A Brief History of American International Pictures

The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film - American International PicturesProbably the most important company in this book is American International Pictures (AIP). Founded in 1954 as American Releasing Corporation (ARC) by Samuel Z Arkoff and the late James Nicholson, AIP (1956-1980) defined the postwar youth-oriented feature. Shortly after its 25th aniversary, the company was purchased by outsiders and renamed Filmways. Soon thereafter, disengaged from its exploitative past, but recent releases like Amityville 3-D indicate that its AIP origins linger.

During its heyday, AIP had several subsidiaries. Filmgroup made some of the most offbeat features (often produced or directed by AIP standby Roger Corman). By the late 60s more lurid features dealing with sex and drugs were released by Trans-American. During the 70s, Hallmark released the most shocking of the (mostly European) horror acquisitions. AIP-TV released dozens of Mexican, Japanese, and European films directly to American television. It also sometimes made extremely cheap features to be sold as part of TV package deals.

—Michael Weldon
The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film

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