abner, an American Radio Comedy which aired as a network program from 1932 to 1954 became an American institution in its Overview Simon Templar is known as the Saint because of his initials (ST and also because of his heroic exploits that fly in the face of an otherwise nefarious reputation Tom Conway in Grand Central Murder trailer headcropjpg|thumb|right|150px| Tim Holt ( February 5, 1919 &ndash February 15, 1973) was an American film actor Tarzan is a Fictional character, an archetypal Feral child raised in the African jungle by Apes who later returns to civilization only to Johnny Weissmuller (June 2 1904 &ndash January 20 1984 was an American swimmer and Actor who was one of the world's best swimmers in the 1920s winning Jean Hersholt played Dr. Jean Hersholt ( July 12, 1886 &ndash June 2, 1956) was a Danish actor who lived in the United States where he was a leading Christian in six films between 1939 and 1941. The Courageous Dr. Christian (1940) was a standard entry: "In the course of an hour or so of screen time, the saintly physician managed to cure an epidemic of spinal meningitis, demonstrate benevolence towards the disenfranchised, set an example for wayward youth, and calm the passions of an amorous old maid. "
Down in Poverty Row, low budgets led to less palliative fare. Republic aspired to major-league respectability while making many cheap and modestly budgeted Westerns, but there wasn't much from the bigger studios that compared with Monogram "exploitation pictures" like juvenile delinquency exposé Where Are Your Children? (1943) and the prison film Women in Bondage (1943). Exploitation film is a type of film that eschews the expense of quality productions in favor of making films inexpensively attracting viewers by exciting their more prurient interests Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts performed by juveniles Most Legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles such as  In 1947, PRC's The Devil on Wheels brought together teenagers, hot rods, and death. Hot rods are typically American cars with large engines modified for linear speed The little studio had its own house auteur: with his own crew and relatively free rein, director Edgar G. Ulmer was known as "the Capra of PRC. Edgar G Ulmer ( September 17, 1904 &ndash September 30, 1972) was an Austrian - American film director " Ulmer made films of every generic stripe: His Girls in Chains was released in May 1943, six months before Women in Bondage; by the end of the year, Ulmer had also made the teen-themed musical Jive Junction as well as Isle of Forgotten Sins, a South Seas adventure set around a brothel.
In 1948, a Supreme Court ruling in a federal antitrust suit against the majors outlawed block booking and led to the Big Five divesting their theater chains. The 1950s mark a significant change in the definition of the B movie. United States v Paramount Pictures, Inc, 334 US 131 ( 1948) (also known as the Hollywood Antitrust Case of 1948, the Paramount With audiences draining away to television and studios scaling back production schedules, the classic double feature vanished from many American theaters during the 1950s. The major studios promoted the benefits of recycling, offering former headlining movies as second features in the place of traditional B films.  With television airing many classic Westerns as well as producing its own original Western series, the cinematic market for B oaters in particular was drying up. After barely inching forward in the 1930s, the average U. S. feature production cost had essentially doubled over the 1940s, reaching $1 million by the turn of the decade—a 93 percent rise after adjusting for inflation. 
The first prominent victim of the changing market was Eagle-Lion, which released its last films in 1951. By 1953, the old Monogram brand had disappeared, the company having adopted the identity of its higher-end subsidiary, Allied Artists. 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. In other genres, Universal kept its Ma and Pa Kettle series going through 1957, while Allied Artists stuck with the Bowery Boys until 1958. Ma and Pa Kettle were the featured characters in a series ofpopular light comedic movies in the 1940s and 1950s  RKO, weakened by years of mismanagement, exited the movie industry in 1957.  Hollywood's A product was getting longer—the top ten box-office releases of 1940 had averaged 112. 5 minutes; the average length of 1955's top ten was 123. 4.  In their modest way, the Bs were following suit. 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 ("B actors"). A B-actor is an Actor who has appeared regularly in B-movies including low-budget films genre films (e The term retained its earlier suggestion that such movies relied on formulaic plots, "stock" character types, and simplistic action or unsophisticated comedy. At the same time, the realm of the B movie was becoming increasingly fertile territory for experimentation, both serious and outlandish.
Ida Lupino, well known as an actress, established herself as Hollywood's sole female director of the era. Ida Lupino (4 February &ndash 3 August) was an English film actress, director, and a pioneer among women filmmakers In short, low-budget pictures made for her production company, The Filmakers, Lupino explored virtually taboo subjects such as rape in 1950's Outrage and 1953's self-explanatory The Bigamist. Outrage is a 1950 Black-and-white B-movie starring Mala Powers. Her most famous directorial effort, The Hitch-Hiker, a 1953 RKO release, is often referred to as the only classic film noir directed by a woman. The Hitch-Hiker ( is a Film noir directed by Ida Lupino about two hunting buddies who pick up a mysterious hitchhiker.  That same year, RKO put out another historically notable film made at low cost: Split Second concludes in a nuclear test range, making it perhaps the first "atomic noir. " The most famous such movie, the independently produced Kiss Me Deadly (1955), typifies the persistently murky middle ground between the A and B picture: a "programmer capable of occupying either half of a neighbourhood theatre's double-bill, [it was] budgeted at approximately $400,000. Kiss Me Deadly ( 1955) is a Film noir drama produced and directed by Robert Aldrich starring Ralph Meeker. [Its] distributor, United Artists, released around twenty-five programmers with production budgets between $100,000 and $400,000 in 1955. " The film's length, 106 minutes, is A level, but its star, Ralph Meeker, had previously appeared in only one major film. Ralph Meeker ( November 21, 1920 – August 5, 1988) was a film actor who appeared as Mike Hammer in Its source is pure pulp, one of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer novels, but Robert Aldrich's direction is self-consciously aestheticized. Pulp magazines (or pulp fiction; often referred to as "the pulps" were inexpensive Fiction magazines Frank Morrison Spillane ( March 9 1918 – July 17 2006) better known as Mickey Spillane, was an American author of Mike Hammer is a fictional character created by the American author Mickey Spillane in the 1947 book I the Jury (made into a movie in 1953 and 1982 Robert Aldrich (August 9 1918 – December 5 1983 was an American Film director, writer and producer, notable for such films as Kiss Me Deadly The result is a brutal genre picture that also evokes contemporary anxieties about what was often spoken of simply as the Bomb.
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 (e. William Alland ( March 4, 1916 - November 11, 1997) was an Actor, producer, Writer and director g. , Creature from the Black Lagoon ) and Sam Katzman at Columbia (e. This article is on the film For the titular character see Gill-man Creature from the Black Lagoon is a Monster film Sam Katzman ( July 7, 1901 – August 4, 1973) was an American Film producer. g. , It Came from Beneath the Sea )—provided little more than simple diversion. It Came from Beneath the Sea is an American Black and white Science fiction film produced by Sam Katzman and Charles Schneer But these were genres whose fantastic nature could also be used as cover for mordant cultural observations often difficult to make in mainstream movies. Director Don Siegel's Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), released by Allied Artists, treats conformist pressures and the evil of banality in haunting, allegorical fashion. Donald Siegel ( October 26, 1912 - April 20, 1991) was an influential American Film director and producer Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1956 Science fiction film based on the novel The Body Snatchers by Jack Finney (originally  The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), directed by Bert I. Gordon, is both a monster movie that happens to depict the horrific effects of radiation exposure and "a ferocious cold-war fable [that] spins Korea, the army's obsessive secrecy, and America's post-war growth into one fantastic whole. The Amazing Colossal Man is a 1957 Black-and-white Science fiction film, directed by Bert I Bert I Gordon (born Bert Ira Gordon, September 24, 1922 in Kenosha WI) is an American Film director most famous for such Sci-fi The Korean War refers to a period of military conflict between North Korean and South Korean regimes with major hostilities lasting from June 25 1950 until the "
The Amazing Colossal Man was released by a new company whose name was much bigger than its budgets. American International Pictures (AIP), founded in 1956 by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff in a reorganization of their American Releasing Corporation (ARC), soon became the leading U. American International Pictures was a Film production company formed in April 1956 from American Releasing James Harvey Nicholson ( September 14 1916 &ndash December 10 1972) was an American film producer. Samuel Zachary Arkoff ( June 12 1918 &ndash September 16 2001) was an American producer of B-movies. S. studio devoted entirely to B-cost productions. American International helped keep the original-release double bill alive through paired packages of its films: these movies were low-budget, but instead of a flat rate, they were rented out on a percentage basis, like A films.  I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) is perhaps the best known AIP film of the era. I Was a Teenage Werewolf is a 1957 Horror film starring Michael Landon as a troubled teenager and Whit Bissell as the primary adult As its title suggests, the studio relied on both fantastic genre subjects and new, teen-oriented angles. If Hot Rod Gang (1958) worked, then why not hot rod horror? Result: Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959). AIP is credited with having "led the way. . . in demographic exploitation, target marketing, and saturation booking, all of which would become standard procedure for the majors in planning and releasing their mass-market 'event' films" by the late 1970s. A market segment is a subgroup of people or organizations sharing one or more characteristics that cause them to have similar product needs Market specialization is a business term meaning the Market segment to which a particular good or service is marketed  In terms of content, the majors were already there, with "J.D." movies such as Warner Bros. Juvenile delinquency refers to criminal acts performed by juveniles Most Legal systems prescribe specific procedures for dealing with juveniles such as ' Untamed Youth (1957) and MGM's High School Confidential (1958), both starring Mamie Van Doren. Mamie Van Doren (born February 6, 1931 some sources say 1933 is an American actress and Sex symbol.
In 1954, a young filmmaker named Roger Corman received his first screen credits as writer and associate producer of Allied Artists' Highway Dragnet. Roger William Corman (born April 5 1926) sometimes nicknamed "King of the Bs" for his output of B-movies (though he himself rejects this as inaccurate Corman soon independently produced his first movie, The Monster from the Ocean Floor, on a $12,000 budget and a six-day shooting schedule.  Among the six films he worked on in 1955, Corman produced and directed the first official ARC release, Apache Woman, and Day the World Ended, half of Arkoff and Nicholson's first twin-bill package. Corman would go on to direct over fifty feature films through 1990. As of 2007, he remained active as a producer, with more than 350 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. " In later years Corman, both with AIP and as head of his own companies, would help launch the careers of Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathan Demme, Robert Towne, and Robert De Niro, among many others. Francis Ford "Frank" Coppola (born April 7, 1939) is a five-time Academy Award -winning American Film director, Robert Jonathan Demme (born February 22 1944) is an Academy Award -winning American Film director, producer and Robert Burton Towne (born November 23, 1934) is an American Screenwriter and director. Robert Mario De Niro Jr (born August 17 1943 is a two-time Academy Award -winning American Film Actor, director and producer
In the late 1950s, William Castle became known as the great innovator of the B movie publicity gimmick. William Castle ( April 24, 1914 &ndash May 31, 1977) was an American Film director, producer, and Audiences of Macabre (1958), an $86,000 production distributed by Allied Artists, were invited to take out insurance policies to cover potential death from fright. The 1959 creature feature The Tingler featured Castle's most famous gimmick, Percepto: at the film's climax, buzzers attached to select theater seats would unexpectedly rattle a few audience members, prompting either appropriate screams or even more appropriate laughter. The Tingler is a 1959 horror - Thriller film by the American producer and director William Castle  With such films, Castle "combine[d] the saturation advertising campaign perfected by Columbia and Universal in their Sam Katzman and William Alland packages with centralized and standardized publicity stunts and gimmicks that had previously been the purview of the local exhibitor. "
The postwar drive-in theater boom was vital to the expanding independent B movie industry. A drive-in theater is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor screen a projection booth a Concession stand and a large parking area for automobiles In January 1945, there were 96 drive-ins in the United States; a decade later, there were more than 3,700.  Unpretentious pictures with simple, familiar plots and reliable shock effects were ideally suited for auto-based film viewing, with all its attendant distractions. The phenomenon of the drive-in movie became one of the defining symbols of American popular culture in the 1950s. At the same time, many local television stations began showing B genre films in late-night slots, popularizing the notion of the midnight movie. The term midnight movie is rooted in the practice that emerged in the 1950s of local television stations around the United States airing low-budget genre films as late-night programming
Increasingly, American-made genre films were joined by foreign movies acquired at low cost and, where necessary, dubbed for the U. S. market. In 1956, distributor 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. Joseph E Levine ( September 9, 1905 – July 31, 1987) was an American Film producer. Raymond William Stacey Burr ( May 21, 1917 &ndash September 12, 1993) was a Canadian Emmy -winning Actor and is a successful landmark 1954 Japanese Science fiction film directed and co-written by Ishiro Honda with special effects by Eiji Tsuburaya The British Hammer Film Productions made the successful The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958), major influences on future horror film style. Hammer Film Productions is a film production company based in the United Kingdom. The Curse of Frankenstein is a 1957 British Horror film by Hammer Film Productions. Dracula is a 1958 British Horror film, and the first of a series of Hammer Horror films inspired by the Bram Stoker novel In 1959, Levine's Embassy Pictures bought the worldwide rights to Hercules, a cheaply made Italian movie starring American-born bodybuilder Steve Reeves. Embassy Pictures Corporation (previously known as Avco Embassy Pictures and later Embassy Film Associates) was an independent studio and distributor responsible for Hercules ( 1958) is an Italian Feature film based upon the Hercules myths and the Quest for the Golden Fleece. Stephen L Reeves ( January 21, 1926 &ndash May 1, 2000) was an American bodybuilder, Actor, and author On top of a $125,000 purchase price, Levine then spent $1. 5 million on advertising and publicity, a virtually unprecedented amount.  The New York Times was nonplussed, claiming that the movie would have drawn "little more than yawns in the film market. . . had it not been [launched] throughout the country with a deafening barrage of publicity. " Levine counted on first-weekend box office for his profits, booking the film "into as many cinemas as he could for a week's run, then withdrawing it before poor word-of-mouth withdrew it for him. " Hercules opened at a remarkable 600 theaters, and the strategy was a smashing success: the film earned $4. 7 million in domestic rentals. Just as valuable to the bottom line, it was even more successful overseas.  Within a few decades, Hollywood would be dominated by both movies and an exploitation philosophy very like Levine's.
Despite all the transformations in the industry, by 1961 the average production cost of an American feature film was still only $2 million—after adjusting for inflation, less than 10 percent more than it had been in 1950. The 1960s and 1970s mark the golden age of the independent B movie, made outside of Hollywood's Major film studios As censorship pressures lifted in the early 1960s  The traditional twin bill of B film preceding and balancing a subsequent-run A film had largely disappeared from American theaters. The AIP-style dual genre package was the new model. In July 1960, the latest Joseph E. Levine sword-and-sandals import, Hercules Unchained, opened at neighborhood theaters in New York. Sword and sandal films or pepla (singular= peplum) are a Genre of adventure or Fantasy films that have subjects set in Biblical A suspense film, Terror Is a Man, ran as a "co-feature" with a now familiar sort of exploitation gimmick: "The dénouement helpfully includes a 'warning bell' so the sensitive can 'close their eyes. '" That year, Roger Corman took AIP down a new road: "When they asked me to make two ten-day black-and-white horror films to play as a double feature, I convinced them instead to finance one horror film in color. " House of Usher typifies the continuing ambiguities of B picture classification. House of Usher ( 1960) is an American International Pictures Horror film starring Vincent Price, Myrna Fahey, and 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 schedule was still a mere fifteen days, the budget just $200,000 (one-tenth the industry average), and its 85-minute running time close to an old thumbnail definition of the B: "Any movie that runs less than 80 minutes. "
With the loosening of industry censorship constraints, the 1960s saw a major expansion in the commercial viability of a variety of B movie subgenres that came to be known collectively as exploitation films. For the television broadcasting term please see Production code number. 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. Exploitation film is a type of film that eschews the expense of quality productions in favor of making films inexpensively attracting viewers by exciting their more prurient interests " Audiences might see explicit footage of anything from a live birth to a ritual circumcision.  Such films were not generally booked as part of movie theaters' regular schedules but rather presented as special events by traveling roadshow promoters (they might also appear as fodder for "grindhouses", which typically had no regular schedule at all). A grindhouse is an American term for a theater that mainly showed Exploitation films. The most famous of those promoters, Kroger Babb, was in the vanguard of marketing low-budget, sensationalistic films with a "100% saturation campaign," inundating the target audience with ads in almost any imaginable medium. Howard W "Kroger" Babb (December 30 1906 – January 28 1980 was an American film and television producer and Showman.  In the era of the traditional double feature, no one would have characterized these graphic exploitation films as "B movies. " 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. The 1960s would see exploitation-style themes and imagery become increasingly central to the realm of the B.
Exploitation movies in the original sense continued to appear: 1961's Damaged Goods, a cautionary tale about a young lady whose boyfriend’s promiscuity leads to venereal disease, comes complete with enormous, grotesque closeups of VD's physical effects. A cautionary tale is a traditional story told in Folklore, to warn its hearer of a Danger. A sexually transmitted disease ( STD) or venereal disease ( VD) is an illness that has a significant probability of transmission between Humans  At the same time, the concept of fringe exploitation was merging with a related, similarly venerable tradition: “nudie" films featuring nudist-camp footage or striptease artists like Bettie Page had simply been the softcore pornography of previous decades. Nudity in film refers to the presentation in motion pictures of people without clothing whether as full nudity — a view of someone's entire nude body — or more modest Bettie Mae Page (born Betty Mae Page April 22 1923 in Nashville Tennessee) is a former American model who became famous in the 1950s for Softcore (or soft porn) is a form of Pornography, either video or nude Glamour photography, that is less explicit than hardcore material As far back as 1933, This Nude World was "Guaranteed the Most Educational Film Ever Produced!" In the late 1950s, as more of the old grindhouse theaters devoted themselves specifically to "adult" product, a few filmmakers began making nudies with greater attention to plot. Best known was Russ Meyer, who released his first successful narrative nudie, The Immoral Mr. Teas, in 1959. Russell Albion Meyer ( March 21, 1922 &ndash September 18, 2004) was an American motion picture director and The Immoral Mr Teas (1959 is the first commercially successful film of director Russ Meyer. Five years later, on a sub-$100,000 budget, Meyer came out with Lorna, "a harder-edged film that combined sex with gritty realism and violence. Lorna is a 1964 film by Russ Meyer. Shot mainly on the small main street that runs through the town of Locke California in September 1963 this " A talented director, Meyer would gain renown for so-called sexploitation pictures such as Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965) and Vixen! (1968). Sexploitation or "sex-exploitation" describe a class of independently produced Low budget feature films generally associated with the 1960s and serving largely as Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a 1965 film directed by Russ Meyer, who also wrote the script with Jack Moran Vixen! is a 1968 satiric Softcore Sexploitation film directed by American motion picture director These films were largely relegated to the fringe circuit of "adult" theaters, while AIP teen movies with wink-wink titles like Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1966), starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, played drive-ins and other reputable venues. Beach Blanket Bingo is an American International Pictures Beach Party film, released in 1965 and was directed by William Asher. How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is a 1965 Beach Party film from American International Pictures. Annette Joanne Funicello (born October 22, 1942) is an American Singer and Actress. Frankie Avalon (born Francis Thomas Avallone September 18 1939 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American Actor Roger Corman's The Trip (1967) for American International, written by veteran AIP/Corman actor Jack Nicholson, never shows a fully bared, unpainted breast, but flirts with nudity throughout. The Trip (1967 is a low-budget Cult film released by American International Pictures, directed by Roger Corman, and shot on location in and John Joseph "Jack" Nicholson (born April 22 1937) is an American Actor, internationally renowned for his often dark-themed portrayals The Meyer and Corman lines were drawing closer.
One of the most influential films of the era, on Bs and beyond, was Paramount's Psycho. Psycho is a suspense / Horror film directed by auteur Alfred Hitchcock, from the Screenplay by Joseph Its $8. 5 million in earnings against a production cost of $800,000 made it the most profitable movie of 1960.  Its mainstream distribution without the Production Code seal of approval helped weaken U. For the television broadcasting term please see Production code number. S. film censorship. 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. Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock, KBE (13 [Its] greatest initial impact. . . was on schlock horror movies (notably those from second-tier director William Castle), each of which tried to bill itself as scarier than Psycho. " Castle's first film in the Psycho vein was Homicidal (1961), an early step in the development of the slasher subgenre that would take off in the late 1970s. Homicidal is a 1961 Thriller film produced and directed by the self-proclaimed "King of Showmanship" William Castle. The slasher film (sometimes referred to as bodycount films and dead teenager movies) is a Sub-genre Blood Feast (1963), a movie about human dismemberment and culinary preparation made for approximately $24,000 by experienced nudie-maker Herschell Gordon Lewis, established a new, more immediately successful subgenre, the gore or splatter film. Blood Feast ( 1963, also known as Egyptian Blood Feast and Feast of Flesh) is an American Horror film directed Herschell Gordon Lewis (born 15 June 1929, in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, U A splatter film or gore film is a type of Horror film that deliberately focuses on graphic portrayals of gore and Graphic violence. 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. David F Friedman (born December 24, 1923) is an American Filmmaker and Film producer from Birmingham Alabama.  This new breed of gross-out movie typifies the emerging sense of "exploitation"—the progressive adoption of traditional exploitation and nudie elements into horror, into other classic B genres, and into the low-budget film industry as a whole. Imports of Hammer Film's increasingly explicit horror movies and Italian gialli, highly stylized pictures mixing sexploitation and ultraviolence, would fuel this trend.
The Production Code was officially scrapped in 1968, to be replaced by the first version of the modern rating system. The Motion Picture Association of America's film-rating system is used in the U That year, two horror films came out that heralded directions American cinema would take in the next decade, with major consequences for the B movie. One was a high-budget Paramount production, directed by the celebrated Roman Polanski. Produced by B horror veteran William Castle, Rosemary's Baby "took the genre up-market for the first time since the 1930s. Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American horror / thriller Film written and directed by Roman Polanski. " It was a critical success and the year's seventh-biggest hit. The other was George Romero's now classic Night of the Living Dead, produced on weekends in and around Pittsburgh for $114,000. George Andrew Romero (born February 4, 1940) is an American director writer editor and actor Night of the Living Dead (1968 directed by George Romero, is an independent Black-and-white Horror film. Building on the achievement of B genre predecessors like Invasion of the Body Snatchers in its subtextual exploration of social and political issues, it doubled as a highly effective thriller and an incisive allegory for both the Vietnam War and domestic racial conflicts. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, or the Vietnam Conflict, occurred in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia Its greatest influence, though, derived from its clever subversion of genre clichés and the connection made between its exploitation-style imagery, low-cost, truly independent means of production, and high profitability.  With the Code gone and the X rating established, major studio A films like Midnight Cowboy could now show "adult" imagery, while the market for increasingly hardcore pornography exploded. Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 Drama film based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. Hardcore pornography is a form of Pornography that features explicit sexual acts. In this transformed commercial context, work like Russ Meyer's gained a new legitimacy. In 1969, for the first time a Meyer film, Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers!, was reviewed in the New York Times. Finders Keepers Lovers Weepers! is a 1968 film by Russ Meyer.  Soon, Corman would be putting out nudity-filled sexploitation pictures such as Private Duty Nurses (1971) and Women in Cages (1971).
In May 1969, the most important of all exploitation movies premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The Cannes Film Festival (le Festival de Cannes founded in 1946 is one of the world's oldest most influential and prestigious Film festivals alongside Venice, Much of its significance owes to the fact that it was produced for a respectable, if still modest, budget and released by a major studio. The project was first taken by one of its cocreators, Peter Fonda, to American International. Peter Henry Fonda (born February 23[[ 940]] is an American actor Fonda had become AIP's top star in the Corman–directed The Wild Angels (1966), a biker movie, and The Trip, as in LSD. The Wild Angels (1966 is a Roger Corman film made on location in Southern California. The idea Fonda pitched would combine those two proven themes. AIP was intrigued but balked at giving his collaborator, Dennis Hopper, also a studio alumnus, free directorial rein. Dennis Lee Hopper (born May 17, 1936) is an Academy Award -nominated American Actor and Film -maker Eventually they arranged a financing and distribution deal with Columbia, as two more graduates of the Corman/AIP exploitation mill joined the project: Jack Nicholson and cinematographer László Kovács. László Kovács, ASC ( May 14, 1933 &ndash July 22, 2007) was a Cinematographer, most famous for his award-winning work on The film (which incorporated another favorite exploitation theme, the redneck menace, as well as a fair amount of nudity) was brought in at a cost of $501,000. Redneck refers to a Stereotype of usually Rural, Caucasian (i Easy Rider earned $19. Easy Rider, a 1969 American Road movie written by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern. 1 million in rentals and became "the seminal film that provided the bridge between all the repressed tendencies represented by schlock/kitsch/hack since the dawn of Hollywood and the mainstream cinema of the seventies. "
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new generation of low-budget film companies emerged that drew from all the different lines of exploitation as well as the sci-fi and teen themes that had been a mainstay since the 1950s. The 1960s and 1970s mark the golden age of the independent B movie, made outside of Hollywood's Major film studios As censorship pressures lifted in the early 1960s The term midnight movie is rooted in the practice that emerged in the 1950s of local television stations around the United States airing low-budget genre films as late-night programming Operations such as Roger Corman's New World Pictures, Cannon Films, and New Line Cinema brought exploitation films to mainstream theaters around the country. New World Communications was an independent motion picture and television production company and later Television station owner in the United States from the The Cannon Group Inc was a group of companies including Cannon Films which produced a distinctive line of low to medium budget films from 1967 to 1993. New Line Cinema, founded in 1967 is one of the major American Film studios Though it initially began as an independent film studio it became a The major studios' top product was continuing to inflate in running time—in 1970, the ten biggest earners averaged 140. 1 minutes.  The Bs were keeping pace: In 1955, Corman had a producorial hand in five movies averaging 74. 8 minutes. He played a similar part in five films originally released in 1970, two for AIP and three for his own New World: the average length was 89. 8 minutes.  These films could turn a tidy profit. The first New World release, the biker movie Angels Die Hard, cost $117,000 to produce and took in more than $2 million at the box office. 
The biggest studio in the low-budget field remained a leader in exploitation's growth. In 1973, American International gave a shot to young director Brian De Palma. Brian De Palma (born Brian Russell DePalma on September 11 1940 in Newark New Jersey) is an American Film director. Reviewing Sisters, Pauline Kael observed that its "limp technique doesn't seem to matter to the people who want their gratuitous gore. For the 2005 Argentine film see Hermanas. Sisters is a 1973 Independent film directed by Brian de Palma Pauline Kael (June 19 1919 &ndash September 3 2001 was an American Film critic who wrote for The New Yorker magazine from 1968 to 1991 . . . [H]e can't get two people talking in order to make a simple expository point without its sounding like the drabbest Republic picture of 1938. " Many examples of the so-called blaxploitation genre, featuring stereotype-filled stories revolving around drugs, violent crime, and prostitution, were the product of AIP. Blaxploitation is a Film genre that emerged in the United States in the early 1970s when many Exploitation films were made that targeted the urban One of blaxploitation's biggest stars was Pam Grier, who began her career with a bit part in Russ Meyer's Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Pamela Suzette "Pam" Grier (born May 26, 1949) is an American Actress. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a 1970 American musical comedy Film starring Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Erica Gavin Several New World pictures followed, including The Big Doll House (1971) and The Big Bird Cage (1972), both directed by Jack Hill. Jack Hill (b January 28, 1933) is an American Film director, noted for his work in the Exploitation film genre Hill also directed her best-known performances, in two AIP blaxploitation films: Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974). Coffy is a 1973 Blaxploitation film written and directed by American Filmmaker Jack Hill. Foxy Brown is a 1974 Blaxploitation film written and directed by Jack Hill. Grier has the distinction of starring in the first widely distributed movie to climax with a castration scene.
Blaxploitation was the first exploitation genre in which the major studios were central. Indeed, the United Artists release Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), directed by Ossie Davis, is seen as the first significant film of the type. Ossie Davis ( December 18 1917 – February 4 2005) was an American Film Actor, director, But the movie that truly ignited the blaxploitation phenomenon was completely independent: Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971) is also perhaps the most outrageous example of the form: wildly experimental, borderline pornographic, and essentially a manifesto for a black American revolution. Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is a 1971 American Independent film written produced scored directed by and starring Melvin Van Peebles Melvin Van Peebles wrote, co-produced, directed, starred in, edited, and composed the music for the film, which was completed with a loan from Bill Cosby. Melvin Van Peebles (born August 21, 1932) is an American actor director screenwriter playwright novelist and composer William Henry Cosby Jr (born July 12 1937 is an American Comedian, Actor, Author, Television producer and Activist.  Its distributor was small Cinemation Industries, then best known for releasing dubbed versions of the Italian Mondo Cane "shockumentaries" and the Swedish skin flick Fanny Hill, as well as for its one in-house production, The Man from O. Cinemation Industries was a New York City -based film studio and distributor Mondo Cane ( A Dog's World, also a mild Italian curse) is a 1962 Italian Documentary film by Italian Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, popularly known as R. G. Y. (1970). These sorts of films played in the "grindhouses" of the day—many of them not outright porno theaters, but rather venues for all manner of exploitation cinema. The days of six quickies for a nickel were gone, but a continuity of spirit was evident.
In 1970, a low-budget crime drama shot in 16 mm by first-time American director Barbara Loden won the international critics' prize at the Venice Film Festival. Barbara Loden ( July 8, 1932, Marion North Carolina – September 5, 1980, New York City) was an American Film FIPRESCI (short for Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) in English known as International Federation of Film Critics, is an association The Venice Film Festival is the oldest Film festival in the world Wanda is both a seminal event in the independent film movement and a classic B picture. Wanda is an independent 1970 Drama film that was written and directed by Barbara Loden, who also stars in the title role The crime-based plot and often seedy settings would have suited a straightforward exploitation film or an old-school B noir. The sub-$200,000 production, for which Loden spent six years raising money, was praised by Vincent Canby for "the absolute accuracy of its effects, the decency of its point of view and. Vincent Canby ( July 27 1924 &ndash September 15 2000) was an American film critic. . . purity of technique. " Like Romero and Van Peebles, other filmmakers of the era made pictures that combined the gut-level entertainment of exploitation with biting social commentary. The first three features directed by Larry Cohen, Bone (1972), Black Caesar (1973), and Hell Up in Harlem (1973), were all nominally blaxploitation movies, but Cohen used them as vehicles for a satirical examination of race relations and the wages of dog-eat-dog capitalism. For the bridge player see Larry Cohen (bridge player. Larry Cohen (born Lawrence G Black Caesar is a 1973 Blaxploitation film starring Fred Williamson and Gloria Hendry. Hell Up in Harlem is a 1973 Blaxploitation film starring Fred Williamson and Gloria Hendry The gory horror film Deathdream (1974), directed by Bob Clark, is also an agonized protest of the war in Vietnam. Benjamin "Bob" Clark ( August 5 1939 After attending Catawba College majoring in philosophy Clark won a football scholarship to Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg made serious-minded low-budget horror films whose implications are not so much ideological as psychological and existential: Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979). David Paul Cronenberg OC, FRSC (born March 15, 1943) is a Canadian Film director and occasional Actor. Shivers (filmed as Orgy of the Blood Parasites; alternate titles The Parasite Murders, They Came from Within Rabid is a 1977 Horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. This article is about the 1979 film For the Professional wrestling stable see The Brood (professional wrestling. An Easy Rider with conceptual rigor, the movie that most clearly presaged the way in which exploitation content and artistic treatment would be combined in modestly budgeted films of later years was United Artists' biker-themed Electra Glide in Blue (1973), directed by James William Guercio. For the Apollo 440 album see Electro Glide in Blue. Electra Glide in Blue is a 1973 film starring Robert Blake James William Guercio (born in 1945 in Chicago Illinois) is an American Music producer, musician and Songwriter (occasionally credited as  The New York Times reviewer thought little of it: "Under different intentions, it might have made a decent grade-C Roger Corman bike movie—though Corman has generally used more interesting directors than Guercio. "
In the early 1970s, the growing practice of screening nonmainstream motion pictures as late shows, with the goal of building a cult film audience, brought the midnight movie concept home to the cinema, now in a countercultural setting—something like a drive-in movie for the hip. A cult film is a Film that has acquired a highly devoted but relatively small group of fans. Counterculture (also " counter-culture " is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a Cultural group, or Hip is a Slang term meaning fashionably current and in the know.  One of the first films adopted by the new circuit in 1971 was the three-year-old Night of the Living Dead. The midnight movie success of low-budget pictures made entirely outside of the studio system, like John Waters's Pink Flamingos (1972), with its campy spin on exploitation, spurred the development of the independent film movement. John Samuel Waters Jr (born April 22, 1946) is an American filmmaker, Actor, Writer, Celebrity, ---- Pink Flamingos is a 1972 Comedy film directed by John Waters. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), an inexpensive film from 20th Century-Fox that spoofed all manner of classic B picture clichés, became an unparalleled hit when it was relaunched as a late show feature the year after its initial, unprofitable release. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a 1975 musical Comedy film that parodies Science fiction and Horror films. Even as Rocky Horror generated its own subcultural phenomenon, it contributed to the mainstreaming of the theatrical midnight movie. For the term in biology see Subculture (biology. For the song by New Order see Sub-culture (song.
Asian martial arts films began appearing as imports regularly during the 1970s. For other uses see Martial arts (disambiguation Martial arts film is a Film genre that originated in the Pacific Rim. These "kung fu" films as they were often called, whatever martial art they featured, were popularized in the United States by the Hong Kong–produced movies of Bruce Lee and marketed to the same audience targeted by AIP and New World. Kung fu and wushu are popular terms that have become synonymous with Chinese Martial arts. Bruce Lee ( November 27 1940 – July 20 1973 was an American-born Martial artist, Philosopher, instructor, Martial arts actor and the Horror continued to attract young, independent American directors. As Roger Ebert explained in one 1974 review, "Horror and exploitation films almost always turn a profit if they're brought in at the right price. Roger Joseph Ebert (iːbɝt born June 18, 1942) is an American film critic and Screenwriter. So they provide a good starting place for ambitious would-be filmmakers who can't get more conventional projects off the ground. " The movie under consideration was The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a 1974 American independent Made by Tobe Hooper for no more than $250,000, it became one of the most influential horror films of the decade. Tobe Hooper (born January 25, 1943) is an American director and Screenwriter, best known for his work in the Horror film  John Carpenter's Halloween (1978), produced on a $320,000 budget, grossed over $80 million worldwide and effectively established the slasher flick as horror's primary mode for the next decade. John Howard Carpenter (born January 16, 1948) is an American Film director, Screenwriter, producer, film score Halloween is a 1978 American independent Horror film set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Just as Hooper had learned from Romero's work, Halloween, in turn, largely followed the model of Black Christmas (1974), directed by Deathdream's Bob Clark. Black Christmas is a 1974 Canadian Horror film, directed by Bob Clark, which has a very large Cult following 
On television, the parallels between the weekly series that became the mainstay of prime-time programming and the Hollywood series films of an earlier day had long been clear. Prime Time is the major News analysis current affairs and Politics programme broadcast on Radio Telefís Éireann in Ireland In the 1970s, original feature-length programming increasingly began to echo the B movie as well. As production of TV movies expanded with the introduction of the ABC Movie of the Week in 1969, soon followed by the dedication of other network slots to original features, time and financial factors shifted the medium progressively into B picture territory. The ABC Movie of the Week was a weekly television Anthology series, featuring Made-for-TV movies, that aired on the ABC network in various permutations Television films inspired by recent scandals—such as The Ordeal of Patty Hearst, which premiered a month after her release from prison in 1979—harkened all the way back to the 1920s and such movies as Human Wreckage and When Love Grows Cold, FBO pictures made swiftly in the wake of celebrity misfortunes. Patricia Campbell Hearst (born February 20, 1954) now known as Patricia Hearst Shaw, is an American newspaper Heiress, Many 1970s TV films—such as The California Kid (1974), starring Martin Sheen—were action-oriented genre pictures of a type familiar from contemporary cinematic B production. Martin Sheen (born Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez on August 3, 1940) is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award winning American Actor who earned Nightmare in Badham County (1976) headed straight into the realm of road-tripping-girls-in-redneck-bondage exploitation.
The reverberations of Easy Rider could be felt in such pictures, as well as in a host of big-screen exploitation films. But its greatest influence on the fate of the B movie was less direct. By 1973, the major studios were catching on to the commercial potential of genres once largely consigned to the bargain basement. Rosemary's Baby had been a big hit, but it had little in common with the exploitation style. Warner Bros. ' The Exorcist demonstrated that a heavily promoted horror film could be an absolute blockbuster: it was the biggest movie of the year and by far the highest-earning horror movie yet made. The Exorcist is a 1973 American Horror film, adapted from the 1971 novel of the same name by William Peter Blatty, In William Paul's description, it is also "the film that really established gross-out as a mode of expression for mainstream cinema. . . . [P]ast exploitation films managed to exploit their cruelties by virtue of their marginality. The Exorcist made cruelty respectable. By the end of the decade, the exploitation booking strategy of opening films simultaneously in hundreds to thousands of theaters became standard industry practice. " Writer-director George Lucas's American Graffiti, a Universal production, did something similar. George Walton Lucas Jr (born May 14, 1944) is an Academy Award -winning American Film director, producer, Screenwriter American Graffiti is a period Coming of age film directed by George Lucas, and written by Lucas Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Described by Paul as "essentially an American-International teenybopper pic with a lot more spit and polish," it was 1973's third biggest film and, likewise, by far the highest-earning teen-themed movie yet made.  Even more historically significant movies with B themes and A-level financial backing would follow in their wake.
Most of the B movie production houses founded during the exploitation era collapsed or were subsumed by larger companies as the field's financial situation changed in the early 1980s. Cinematic exhibition of the B movie, defined as a relatively low-cost genre film has declined substantially from the early 1980s to the present Even a comparatively cheap, efficiently made genre picture intended for theatrical release began to cost millions of dollars, as the major movie studios steadily moved into the production of expensive genre movies, raising audience expectations for spectacular action sequences and realistic special effects. Intimations of the trend were evident as early as Airport (1969) and especially in the mega-schlock of The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1973), and The Towering Inferno (1974). Airport is a 1970 film based on the 1968 Arthur Hailey novel of the same name. Earthquake is a 1974 action adventure / disaster / Thriller film that achieved huge box-office success continuing the Disaster film The Towering Inferno is a 1974 Disaster film starring Steve McQueen and Paul Newman and directed by John Guillermin Their disaster plots and dialogue were B-grade at best; from an industry perspective, however, these were pictures firmly rooted in a tradition of star-stuffed extravaganzas. The Exorcist had demonstrated the drawing power of big-budget, effects-laden horror. But the tidal shift in the majors' focus owed largely to the enormous success of three films: Steven Spielberg's creature feature Jaws (1975) and George Lucas's space opera Star Wars (1977) had each, in turn, become the highest-grossing film in motion picture history. Steven Allan Spielberg, KBE (Hon (born December 18 1946 is an American Film director, Screenwriter and producer. Monster Movie (also can be referred to as Creature Feature or Monster Film) is a name commonly given to Movies, which centre Jaws is a 1975 thriller / horror Film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley 's best-selling Space opera is a subgenre of Speculative fiction or Science fiction that emphasizes romantic, often Melodramatic adventure set mainly or entirely Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope (originally released as Star Wars) is a 1977 Space opera Superman, released in December 1978, had proved that a studio could spend $55 million on a movie about a children's comic book character and turn a big profit—it was the top box-office hit of 1979. Superman (also known as Superman The Movie) is a 1978 Superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the  Blockbuster fantasy spectacles like the original, 1933 King Kong had once been exceptional; in the new Hollywood, increasingly under the sway of multi-industrial conglomerates, they would rule. King Kong is a landmark Black-and-white Adventure film about a gigantic Gorilla named " Kong " and how he is captured from 
It had taken a decade and half, from 1961 to 1976, for the production cost of the average Hollywood feature to double from $2 million to $4 million—actually a decline if adjusted for inflation. In just four years it more than doubled again, hitting $8. 5 million in 1980 (a constant-dollar increase of about 25 percent). Even as the U. S. inflation rate eased, the average expense of moviemaking would continue to soar.  With the majors now routinely saturation booking in over a thousand theaters, it was becoming increasingly difficult for smaller outfits to secure the exhibition commitments needed to turn a profit. Double features were now literally history—almost impossible to find except at revival houses. A revival house or repertory cinema is a term for a cinema that specializes in showing classic or notable older Films (as opposed to First run One of the first leading casualties of the new economic regime was venerable B studio Allied Artists, which declared bankruptcy in April 1979.  In the late 1970s, AIP had moved into the production of relatively expensive films like the very successful Amityville Horror and the disastrous Meteor in 1979. The Amityville Horror is a 1979 American Horror film based on the Bestselling novel of the same name by Jay Anson Meteor is a 1979 Disaster film in which scientists detect an Asteroid on a collision course with Earth and struggle with international The studio was soon sold off and dissolved as a moviemaking concern by the end of 1980. 
Despite the mounting financial pressures, distribution obstacles, and overall risk, a substantial number of genre movies from small studios and independent filmmakers were still reaching theaters. Horror was the strongest low-budget genre of the time, particularly in the "slasher" mode as with The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), written by feminist author Rita Mae Brown. The Slumber Party Massacre is a 1982 Slasher film directed by Amy Holden Jones and written by Feminist Activist Rita Mae Brown (born November 28 1944) is a prolific American Writer. The film was produced for New World on a budget of $250,000.  At the beginning of 1983, Corman sold New World; New Horizons, later Concorde–New Horizons, became his primary company. In 1984, New Horizons released a critically applauded movie set amid the punk scene written and directed by Penelope Spheeris. The punk subculture is based around Punk rock. It emerged from the larger Rock music scene in the mid-to-late-1970s in the United Kingdom, the United Penelope Spheeris (born December 2, 1945) is an American director, producer, and Screenwriter. The New York Times review concluded: "Suburbia is a good genre film. See subUrbia for the 1996 film based on the play by Eric Bogosian. "
Larry Cohen continued to twist genre conventions in pictures such as Q (aka Q: The Winged Serpent; 1982): "the kind of movie that used to be indispensable to the market: an imaginative, popular, low-budget picture that makes the most of its limited resources, and in which people get on with the job instead of standing around talking about it. Q (also known as The Winged Serpent and as Q - The Winged Serpent) is a 1982 Horror film written " In 1981, New Line put out Polyester, a John Waters movie with a small budget and an old-school exploitation gimmick: Odorama. Polyester is a 1981 John Waters film starring Divine, Tab Hunter, Edith Massey, and Mink Stole. That October, a gore-filled yet stylish horror movie made for less than $400,000 debuted in Detroit.  The writer, director, and co–executive producer of The Book of the Dead, Sam Raimi, was a week shy of his twenty-second birthday; star and co–executive producer Bruce Campbell was twenty-three. Samuel Marshall "Sam" Raimi (born October 23, 1959) is an American Film director, producer, Actor and Bruce Lorne Campbell (born June 22 1958) is an American Actor, producer, Writer and director. "A shoestring tour de force," it was picked up for distribution by New Line, retitled The Evil Dead, and became a hit. The Evil Dead (also known as Evil Dead, The Book of the Dead, Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead and
One of the most successful 1980s B studios was a survivor from the heyday of the exploitation era, Troma Pictures, founded in 1974. Troma is a Film production and distribution company founded by Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz in 1974 Troma's most characteristic productions, including Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986), Redneck Zombies (1986), and Surf Nazis Must Die (1987), take exploitation for an absurdist spin. Class of Nuke 'Em High, (known as Atomic High School in countries other than the United States and the United Kingdom) is a 1986 Redneck Zombies is a 1986 Low budget independent Horror comedy Trash film directed by Pericles Lewnes and released Surf Nazis Must Die is a 1987 film directed by Peter George (no relation to the novelist or the economist of the same name and starring Troma's best-known production is The Toxic Avenger (1985); its hideous hero, affectionately known as Toxie, became the symbol of Troma and an icon of the 1980s B movie. The Toxic Avenger is an American Cult classic Comedy horror Film first released in late 1985 by Troma Entertainment One of the few successful B studio startups of the decade was Rome-based Empire Pictures, whose first production, Ghoulies, reached theaters in 1985. Empire Pictures was a small scale theatrical distribution company that was formed in 1983 by Charles Band. The Ghoulies films were a Gremlins -like American horror-comedy film series in the 1980s and 1990s centered around a group of evil little Demons The video rental market was becoming central to B film economics: Empire's financial model relied on seeing a profit not from theatrical rentals, but only later, at the video store.  A number of Concorde–New Horizon releases also went this route, appearing only briefly in theaters, if at all. The growth of the cable television industry also helped support the low-budget film industry, as many B movies quickly wound up as "filler" material for 24-hour cable channels or were made expressly for that purpose.
By 1990, the cost of the average U. Cinematic exhibition of the B movie, defined as a relatively low-cost genre film has declined substantially from the early 1980s to the present S. film had passed $25 million.  Of the nine films released that year to gross more than $100 million at the U. S. box office, two would have been strictly B movie material before the late 1970s: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dick Tracy. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the 1990 Live-action film based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise Dick Tracy is a 1990 action - Adventure film based upon the Dick Tracy Comic strip created by Chester Three more—the science-fiction thriller Total Recall, the action-filled detective thriller Die Hard 2, and the year's biggest hit, the slapstick kiddie comedy Home Alone—were also far closer to the traditional arena of the Bs than to classic A-list subject matter. Total Recall is a 1990 Academy Award -winning American Science fiction film. Die Hard 2, promotionally known as Die Hard 2 Die Harder, is a 1990 Action film, and the first Sequel in the Home Alone is a popular movie series The term usually refers to the first film in the series, which by the end of its run was the third highest grossing film of all  The growing popularity of home video and access to unedited movies on cable and satellite television along with real estate pressures were making survival more difficult for the sort of small- or non-chain theaters that were the primary home of independently produced genre films. Satellite television is Television delivered by the means of Communications satellites as compared to conventional Terrestrial television and Cable Drive-in screens were rapidly disappearing from the American landscape.
Surviving B movie operations adapted in different ways. Releases from Troma now frequently went straight to video. New Line, in its first decade, had been almost exclusively a distributor of low-budget independent and foreign genre pictures. With the smash success of exploitation veteran Wes Craven's original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), whose nearly $2 million cost it had directly backed, the company began moving steadily into higher-budget genre productions. Wesley Earl Craven (born August 2, 1939) is an American Film director and writer, perhaps best known as the creator of many Horror A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American Horror film directed and written by Wes Craven, and the first In 1994, New Line was sold to the Turner Broadcasting System; it was soon being run as a midsized studio with a broad range of product alongside Warner Bros. Turner Broadcasting System Inc (often abbreviated TBS Networks or TBS Inc within the Time Warner conglomerate. Time Warner Inc ( is the world's largest media and entertainment conglomerate, headquartered in New York City. The following year, Showtime launched Roger Corman Presents, a series of thirteen straight-to-cable movies produced by Concorde–New Horizons. Showtime is a subscription television Brand used by a number of channels and platforms around the world but primarily refers to a group of channels in the United A New York Times reviewer found that the initial installment qualified as "vintage Corman. . . spiked with everything from bared female breasts to a mind-blowing quote from Thomas Mann's Death in Venice. Paul Thomas Mann ( June The Novella Death in Venice was written by the German author Thomas Mann, and was first published in 1912 as Der Tod in Venedig. "
At the same time as exhibition venues for B films vanished, the independent film movement was burgeoning; among the results were various crossovers between the low-budget genre movie and the "sophisticated" arthouse picture. Director Abel Ferrara, who built a reputation with violent B movies such as The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms. 45 (1981), made two works in the early nineties that marry exploitation-worthy depictions of sex, drugs, and general sleaze to complex examinations of honor and redemption: King of New York (1990) was backed by a group of mostly small production companies and the cost of Bad Lieutenant (1992), $1. Abel Ferrara (born July 19, 1951 in The Bronx) is an American movie Screenwriter and director. The Driller Killer is a 1979 horror movie directed by and starring Abel Ferrara. Ms 45 is a 1981 American low-budget Cult classic Exploitation film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring For the Charlie Chaplin film see A King in New York. King of New York is a 1990 film, starring Christopher Bad Lieutenant is a 1992 crime drama Film directed by Abel Ferrara and starring Harvey Keitel as the eponymous 8 million, was financed totally independently.  Larry Fessenden's micro-budget monster movies, such as No Telling (1991) and Habit (1997), reframe classic genre subjects—Frankenstein and vampirism, respectively—to explore issues of contemporary relevance. Larry Fessenden (born 1963 is an American writer director and actor living in New York City. Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus, generally known as Frankenstein, is a Novel written by the British author Mary Shelley Vampires are mythological or folkloric revenants who subsist by feeding on the blood of the living The budget of David Cronenberg's Crash (1996), $10 million, wasn't comfortably A-grade, but it was hardly B-level either. Crash is a 1996 film written and directed by David Cronenberg based on the J The film's imagery was another matter: "On its scandalizing surface, David Cronenberg's Crash suggests exploitation at its most disturbingly sick. " Financed, like King of New York, by a consortium of production companies, it was picked up for U. S. distribution by Fine Line Features. Fine Line Features was the speciality films division of New Line Cinema. This result mirrored the film's scrambling of definitions: Fine Line was a subsidiary of New Line, recently merged into the Time Warner empire—specifically, it was the old exploitation distributor's arthouse division.
By the turn of the millennium, the average production cost of an American feature had already spent three years above the $50 million mark. Cinematic exhibition of the B movie, defined as a relatively low-cost genre film has declined substantially from the early 1980s to the present  In 2005, the top ten movies at the U. S. box office included three adaptations of children's fantasy novels (including one extending and another initiating a series), a child-targeted cartoon, a comic book adaptation, a sci-fi series installment, a sci-fi remake, and a King Kong remake.  It was a slow year for Corman: he produced just one movie, which had no American theatrical release, true of most of the pictures he had been involved in recently. As big-budget Hollywood movies further usurped traditional low-rent genres, the ongoing viability of the familiar brand of B movie was in grave doubt. New York Times critic A. O. Scott warned of the impending "extinction" of "the cheesy, campy, guilty pleasures" of the B picture, as "the schlock of the past has evolved into star-driven, heavily publicized, expensive mediocrities. Anthony O "Tony" Scott (born July 10, 1966) is an American Journalist and Critic. . . . "
On the other hand, recent industry trends suggest the reemergence of something that looks very like the traditional A-B split in major studio production, though with fewer "programmers" bridging the gap. According to a 2006 report by industry analyst Alfonso Marone, "The average budget for a Hollywood movie is currently around $60m, rising to $100m when the cost of marketing for domestic launch (USA only) is factored into the equation. However, we are now witnessing a polarisation of film budgets into two tiers: large productions ($120-150m) and niche features ($5-20m). . . . Fewer $30-70m releases are expected. " Fox launched a new subsidiary in 2006, Fox Atomic, to concentrate on teen-oriented genre films, mostly variations of horror. Fox Atomic is a theatrical Movie studio and a sub-division of Twentieth Century Fox. The economic model is deliberately low-rent, at least by major studio standards. According to a Variety report, "Fox Atomic is staying at or below the $10 million mark for many of its movies. Variety is a weekly entertainment trade newspaper founded in New York in 1905 by Sime Silverman It's also encouraging filmmakers to shoot digitally—a cheaper process that results in a grittier, teen-friendly look. And forget about stars. Of Atomic's nine announced films, not one has a big-name. " In sum, this is an updated version of a Golden Age big studio B unit targeting a market very similar to the one AIP helped define in the 1950s.
In a development hinted at in this Variety piece, recent technological advances are greatly facilitating the production of truly low-budget motion pictures. Although there have always been economical means with which to shoot movies, including Super 8 and 16 mm film and video cameras recording onto analog videotape, these mediums could hardly rival the image quality of 35 mm film. Super 8 mm film, also simply called Super 8, is a motion picture film format released in 1965 by Eastman Kodak as an improvement of the Video is the technology of electronically capturing, Recording, processing storing transmitting and reconstructing a sequence of Still images An analog or analogue signal is any continuous signal for which the time varying feature (variable of the signal is a representation of some other Videotape is a means of recording images and sound onto Magnetic tape as opposed to movie film. 35 mm film is the basic Film gauge most commonly used for both still Photography and Motion pictures, and remains relatively unchanged since its The development and widespread usage of digital cameras and postproduction methods allow even low-budget filmmakers to produce films with excellent (and not necessarily "grittier") image quality and editing effects. Digital video is a type of Video recording system that works by using a Digital rather than an analog video signal See also Filmmaking Post-production occurs in the making of motion pictures, television programs, Videos audio recordings As Marone observes, "the equipment budget (camera, support) required for shooting digital is approximately 1/10th that for film, significantly lowering the production budget for independent features. At the same time, over the past 2-3 years, the quality of digital filmmaking has improved dramatically. " Independent filmmakers, whether working in a genre or arthouse mode, continue to find it difficult to gain access to distribution channels, though so-called digital end-to-end methods of distribution offer new opportunities. In a similar way, Internet sites such as YouTube have opened up entirely new avenues for the presentation of low-budget motion pictures. YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload view and share Video clips YouTube was created in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees
The terms C movie and the more common Z movie describe progressively lower grades of the B-movie category. The terms drive-in movie and midnight movie, which emerged in association with specific historical phenomena, are now often used as synonyms for B movie. A drive-in theater is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor screen a projection booth a Concession stand and a large parking area for automobiles The term midnight movie is rooted in the practice that emerged in the 1950s of local television stations around the United States airing low-budget genre films as late-night programming A more recently coined synonym is psychotronic movie.
The C movie is the grade of motion picture at the low end of the B movie, or—in some taxonomies—simply below it.  In the 1980s, with the growth of cable television, the C grade began to be applied with increasing frequency to low-quality genre films used as filler programming for that market. The "C" in the term then does double duty, referring not only to quality that is lower than "B" but also to the initial c of cable. Helping to popularize the notion of the C movie was the TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988–99), which ran on national cable channels (first Comedy Central, then the Sci Fi Channel) after its first year. Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an American Cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced Comedy Central is an American Cable television and Satellite television channel that carries predominantly Comedy programming Updating a concept introduced by TV hostess Vampira over three decades before, MST3K presented cheap, low-grade movies, primarily science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s, along with running voiceover commentary highlighting the films' shortcomings. Maila Nurmi ( December 11, 1922 &ndash January 10, 2008) was a Finnish American Actress, who created the campy Director Ed Wood has been called "the master of the 'C-movie'" in this sense, although Z movie (see below) is perhaps even more applicable to his work. Ed Wood redirects here For the film see Ed Wood (film, and for the former British Foreign Secretary see E  The rapid expansion of niche cable and satellite outlets such as Sci Fi (with its Sci Fi Pictures) and HBO's genre channels in the 1990s and 2000s has meant an ongoing market for contemporary C pictures, many of them "direct to cable" movies—modestly budgeted genre films never released in theaters. Sci Fi Pictures original films are movies that are produced by the Sci Fi Channel. 
The term Z movie (or grade-Z movie) is used by some to characterize low-budget pictures with quality standards well below those of most B and even so-called C movies. The term Z movie (or grade-Z movie) arose in the mid-1960s as an informal description of certain unequivocally non-A films Most films referred to as Z movies are made on very small budgets by operations on the fringes of the commercial film industry. The micro-budget "quickies" of 1930s fly-by-night Poverty Row production houses may be thought of as Z movies avant la lettre.  The films of director Ed Wood, such as Glen or Glenda (1953) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)—frequently cited as one of the worst pictures ever made—exemplify the classic grade-Z movie. Glen or Glenda is a 1953 Film written directed by and starring Ed Wood, and featuring Bela Lugosi, and Wood's then-girlfriend Plan 9 from Outer Space is a 1959 Science fiction / Horror film written produced and directed by Edward D BEFORE INSERTING A MOVIE PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT IT HAS ACTUALLY BEEN DEFINED "THE WORST" BY A REPUTABLE SOURCE Latter-day Zs are often characterized by violent, gory, and/or sexual content and a minimum of artistic interest; much of this product is destined for the subscription TV equivalent of the grindhouse.
Psychotronic movie is a term coined by film critic Michael J. Weldon—referred to by a fellow critic as "the historian of marginal movies"—to denote the sort of low-budget genre pictures that are generally disdained or ignored entirely by the critical establishment.  Weldon's immediate source for the term was the Chicago cult film The Psychotronic Man (1980), whose titular character is a barber who develops the bizarre ability to kill using psychic energy. The Psychotronic Man is a low budget Science fiction Cult film that opened in Chicago April 23 1980 at the Carnegie Theatre  According to Weldon, “My original idea with that word is that it’s a two-part word. 'Psycho' stands for the horror movies, and 'tronic' stands for the science fiction movies. I very quickly expanded the meaning of the word to include any kind of exploitation or B-movie. ” The term, popularized beginning in the 1980s with publications of Weldon's such as The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film and Psychotronic Video magazine, has subsequently been adopted by other critics and fans. Psychotronic Video was a film magazine originally started by Publisher / editor Michael J Use of the term tends to emphasize a focus on and affection for those B movies that lend themselves to appreciation as camp.