‘Blood Mania’, ‘Brain Twisters’, ‘Orgy of the Dead’, ‘Satan’s Slave’…
Crown International Pictures is primarily known for low budget flicks, grindhouse cinema, biker films, exploitation films, and B-movie drive-in fare.
An independent film studio and distribution company, it was formed in 1959 by Newton P. Jacobs, a former branch head of RKO Pictures. He left RKO in 1947 when he formed his own company, Favorite Films. Crown International Pictures was later headed by Mark Tenser who became President in 1973 with Jacobs moving up to acting as Chairman of the Board.
Crown International Pictures began releasing both low budget films by American producers such as Bloodlust! and The Seventh Commandment and cheaply acquired overseas films such as First Spaceship on Venus and Varan the Unbelievable for a double feature in 1962.
CIP began by releasing six films a year in 1961 with the number rising to twelve films ten years later. Jacobs felt that CIP survived by having carefully planned growth and not overextending their product. Jacobs, who seems to have not noticed that his company have released a number of movies considered to be amongst the worst of the worst, said that CIP did not want to be regarded as a “mini-major studio” but as the top of the independents to give the company more freedom in selecting and exploiting their film product. In 1963, Crown began producing their own films starting with The Skydivers.
Well over 50% of CIP’s product market were drive-in theatres with the number decreasing to 30 per cent in 1981.
Official company website
Notable releases include:
The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)
Terrified aka Terrified! (1962)
The Devil’s Hand (1962)
Madmen of Mandoras/They Saved Hitler’s Brain (1963)
The Creeping Terror (1964)
Orgy of the Dead (1965)
Mondo Balordo (1967), narrated by Boris Karloff
Blood of Dracula’s Castle (1969)
Nightmare in Wax (1969)
Blood Mania (1970)
Point of Terror (1971)
Horror High (1974)
Soul Vengeance/Welcome Home Brother Charles (1975)
Satan’s Slave (1976) [US distributor]
The Crater Lake Monster (1977)
Terror (UK, 1978)
Don’t Answer the Phone! (1980)
The Hearse (1980)
Prime Evil (1988)
My Mom’s a Werewolf (1989)
Brain Twisters (1991)
Housewife from Hell (1993)