Dennis Hopper

10 Must-See Movies by American International Pictures

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American International Pictures conjures images of bold poster art, outrageous taglines, and weird movie titles. After all, this is the film studio that brought us movies like High School Hellcats, I Was a Teenage Werewolf (starring Michael Landon as a bad boy), How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (the studio is credited for inventing the beach party genre), and Yog, Monster from Space (surprisingly, not a Scientology thing).
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The Internet’s Best Film Podcast Goes True Crime — and Takes on Charles Manson

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Movie podcasts are not hard to come by these days. Just about every film-centric website has its own weekly get-together, where the writers and guests hash out new releases and noteworthy anniversaries and the like; most of my favorite film writers have shows of their own, with a similar, discussion-and-review format. But from its inception just over a year ago, Karina Longworth’s You Must Remember This has separated itself from the pack not only in terms of quality (though many of those shows are very good), but in terms of style.
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The 10 Most ’60s Movies of the ’60s

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There’s something specifically, quaintly wonderful about the counterculture movies of the late ‘60s: the costumes, the slang-y dialogue, the hallucinogen-inspired cinematography, the way the color temperatures have faded just so. Fans of the period are in for a treat this week, as Olive Films has debuted sparkling new Blu-ray editions of two key ‘60s indies: Roger Corman’s The Wild Angels and Richard Rush’s Psych-Out; in celebration of that release, a look at those films and a handful of others that best encapsulate the period (or, at least, cinema’s best attempts to capture it).
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Boomer Audit: Despite the Self-Indulgence and the Clichés, ‘Easy Rider’ Retains Its Pulse

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Easy Rider is nothing but trouble. Even the most casual of film fans is aware of its importance; an out-of-left-field critical and commercial smash in the summer of 1969, its unconventional approach, anti-authoritarian themes, and pop soundtrack helped set the table for the “New Hollywood” of the 1970s, and all that came after. Without Easy Rider, there would have been no Last Picture Show or Five Easy Pieces. Jack Nicholson may have never crossed over from screenwriting to screen acting. And the studios, falling to pieces after years of expensive flops, might have taken a good while longer to discover that genre-bending young filmmakers were the key to their survival. Easy Rider’s influence, its value, its consequence are irrefutable — and none of that makes it any easier to sit through. Yet saying so sounds like sneering contrarianism, if not outright trollery. You just can’t win with this one.
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The Most Frightening Gangsters on Film

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You’d be hard pressed to find a movie tough guy with a more diverse filmography than Bob Hoskins. The English actor passed away earlier this week. With a burly silhouette, an aura of cockney cool, and a glimmer of menace in his eyes, the versatile performer charmed audiences as a sympathetic everyman and heroic detective (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), but was startling as a vicious gangster in films like The Long Good Friday. The straight-talking star played a number of cinema toughies during his colorful career. In honor of Hoskins’ reign of terror, we revisited some of cinema’s most frightening film gangsters.
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‘Mad Men’ Multiplex: Which 1969 Movies Will Turn Up This Season?

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From the third-season cola campaign aping Bye Bye Birdie to last year’s multiple screenings of Planet of the Apes, Mad Men has always dipped generously into the pool of period cinema to help set its scene, while simultaneously drawing inspiration from films of the era (The Apartment, BUtterfield 8, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying — starring Bert Cooper himself, Robert Morse — leap to mind). We’ve taken some guesses at the books this season’s 1969 timeframe might introduce; here are a few of the most popular movies of that year, and how they might work their way into Don Draper’s world.
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Wild Vintage Posters from Classic Roger Corman Drive-In Movies

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Chris Nashawaty’s wonderful new book Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses is an homage to the “King of the B Movie”: Roger Corman, whose cheapo productions for American International Pictures and his own New World outfit, aimed squarely at drive-in and grindhouses, provided not only thrills for movie-goers but opportunities for countless young filmmakers looking for their first break. Nashawaty’s book (out now) is an affectionate tribute to the producer/director, an oral history with contributions by Corman and the many actors, directors, and technicians he employed. But it’s also a handsome coffee-table volume showcasing the distinctive art of these textbook exploitation movies, in which the marketing campaign was often devised before the script was even written. After the jump, we’ve selected ten of our favorite vintage Corman posters, accompanied by explanatory captions from the book.
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