Group 1 – American film distributors

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‘Where there’s sex… there’s horror!’

Group 1 was a US film distribution company that specialised in exploitation movies, many of which were European (mainly Italian) imports, throughout the 1970s. In 1976, they also acted as production company for an action horror movie of their own, the Charles Band produced and directed Crash! 

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The company – which also used the name BLC Services – was known for their lurid ad campaigns and they weren’t shy when it came to ballyhoo (for example, their releases were often advertised as being in “blazing color” rather than merely color), plus blatantly misleading moviegoers with re-titlings, such as when they issued 1979 Australian psycho thriller Snapshot as The Day After Halloween – suggesting that it was a sequel to John Carpenter’s seminal slasher movie – and also as One More Minute.

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And if the IMDb is correct, cheekily – or perhaps lazily – Group 1 re-used their promo artwork for Italian giallo Alla ricerca del piacere (1972), which they had issued as Amuck! for a later 1978 re-release of La mansión de la niebla (also made in 1972) as Massacre Mansion. Confusingly, Massacre Mansion has also been cited as an alternate release title for Alla ricerca del piacere. Please comment below if you can shed any light on the actual use of the Massacre Mansion title…

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The company also distributed Mario Caiano’s sleazy Italian women-in-prison movie La svastica nel ventre (“The Swastika in the Womb”, 1976) under three different titles: Nazi Love Camp 27; Love Camp #27 and, with all mention of the Third Reich removed, the less offensive Living Nightmare. Group 1’s dual campaign for this pic is discussed in Ric Meyer’s book For One Week Only.

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Buy For One Week Only Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com

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Meanwhile, Meat Cleaver Massacre, which features a tacked-on introduction by Christopher Lee talking about the occult, became Hollywood Meat Cleaver Massacre ensuring maximum exploitation potential for Group 1 International Distribution Organization, Ltd (to use their full name).

Adrian J Smith, MOVIES & MANIA

Related: Hallmark Releasing Corp. | Joseph Brenner Associates

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2 Comments on “Group 1 – American film distributors”

  1. I have to admit–their ballsiness in advertising is interesting! Then again, with these movies, once you take away the poster art and taglines, you’re usually left with a movie that’s a little worse than “it’s so bad it’s good.” I’m looking at YOU, “Giant Spider Invasion!”

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