The Big Picture
- Amicus Productions, known for its horror anthologies, is making a comeback with a new film titled In the Grip of Terror.
- The film will adapt tales by horror authors H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, and E.F. Benson, honoring Amicus’ legacy.
- The studio aims to re-establish itself as a beacon of independent British horror and transport audiences back to British horror’s golden epoch.
Amicus Productions, the British studio famed for its horror anthologies, is back from the dead. A new anthology film, In the Grip of Terror, is in the works from the revived label. Scottish director Lawrie Brewster (Lord of Tears, The Devil’s Machine) is the new president of Amicus and intends to honor the studio’s legacy with In the Grip of Terror, which will star Laurence R. Harvey (Human Centipede 2), Megan Tremethick (Trauma Therapy: Psychosis), Jonathan Hansler (Hotel Babylon), and Michael Daviot (Ghost Crew) according to a report from Variety.
The film will adapt tales by horror authors H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, and E.F. Benson. The revived studio has collaborated with the family of late Amicus co-founder Milton Subotsky; his family chose the stories to adapt, and the title, In the Grip of Terror, was one of the titles concocted for future anthologies by Subotsky during Amicus’ heyday. Brewster said:
“Our aim is to re-establish Amicus Productions as a beacon of independent British horror. We’re concocting a film that captures the essence and panache that rendered the studio iconic. By emphasizing atmospheric storytelling, tangible effects and a genuine respect for the genre, our vision is to teleport audiences back to British horror’s golden epoch.”
What Was Amicus Productions?
Founded in 1962 by American producers Subotsky and Max Rosenberg, Amicus was most famous for producing a number of horror anthologies, inspired by the classic 1945 British film Dead of Night and featuring a number of British horror stars, including Peter Cushing, Donald Pleasence, and Christopher Lee. Three of them — Torture Garden, Asylum, and The House That Dripped Blood — were adapted from stories by horror author Robert Bloch, most famous as the author of the novel Psycho. Two others, Tales from the Crypt and The Vault of Horror, were inspired by the ’50s horror comics of EC Comics, which would later inspire Creepshow and the long-running HBO series Tales from the Crypt. In addition to their anthologies, the studio produced a number of other notable horror films, including The Beast Much Die (which includes a thirty-second “werewolf break” before the end, so viewers can try to guess the identity of the film’s lycanthropic monster), Madhouse (which starred Vincent Price as a possibly-murderous horror star), and I, Monster, an adaptation of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with Lee and Cushing.
Amicus produced some non-horror films; they adapted a trio of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ “lost world” adventures, and also filmed two Doctor Who films, with Cushing in the title role, where he faced off against his iconic foes, the Daleks. However, much like their British horror rival Hammer, international films eventually consumed much of the British horror market, and they faded away in the late ’70s.
Stay tuned to Collider for future updates, and watch the trailer for one of Amicus’ classic offerings, Doctor Terror’s House of Horrors, below.