B movie

B movie or B movie is a low-budget commercial movie , but one that is not an arthouse movie . In its original use, during the Golden Age of Hollywood , the term more precisely identified films intended for distribution as the less-publicized bottom half of a dual feature (akin to B-sides for recorded music). Although the production of the movies is about a second feature, it’s a big part of the 1950s, the term B moviecontinue to be used in its further sense to this day. In its post-Golden Age usage, there is ambiguity on both sides of the definition: on the one hand, the primary interest of many inexpensive exploitation films is prurient; on the other, many B movies display a high degree of craft and aesthetic ingenuity.

In the genre , most B movies represent a particular genre -the Western was a Golden Age B movie staple, while low-budget science fiction and horror films became more popular in the 1950s. Early B movies were often part of series in which the star repeatedly played the same character. Almost always shorter than the top-billed movies they were paired with, [1] many had running times of 70 minutes or less. The term connoted a general perception that B movies were inferior to the more handsomely budgeted headliners; individual B movies were often ignored by critics.

Latter-day movies still inspires multiple sequels , but series are less common. As the average running time of top-of-the-line movies increased, so did that of B pictures. In its current usage, the term has somewhat contradictory connotations: it may signal an opinion that a certain movie is (a) a genre film with minimal artistic ambitions or (b) a lively, energetic film uninhibited by the constraints imposed on more expensive projects and unburdened by the conventions of putatively “serious” independent film . The term is also used more often than not, with mainstream-style content, usually in genres traditionally associated with the B movie.

From their beginnings to the present day, B movies have provided opportunities for those coming up in the profession and others whose careers are waning. Celebrated filmmakers like Anthony Mann and Jonathan Demme have their craft in B movies. They are where actors like John Wayne and Jack Nicholson first became established, and they provided a work for A film actors, such as Vincent Price and Karen Black . Some actors, such as Bela Lugosi , Eddie Constantine and Pam Grier , worked in movies for most of their careers. The term B actoris sometimes used to refer to a performer who finds work primarily or exclusively in B pictures.


In 1927-28, at the end of the silent era , the generation cost of an average feature from a major Hollywood studio ranged from $ 190,000 at Fox to $ 275,000 at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer . That average is both “specials” that might cost as much as $ 1 million and movies made quickly for around $ 50,000. These cheaper films (not yet called B movies ) allowed the studios to derive maximum value from facilities and contracted staff in between studio and more important productions, while also breaking in new staff. [3] Columbia Pictures and Film Booking Offices of AmericaStudios in the minor leagues of the industry(FBO), focused on exactly those spells of cheap productions. Their movies, with particular reference to small businesses, particularly targeted at small businesses, particularly small-town and urban neighborhoods, or “nabes”. Even smaller production houses, known as Poverty Row studios, made their films worth $ 3,000, as they were able to make a profit. [4]

With the widespread arrival of sound film in American theaters in 1929, a group of actors presenting a wide variety of shorts before a single featured film. A new programming scheme that would soon become standard practice: a newsreel , a short and / or serial , and a cartoon, followed by a double feature. The second feature, which actually shows the main event, cost the exhibitor less than the equivalent running time in shorts. The majors ‘”clearance” rules favoring their affiliated theaters prevented the independents’ timely access to top-quality films; the second feature allowed them to promote [5] The additional movie also gives the program “balance” -the practice of peering different spells of features suggested to potential customers that they could count on something of interest. The low-budget picture of the 1920s thus evolved into the second feature, the B movie, of Hollywood’s Golden Age. [6]

Golden Age of Hollywood

Main article: B movies (Hollywood Golden Age)


The major studios , at first resistant to the double feature, soon adapted. All established B units to provide movies for the expanding second-feature market. Block booking became standard practice: to get access to an attractive studio A pictures, many theaters were obliged to rent the company’s entire output for a season. With the B movies rented at a flat fee (rather than the box office percentage of A movies), rates could be set virtually guaranteeing the profitability of every B movie. The parallel practice of blind bidding largely by the time of their arrival. The five largest studios – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Paramount Pictures , Fox Film Corporation ( 20th Century Fox as of 1935), Warner Bros. , and RKO Radio Pictures (descending of FBO) -also belonged to companies with sizable theater chains, further securing the bottom line. [7]

Poverty Studio, from modest outfits like Mascot Pictures , Tiffany Pictures , and Sono Art-World Wide Pictures , B-movies, serials, and other shorts, and also distributed totally independent productions and imported films. In no position to directly block book, they mostly sold regional exclusive distribution to ” states rights ” firms, which in turn peddled blocks of movies to exhibitors, typically six or more pictures featuring the same star (a relative status on Poverty Row). [8] Two “major-minors” – Universal Studiosand rising Columbia Pictures-had production lines roughly similar to, but somewhat better than, the top Poverty Row studios. In contrast to the Big Five majors, Universal and Columbia had few or no theaters, though they did have top-rank film distribution exchanges. [9]

In the standard Golden Age model, the industry’s top product, the A movies, premiered at a small number of select cities in major cities. Double features were not the rule at these prestigious venues. As described by historian Edward Jay Epstein, “During these first runs, movies got their reviews, garnered publicity, and generated the word of mouth that served as the main form of advertising.” [10]Then it was off to the next-run market where the double feature prevailed. At least one of the most popular movies in the world. At the thousands of smaller, independent theaters, programs often changed two or three times a week. To meet the constant demand for new product, the low end of Poverty Row turned to a stream of micro-budget movies, much more than sixty minutes long; these are known as “quickies” for their tight production schedules-as short as four days. [11] As Brian Taves describes, “Many of the poorest theaters, such as the ‘grind houses’ in the larger cities, have a continuous program emphasizing action with no specific schedule, sometimes offering six quickies for a nickel in an all-night show that changed daily. “Many small theaters never saw a big-studio A film about Poverty Row product. Millions of Americans went to their local theaters as a matter of course for a picture, along with the trailers , or screen previews, that presaged its arrival, “[t] he new film’s title on the marquee and the listings for it in most movies got “, writes Epstein. [13] Aside from at the theater itself, B movies might not be advertised at all.

The introduction of sound had driven costs higher: by 1930, the average US feature film cost $ 375,000 to produce. [14] A broad range of motion pictures occupied by the B category. The leading studios are not only clear-cut A and B movies, but also classifiable movies as “programmers” (also known as “in-betweeners” or “intermediates”). As Taves describes, “Depending on the prestige of the theater and the other material on the double bill, a program could have been put on the top of the mark.” [15] On Poverty Row, many of these were made on a budget that would have been substantially covered by a major film, with $ 5,000. [11]By the mid-1930s, the double feature was the dominant US exhibition model, and the majors responded. In 1935, B movie production at Warner Bros. was raised from 12 to 50 percent of studio output. The unit was headed by Bryan Foy , known as “Keeper of the Bs”. [16] At Fox, which also shifted half of its production line into the territory, Sol. Wurtzel was similarly in charge of more than a year during the late 1930s. [17]

Stony Brooke ( Wayne ), Tucson Smith ( Corrigan ), and Lullaby Joslin ( Terhune ) did not get much time in harness. Republic Pictures ‘ Pals of the Saddle (1938) just 55 minutes, average for a Three Mesquiteersadventure.

Poverty Row firms consolidated: Sono Art joined one another to create Monogram Pictures early in the decade. In 1935, Monogram, Mascot, and several smaller studios merged to establish Republic Pictures . The train heads of Monogram soon sold off their Monogram production and set up a new Monogram production house. [18] Into the 1950s, Most Republic and Monogram product is roughly on par with the low end of the majors’ output. Less sturdy Poverty Row concerns-with a penchant for great nicknames like Conquest, Empire, Imperial, and Peerless-continued to churn out dirt-cheap quickies. [19]Joel Finler has analyzed the average length of feature releases in 1938, indicating the studios’ relative emphasis on B production [20] ( United Artists produced little, focusing on the distribution of large films from independent outfits, Grand National , active 1936-40, occupied an analogous niche on Poverty Row, releasing mostly independent productions [21] ):

Studio Category Avg. duration
MGM Big Five 87.9 minutes
Paramount Big Five 76.4 minutes
20th Century Fox Big Five 75.3 minutes
Warner Bros. Big Five 75.0 minutes
RKO Big Five 74.1 minutes
United Artists Little Three 87.6 minutes
Columbia Little Three 66.4 minutes
Universal Little Three 66.4 minutes
Grand National Poverty Row 63.6 minutes
Republic Poverty Row 63.1 minutes
Monogram Poverty Row 60.0 minutes

Taves estimates that half of the movies produced by the eight majors in the 1930s were B movies. Poverty Row firms, 75 percent of Hollywood movies from the decade, more than four thousand pictures, are classifiable as Bs. [22]

The Western was by far the predominant genre in both the 1930s and, to a lesser degree, the 1940s. [23] Historian film Jon Tuska has argued that “the ‘B’ product of the Thirties-the Universal films with [Tom] Mix , [Ken] Maynard , and [Buck] Jones , the Columbia features Buck Jones and Tim McCoy , the RKO George O’Brien series, the Republic Westerns with John Wayne and the Three Mesquiteers … achieved a uniquely American perfection of the well-made story. ” [24] At the far end of the industry, Poverty Row’s Ajax put out oaters starring Harry Carey, then in his fifties. The Weiss outfit had the Range Rider series, the American Rough Rider series, and the Morton of the Mounted “northwest action thrillers”. [25] One low-budget oater of the era, made totally outside the studio system, from an outrageous concept: a Western with an all-midget cast, The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) was such a success in its independent bookings that Columbia picked it up for distribution. [26]

Series of various genres, featuring recurrent, title-worthy characters or name actors in familiar roles, were particularly popular during the first decade of sound film. Fox’s many B series, for instance, Charlie Chan mysteries, Ritz Brothers comedies, and musicals with child star Jane Withers . [27] These series are not confused with the short, cliffhanger-structured serials that sometimes appeared on the same program. As with serials, however, many series were intended to attract young people-a theater that twin-billed part-time might run a “balanced” or entirely youth-oriented double feature as a matinee and then a single movie for a more mature audience at night. In the words of one industry report, afternoon moviegoers, “a lot of housewives and children, they want to make a lot of money.” [28] Series films are often unquestioningly consigned to the B movie category[29] For many series, even more important than standard budget, Poverty Row’s Consolidated Pictures featured Tarzan, the Police Dog in a series with the proud name of Melodramatic Dog Features. [30]


By 1940, the average production cost of an American feature was $ 400,000, a negligible increase over ten years. [14] A number of small Hollywood companies, including the ambitious Grand National , but a new firm, Producers Releasing Corporation (PRC), emerged as third in the Poverty Row hierarchy behind Republic and Monogram. The double feature, never last, was still prevailing exhibition model: in 1941, 50 percent of theaters were double-billing exclusively, and others employed the policy part-time. [31]In the early 1940s, the legal pressure forced to the studios to replace seasonal block. Restrictions were also placed on the majors’ ability to enforce blind bidding. [32]These were crucial factors in the gradual shift of film production, making the smaller studios even more important as B movie suppliers. Genre pictures made at low cost of the backbone of Poverty Row, with Even Republic’s and Monogram’s budgets rarely climbing over $ 200,000. Many smaller Poverty Row firms folded with eight majors, with their proprietary distribution exchanges, now commanded about 95 percent of US and Canadian box office receipts. [33] In 1946, independent producer David O. Selznickbrought his bloated-budget show Duel in the Sun to market with heavy nationwide promotion and wide release. The distribution strategy was a major success, despite the fact that it was perceived by the movie’s poor quality. [34] The Duel release expected practices that fueled the B movie industry in the late 1950s; When the top Hollywood studios made the standard two decades after that, the B movie would be hard hit. [35]

Considerations beside cost made the line between A and B ambiguous movies. Movies shot on B-level budgets Were occasionally Marketed as A gold pictures Emerged as sleeper hits : one of 1943’s biggest movies Was Hitler’s Children , an RKO thriller made for a fraction over $ 200,000. It earned more than $ 3 million in industry for a distributor’s share of gross box office receipts. [36] Particularly in the realm of black film, A pictures sometimes echoed visual styles generally associated with cheaper movies. Programmers, with their flexible exhibition role, were ambiguous by definition. As late as 1948, the double feature remained a popular exhibition mode at 25 percent of theaters and used part-time at an additional 36 percent. [37] The leading Poverty Row firms began to broaden their scope; in 1947, Monogram established a subsidiary, Allied Artists , to develop and distribute relatively expensive films, mostly from independent producers. Around the same time, Republic launched a similar effort under the “Premiere” rubric. [38] In 1947, PRC was subsumed by Eagle-Lion, a British company seeking entry to the American market. Brian Foy’s Warners’ train “Keeper of the Bs” was installed as production chief. [39]

Often marketed as pure sensationalism, many black movies also possessed great visual beauty. Raw Deal (1948), Robert Smith’s scholar writes, is “resplendent with velvety blacks, mists, netting, and other expressive accessories of poetic black decor and lighting.” [40] Directed by Anthony Mannand shot by John Alton , it was released by Poverty Row’s Eagle-Lion firm.

In the 1940s, RKO stood out among the industry’s Big Five for its focus on B pictures. [41] From a later-day perspective, the most famous of the major studios ‘Golden Age B’ is Val Lewton’s horror unit at RKO. This is the story of how the people of the world came to life (1942), I Walked with a Zombie (1943), and The Body Snatcher (1945), directed by Jacques Tourneur and Robert Wise , and others who would become famous later in their careers. or entirely in retrospect. [42] The movie is now widely described as the first classic black movie- Stranger on the Third Floor(1940), a 64-minute B-was produced at RKO, which would release many additional melodramatic thrillers in a similarly stylish vein. [43] The other major studios also turned out to be significant during the 1940s. Though many of the best-known black films were a-level productions, most 1940s pictures in the fashion were either of the ambiguous type or straight for the bottom of the bill. In the days since, these cheap entertainments, generally dismissed at the time, have become some of the most treasured products of Hollywood’s Golden Age. [44]

In one sample year, 1947, RKO produced along with several black programmers and A pictures, two straight black B: Desperate and The Devil Thumbs a Ride . [45] Ten B Black That Year from Poverty Row’s Big Three-Republic, Monogram, and PRC / Eagle-Lion-and-Cam from Tiny Screen Guild. Three majors beside RKO contributed a total of five more. Along with these eighteen black unambiguous B’s, an additional dozen gold so black programmers came out of Hollywood. [46] Still, most of the majors’ low-budget production remains largely ignored. RKO’s representative output includes the Mexican Spitfire and Lum and Abner comedy series, thrillers featuring the Saintand the Falcon , Tim Holt starring Westerns , and Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller . Jean Hersholt played Dr. Christian in six films between 1939 and 1941. [47] The Courageous Dr. Christian (1940) was a stanza: “In the course of an hour or so of screen time, the saintly physician managed to cure an epidemic of spinal meningitis, demonstrating benevolence towards the disenfranchised, set an example for the wayward youth, and calm the passions of an amorous old maid. ” [48]

Down in Poverty Row, low budgets to less palliative fare. Republic Aspired to major-league respectability while making Many cheap and modestly budgeted Westerns goal There Was not much from the bigger studios That Compared with Monogram ” operating pictures ” like juvenile delinquency exposed Where Are Your Children? (1943) and the prison film Women in Bondage (1943). [49] In 1947, PRC’s The Devil on Wheels brought together teenagers, hot rods , and death. The author has had his own house, with Edgar G. Ulmer , director and editor of Edgar G. Ulmer .[50] Ulmer made movies of every stripe generic: his Girls in Chains Was released in May 1943, six months before Women in Bondage ; by the end of the year, Ulmer had also made the teen-themed musical Jive Junction as the Isle of Forgotten Sins , a South Seas adventure set around a brothel. [51]

Transition in the 1950s

Main article: B movies (Transition in the 1950s)

In 1948, a Supreme Court ruling in a federal antitrust suit against the majors outlawed them and the Big Five divesting their theater chains. With audiences getting away from the scenes, the classic double feature American theaters during the 1950s. The major studios promoted the benefits of recycling, offering training headlining movies as second features in the place of traditional B movies. [52] With television airing many classic Westerns as well as producing its own original Western series, the cinematic market for B oaters in particular was drying up. After barely inching forward in the 1930s, the average US production feature was doubled over the 1940s, reaching$ 1 million by the turn of the decade-a 93 percent rise after adjusting for inflation. [14]

The first prominent victim of the changing market was Eagle-Lion, which released its last films in 1951. By 1953, the old Monogram brand had disappeared, the company having adopted the identity of its higher-end subsidiary, Allied Artists. The following year, Allied released Hollywood ‘s last B series Westerns. Non-series B Westerns continued to appear for a few years, but Republic Pictures, along with sagas, was out of the filmmaking business by decade’s end. In other genres, Universal kept its Ma and Pa Kettle series going through 1957, while Allied Artists stuck with the Bowery Boys until 1958. [53] RKO, weakened by years of mismanagement, exited the movie industry in 1957. [54]Hollywood’s A product was getting longer-the top ten box office releases of 1940 had averaged 112.5 minutes; the average length of 1955’s top ten was 123.4. [55] In their modest way, the following were the following. The age of the hour-long feature film was past; 70 minutes was now about the minimum. While the Golden Age-style second feature was dying, B movie was still used to refer to any low-budget genre film featuring relatively unheralded performers (sometimes referred to as B actors ). The term is more likely to be used in such situations, “stock” character types, and simplistic action or unsophisticated comedy. [56]At the same time, the realm of the B movie has been developed to be fertile territory for experimentation, both serious and outlandish.

Ida Lupino , well known as an actress, established herself as Hollywood’s sole female director of the era. [57] In short, low-budget pictures made for her production company, The Filmakers, Lupino explored virtually taboo subjects such as rape in 1950’s Outrage and 1953’s self-explanatory The Bigamist . [58] Her most famous directorial effort, The Hitch-Hiker , a 1953 RKO release, is the only example of black film’s classic period directed by a woman. [59]That year, RKO put out another historically notable film made at low cost: Split Second , which concludes in a nuclear test range, is perhaps the first “black atomic”. [60]The most famous such movie, the independently produced Kiss Me Deadly (1955), typifies the persistently murky middle ground between the A and B picture, as Richard Maltby describes: a “capable program of occupying the half of a neighborhood theater’s double-bill, [it was] budgeted at approximately $ 400,000. [Its] distributor, United Artists, released around twenty-five programmers with production budgets between $ 100,000 and $ 400,000 in 1955. ” [61] The film’s length, 106 minutes, is a level, but its star, Ralph Meeker , had previously appeared in only one major film. Its source is pure pulp , one of Mickey Spillane ‘s Mike Hammer novels, goal Robert Aldrich’s direction is self-consciously aestheticized. The result is a brutal genre picture that also evokes contemporary anxieties. [62]

Rocketship XM (1950), produced and released by small Lippert Pictures, is cited as possibly “the first postnuclear holocaust film.” [63] It was at the leading edge of a large cycle of movies, largely low-budget and long-forgotten, classifiable as “atomic bomb cinema”.

The fear of nuclear war with the Soviet Union, along with the expressible qualms about radioactive fallout from America’s own atomic tests, energized many of the era’s genre films. Sci-fi, horror, and various hybrids of the two are of central economic importance to the low-budget end of the business. Mostly, William Alland at Universal (eg, Creature from the Black Lagoon [1954]) and Sam Katzman at Columbia (eg, It Came from Beneath the Sea [1955]) – it could be impressive. [64]But these were the kinds of things that were often difficult to make in mainstream movies. Director Don Siegel ‘s Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), released by Allied Artists, treats conformist Pressures and the banality of evil in haunting, allegorical fashion. [65] The Amazing Colossal Man (1957), directed by Bert I. Gordon , is Both a monster movie That happens to Depict the horrific effects of radiation exposure and “a ferocious cold-war fable [that] spins Korea , the army’s obsessive secrecy, and America’s post-war growth into a fantastic whole. ” [66]

The Amazing Colossal Man was released by a new company whose name was much bigger than its budgets. American International Pictures (AIP), founded in 1956 by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z. Arkoff in a reorganization of their American Releasing Corporation (ARC), soon became the leading US studio entirely devoted to B-cost productions. American International helped keep the original-release double bill alive through their packages of films: these movies were low-budget, but instead of a flat rate, they were rented out on a percentage basis, like A movies. [67] The success of I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957) brought AIP a large return-made for $ 100,000, it grossed more than$ 2 million . [68] As the film’s title suggests, the studio relied on both genres and new, teen-oriented angles. When Hot Rod Gang (1958) Turned a profit, hot rod horror was given a try: Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959). David Cook credits AIP with leading the way “in demographic exploitation , target marketing , and saturation booking, all of which would become standard procedure for the majors in planning and releasing their mass-market ‘event’ films” by the late 1970s. [69] In terms of content, the majors were already there, with ” JD ” movies such as Warner Bros. Untamed Youth (1957) and MGM ‘High School Confidential (1958), both starring Mamie Van Doren . [70]

In 1954, a young filmmaker named Roger Corman received his first screen credits as a writer and associate producer of Allied Artists’ Highway Dragnet . Corman soon independently produced his first movie, Monster from the Ocean Floor , we have $ 12,000 budget and a six-day shooting schedule. [71] Among the six films he worked on in 1955, Corman produced and directed the first official ARC release, Apache Woman , and Day the World Ended, half of Arkoff and Nicholson’s first twin-bill package. Corman would go on to 50 movie features through 1990. As of 2007, he remained active as a producer, with more than 350 movies to his credit. Corman has said that “to my way of thinking, I never made a ‘B movie in my life,” as the traditional B movie was dying out when he began making pictures. He prefers to describe his business as “low-budget exploitation films”. [72] In later years Corman, Apt and Francis Ford Coppola , Jonathan Demme , Robert Towne , and Robert De Niro , among many others , would help launch the careers . [73]

In the late 1950s, William Castle became known as the great innovator of the B movie publicity gimmick. Audiences of Macabre (1958), an $ 86,000 production distributed by Allied Artists, were invited to take out insurance policies to cover potential death from fright. The 1959 creature feature The Tingler featured Castle’s most famous gimmick, Percepto: At the movie’s climaxes, buzzers attached to select theater seats would be unexpectedly rattle to a few audience members, prompting the appropriate screams or even more appropriate laughter. [74]With such films, Castle “combines [d] the saturation of advertising with the United States of America and Sam Katzman and William Alland with the United States.” [75]

The postwar drive-in theater boom was vital to the expanding independent B movie industry. In January 1945, there were 96 drive-ins in the United States; a decade later, there were more than 3,700. [76] Unpretentious pictures with simple, familiar plots and reliable shock effects were ideally suited for self-based movie viewing, with all its awaiting distractions. The phenomenon of the drive-in movie became one of the most popular American culture in the 1950s. At the same time, many local television stations began showing B genre movies in late-night slots, popularizing the notion of the midnight movie . [77]

Increasingly, American-made genre films have been joined by cheap foreign markets, where necessary, dubbed for the US market. In 1956, distributor Joseph E. Levine has been filmed by American actor Raymond Burr that was edited into the Japanese sci-fi horror film Godzilla . [78] The British Hammer Film Productions made the successful The Curse of Frankenstein (1957) and Dracula (1958), major influences on future horror film style. In 1959, Levine’s Embassy Pictures bought Hercules , a cheaply made Italian movie starring American-born bodybuilderSteve Reeves . On top of a $ 125,000 purchase, Levine then spent $ 1.5 million on advertising and advertising, a virtually unprecedented amount. [79] The New York Times was nonplussed, claiming that the movie would have drawn “little more than yawns in the film market … had it not been [launched] throughout the country with a deafening barrage of publicity.” [80] Levine counted on first-weekend box office for his profits, booking the movie “in his way to a weekend, then withdrawing it to the poor word-of-mouth withdrew it for him.” [81] Hercules opened at a remarkable 600 theaters, and the strategy was a smashing success: the film earned $ 4.7 millionin domestic rentals. Just as valuable to the bottom line, it was even more successful overseas. [79] Within a few decades, Hollywood would be dominated by both movies and Levine’s.

Golden age of exploitation


Despite the transformation in the industry, by 1961 the average production cost of an American feature film was still only $ 2 million -after adjusting for inflation, less than 10 percent more than it had been in 1950. [14] The traditional twin bill of B film preceding and balancing a subsequent-run A film had grown out of American theaters. The AIP-style dual genre package was the new model. In July 1960, the latest Joseph E. Levine sword-and-sandalsimport, Unchained Hercules , opened at a neighborhood theaters in New York. A suspense movie, Terror Is a ManAs a result , Roger Corman took AIP down, “The denouement helpfully includes a ‘warning bell’ so the sensitive can ‘close their eyes.'” [82] a new road: “When they asked me to make two ten-day black-and-white horror movies to play a dual feature, I convinced them to pay for one horror movie in color.” [83] The resulting House of Ushertypifies the continuing ambiguities of B picture classification. Corman had ever enjoyed. It was clearly a film by the standards of both director and studio. But it is a B movie: the schedule is just a $ 20,000, the budget just $ 200,000 (one-tenth the industry average), [84] and its 85-minute running time close to an old thumbnail B: “Any movie that runs less than 80 minutes.” [85]

With the loosening of industry censorship constraints , the 1960s saw a major expansion in the commercial viability of a variety of movie production that has become known collectively as operating films . The combination of intensive and gimmick-laden publicity with movies featuring vulgar subject matter and often outrageous imagery dated back to the end of the day. Many graphically depicted the wages of sin in the context of promoting prudent lifestyle choices, particularly ” sexual hygiene “. Audiences might see explicit footage of anything from a live birth to a ritual circumcision. [86]Such films have not been reserved for the purpose of making them known to the general public, but they are likely to appear as “promoters” for ” grindhouses “, which typically had no regular schedule at all). The most famous of these promoters, Kroger Babb , was in the vanguard of low-budget marketing, sensationalistic films with a “100% saturation campaign”, in the audience with ads in the medium imaginable medium. [87]In the era of the traditional double feature, no one would have characterized these graphic exploitation movies as “B movies”. With the majors having exited traditional B production and exploitation-style promotion becoming standard practice at the lower end of the industry, “exploitation” has become a way to refer to the entire field of low-budget genre films. [88] The 1960s would see exploitation-style themes and imagery become central to the realm of the B.

Motorpsycho (1965) was not hard to market. It had director Russ Meyer’sreputation for eroticism; the biker theme (“MURDERcycles”) that would soon become their popularity in historic fashion; and that trendy title word- psycho .

Exploitation movies in the original sense continued to appear: 1961’s Damaged Goods , a cautionary tale about a young lady whose boyfriend’s promiscuity leads to venereal disease , comes complete with enormous, grotesque closeups of VD’s physical effects. [89] At the time Sami, the concept of fringe operating Was merging with a related, similarly venerable tradition: ” nudie ” film featuring nudist-camp footage gold striptease artists like Bettie Page HAD beens simply the softcore pornography of previous decades. As far back as 1933, This Nude World was “Guaranteed the Most Educational Movie Ever Produced!” [90]In the late 1950s, a few filmmakers began making nudies with greater attention to plot. Best known was Russ Meyer , who released his first successful narrative nudie, the comic Immoral Mr. Teas , in 1959. Five years later, Meyer came out with his breakthrough film, Lorna , which combined sex, violence, and a dramatic storyline. [91] Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), made for about $ 45,000, would become the most famous of Meyer’s sexploitationpictures. Crafted for constant titillation but containing no nudity, it was aimed at the same “passion pit” drive-in circuit that screened AIP teen movies with wink-wink titles like Beach Blanket Bingo(1965) and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1966) , starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon . [92] Roger Corman’s The Trip (1967) for American International, written by veteran AIP / Corman actor Jack Nicholson , never shows a fully bared, unpainted breast, but flirts with nudity throughout. [93] The Meyer and Corman lines were drawing closer.

One of the most influential movies of the era, and beyond Paramount’s Psycho . Its $ 8.5 million in earnings contre is production cost of $ 800,000 made it the MOST profitable movie of 1960. [94] Its mainstream distribution without the Production Code seal of approval Helped Weaken US movie censorship. And, as William Paul notes, this move into the horror genre by the respected director Alfred Hitchcock was made, “significantly, with the lowest-budgeted film of his American career and the least glamorous stars.” [Its] greatest initial impact … was is schlock horror movies (notably Those from second-tier director William Castle) contents, each of qui tried to bill Itself as scarier than Psycho” [95] Castle’s first film in the Psycho vein was Homicidal (1961), an early step in the development of the slasher subgenre that would take off in the late 1970s. [94] Blood Feast (1963), a movie about human dismemberment and culinary preparation made for Approximately $ 24,000 Experienced nudie-maker by Herschell Gordon Lewis , established a new, more successful time immediately subgenre, the gore or splatter movie . Lewis’s business partner David F. Friedmandrummed up publicity by distributing bags to theatergoers-the spell of gimmick Castle had mastered-and arranging for an injunction against the movie in Sarasota, Florida-the spell of problem exploitation movies had long run up against, except Friedman had planned it. [96] This new breed of gross-out movie typifies the emerging sense of “exploitation” -the progressive adoption of traditional exploitation and nudity elements into horror, into other classic B genres, and into the low-budget film industry as a whole. Imports of Hammer Film’s increasingly explicit horror movies and Italian gialli , highly stylized pictures sexploitation mixing and ultra-violence, Would fuel this trend. [97]

The Production Code was officially scrapped in 1968, to be replaced by the first version of the modern rating system . [98] That year, two horror movies came out that heralded directions American cinema would take in the next decade, with major consequences for the B movie. One was a high-budget Paramount production, directed by the celebrated Roman Polanski . Produced by B veteran horror William Castle, Rosemary’s Baby was the first upscale Hollywood picture in the genre in three decades. [99] It was a critical success and the year’s seventh-biggest hit. [100] The other Was George A. Romero ‘s Night of the Living DeadPittsburgh for $ 114,000. Building on the Achievement of the Kind of Predecessors and the Invasion of the Body Snatchers in its subtextual exploration of social and political issues, it is a highly effective thriller and an incisive allegory for both the Vietnam War and domestic racial conflicts. Its greatest influence, though, derived from its clever subversion of genre clichés and the connection made between its exploitation-style imagery, low-cost, truly independent means of production, and high profitability. [101] With the Code gone and the X ratingestablished, major studio A movies like Midnight Cowboycould now show “adult” imagery, while the market for more hardcore pornography exploded. Russ Meyer is a new legitimacy expert. In 1969, for the first time at Meyer movie, Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers! , reviewed in The New York Times . [102] Soon, Corman would be putting out nudity-filled sexploitation pictures such as Private Duty Nurses (1971) and Women in Cages (1971). [103]

In May 1969, the most important movie premiere at the Cannes Film Festival . [104] Much of Easy Rider ‘ s significance owes to the fact That It Was Produced for a respectable, if still modest, budget and released by a major studio. The project was first taken by one of its co-creators, Peter Fonda , to American International. AIP’s top star in the Corman-directed The Wild Angels (1966), a movie biker, and The Trip , as in LSD . The idea Fonda pitched would combine those two proven themes. AIP was intrigued but his colleague Dennis Hopper, also a studio alumnus, free directorial kidney. Eventually they arranged a financing and distribution deal with Columbia, Jack Nicholson and cinematographer László Kovács . [105] The film (which incorporates another favorite exploitation theme, the redneck threat, more than a mere amount of nudity) was brought in at a cost of $ 501,000. It earned $ 19.1 million in rentals. [106] In the words of historians Seth Cagin and Philip Dray , Easy Riderbecame “the seminal film that provided the bridge between all the tendencies represented by schlock / kitsch / hack since the dawn of Hollywood and the mainstream cinema of the seventies.” [107]


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, a new generation of low-budget film companies emerged from all the different lines of exploitation as well as sci-fi and teen themes that had been a mainstay since the 1950s. Operations such as Roger Corman’s New World Pictures , Cannon Films , and New Line Cinema brought exploitation films to mainstream theaters around the country. The major studios’ top product was continued to inflate in running time in 1970, the biggest earners averaged 140.1 minutes. [108]The Bs were keeping pace. In 1955, Corman had 74.8 minutes. He played a similar part in five films originally released in 1970, two for AIP and three for his own New World: the average length was 89.8 minutes. [109] These films could turn a tidy profit. The first New World release, the biker movie Angels Die Hard , cost $ 117,000 to produce and take in more than $ 2 million at the box office. [110]

The biggest studio in the low-budget field remains a leader in exploitation’s growth. In 1973, American International gave a shot to young director Brian De Palma . Reviewing Sisters , Pauline Kael commented that its “limp technique does not seem to matter to the people who want their free gore. … [H] e can not get two people talking in a simple way expository point without its sounding like the Republic drabbest picture of 1938. ” [111] Many examples of gender-based blaxploitation , including stereotype-filled stories revolving around drugs, violent crime, and prostitution, were the product of AIP. One of blaxploitation’s biggest stars was Pam Grier, who began his career with Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Several New World pictures followed, including The Big Doll House (1971) and The Big Bird Cage (1972), both directed by Jack Hill . Hill also directed her best-known performances, in two AIP blaxploitation films: Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974). [112]

Blaxploitation was the first operating genre in which the major studios were central. Indeed, the United Artists release Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970), directed by Ossie Davis , is seen as the first significant film of the type. [113]But the film that truly ignited the blaxploitation phenomenon was completely independent: Sweet Sweetback’s Song Baadasssss (1971) is also perhaps the most outrageous example of the form: wildly experimental, borderline pornographic, and essentially a manifesto for a black American revolution. [114] Melvin Van Peebles wrote, co-produced, directed, starred in, edited, and composed the music for the film, which was completed with a loan from Bill Cosby. [115] Its distributor was small Cinemation Industries , Then Best Known for releasing dubbed versions of the Italian Mondo Cane “shockumentaries” and the Swedish skin flick Fanny Hill , as well as for icts one in-house production The Man from ORGY (1970 ). [116] These spells of movies played in the “grindhouses” of the day-of-the-day not-so-porn theaters, but rather come for all manner of operating cinema. The days of six quickies for a nickel were gone, but a continuity of spirit was evident. [117]

Piranha (1978), directed by Joe Danteand written by John Sayles for Corman’sNew World Pictures , is an action-filledcreature feature , an environmentalistcautionary tale , and a humorous parody ofJaws . It was one of many exploitation films to mimic the design of Jaws ‘ famous poster , “with its promise of titillating thrills.” [118]

In 1970, a low-budget crime drama shot in 16 mm by first-time American director Barbara Loden won the international critics’ prize at the Venice Film Festival . [119] Wanda is both a seminal event in the independent film movement and a classic B picture. The crime-based plot and often would have suited a straightforward exploitation film or an old-school black B. The $ 115,000 production [119] for qui Loden spent six years raising money, Was Praised by Vincent Canby for “the absolute accuracy of ict effects, the decency of ict points of view … and purity of technique.” [120]Like Romero and Van Peebles, other filmmakers of the era made pictures that combine the gut-level entertainment of exploitation with biting social commentary. The first three features directed by Larry Cohen , Bone (1972), Black Caesar (1973), and Hell Up in Harlem (1973), were all nominally blaxploitation movies, but Cohen used them as vehicles for a satirical examination of race relations and the of dog-eat-dog capitalism. [121] The gory horror film Deathdream (1974), directed by Bob Clark , is also an agonized protest of the war in Vietnam. [122] Canadian filmmaker David Cronenbergmade serious-minded low-budget horror films whose implications are not so much ideological as psychological and existential: Shivers (1975), Rabid (1977), The Brood (1979). [123] An Easy Rider with conceptual rigor, the film that most clearly presaged the way in which exploitation and artistic treatment would be combined in modestly budgeted films of the United States’ biker-themed Electra Glide in Blue (1973), directed by James William Guercio . [124] The New York Timesreviewer thought little of it: “Under different intentions, it might have made a decent grade-C Roger Corman bike movie-though Corman has used more interesting directors than Guercio.” [125]

In the early 1970s, the growing practice of screening nonmainstream motion pictures as late shows, with the goal of building a cult movie audience Brought the midnight movie concept home to the cinema, now in a countercultural setting-something like a drive-in movie for the hip . [126] One of the first films adopted by the new circuit in 1971 was the three-year-old Night of the Living Dead . The midnight movie success of low-budget pictures made entirely outside the studio system, like John Waters ‘ Pink Flamingos (1972), with its campy spin on exploitation, spurred the development of the independent film movement. [127] The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), an inexpensive film from 20th Century Fox that spoofed all manner of classic B picture clichés, became an unparalleled hit when it was relaunched as a late feature feature the year after its initial, unprofitable release. Even as Rocky Horror isgenerated from its own subcultural phenomenon, it contributes to the mainstreaming of the theatrical midnight movie. [128]

Asian martial arts movies began appearing as imports during the 1970s. These ” kung fu ” movies were often called, whatever martial arts they featured, were popularized in the United States by the Hong Kong-produced movies of Bruce Lee and marketed to the same audience targeted by AIP and New World. [129] Horror continued to attract young, independent American directors. As Roger Ebert explained in a 1974 review, “Horror and Exploitation Films Almost Always Turn Away If They’re Brought to the Right Price.” So they provide a good starting place for ambitious moviemakers who can not get more conventional projects off the ground. ” [130]The movie under consideration was the Texas Chain Saw Massacre . Made by Tobe Hooper for less than $ 300,000, it became one of the most influential horror films of the 1970s. [131] John Carpenter ‘s Halloween (1978), produced was $ 320,000 budget, grossed over $ 80 million worldwide and the slasher flick Effectively Established as horror’s primary way for the next decade. Just as Hooper had learned from Romero’s work, Halloween , in turn, largely followed the model of Black Christmas (1974), directed by Deathdream ‘ s Bob Clark. [132]

On television, the parallels between the weekly series that became the mainstay of prime-time programming and the Hollywood series movies of an earlier day had long been clear. [133]In the 1970s, original feature-length programming to B movie as well. As production of TV movies expanded with the introduction of the ABC Movie of the Week in 1969, the role of the other side of the network is changed. Television films inspired by recent scandals-such as The Ordeal of Patty Hearst, which premiered a month after her release from prison in 1979-harkened to the 1920s and such movies as Human Wreckage and When Love Cold Grows , FBO pictures made in the wake of celebrity misfortunes. [134] Many 1970s TV movies-such as The California Kid (1974), starringMartin Sheen—were action-oriented genre pictures of a type familiar from contemporary cinematic B production. Nightmare in Badham County (1976) headed straight into the realm of road-tripping-girls-in-redneck-bondage exploitation.[135]

The reverberations of Easy Rider could be felt in such pictures, as well as in a host of theatrical exploitation films. But its greatest influence on the film was less direct-by 1973, the major studios were catching on to the commercial potential of a niche largely based on the bargain basement. Rosemary’s Baby had been a big hit, but it had a little in common with the exploitation style. Warner Bros. ‘ The ExorcistIt’s the biggest hit horror movie. It could be an absolute blockbuster: it was the biggest movie of the year and by far the highest-earning horror movie yet made. In William Paul’s description, it is also “the film that really established gross-out a mode of expression for mainstream cinema. … [P] est exploitation films managed to exploit their cruelties by virtue of their marginality.” The Exorcist made cruelty respectable by the end of the decade, the exploitation booking strategy of opening movies [136] Writer-director George Lucas ‘s American Graffiti, a Universal production, did something similar. Described by Paul as “essentially an American-International teenybopper pic with a lot more spit and polish”, it was 1973’s third biggest film and, likewise, by far the highest-earning teen-themed movie yet made. [137] Even more historically significant movies with B themes and A-level financial backing would follow in their wake.


Main article: B movies (1980s to the present)


Most of the movie production houses were exploited in the early 1980s. Even more comparatively cheap, efficiently made genre film intended for theatrical release began to cost millions of dollars, as the major movie studios steadily moved into the production of expensive genre movies, rising audience expectations for spectacular action sequences and realistic special effects. [138] Intimations of the trend were evident as early as Airport (1970) and especially in the mega-schlock of The Poseidon Adventure (1972), Earthquake (1973), and The Towering Inferno(1974). Their disaster plots were B-grade at best; from an industry perspective, however, these were firmly rooted in a tradition of star-stuffed extravaganzas. The Exorcist had demonstrated the drawing power of big-budget, effects-laden horror. Aim the tidal shift in the majors’ focus Owed Largely to The Enormous success of three movies: Steven Spielberg ‘s creature feature Jaws (1975) and George Lucas’s space opera Star Wars (1977) HAD each, in turn, Become the highest-grossing movie in motion picture history. Superman , released in December 1978, had proved that a studio could spend $ 55 millionWe have a movie about a children’s comic book and a big hit-it was the hit box office hit of 1979. [139] Blockbuster fantasy shows like the original 1933 King Kong had once been exceptional; in the new Hollywood, under the sway of multi-industrial conglomerates, they would rule. [140]

“Too gory to be an art film too arty to be an exploitation movie, funny but not quite a comedy” 168 private investors backed Blood Simple ‘ s $ 1.5 million budget. [141] Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen brought a striking visual style to the black 1984. In one repeated motive, David Denby writes , “Automotive headlights threatening people doing surreptitious things in the dark.” [142]

It had taken a decade and a half, from 1961 to 1976, for the production of the Hollywood feature to double from $ 2 million to $ 4 million. In just four years it was more than doubled again, hitting $ 8.5 million in 1980 (a constant-dollar increase of about 25 percent). Even as the US inflation rate eased, the average expense of moviemaking would continue to soar. [143] With the majors now routinely saturation booking in over a thousand theaters, it was becoming more difficult for smaller outfits to secure the exhibition. Double features were now literally history-almost impossible to find at revival. One of the first leading casualties of the new economics was the B studio Allied Artists, which declared bankruptcy in April 1979. [144]In the late 1970s, Amityville Horror and the Disastrous Meteor in 1979. The studio was sold off and dissolved as a moviemaking by the end of 1980. [145]

Despite the mounting financial pressures, distribution barriers, and overall risk, many genre movies from small studios and independent filmmakers were still reaching theaters. Horror was the strongest low-budget genre of the time, particularly in the slasher mode with The Slumber Party Massacre (1982), written by feminist author Rita Mae Brown . The film was produced for New World on a budget of $ 250,000. [146] At the beginning of 1983, Corman sold New World; New Horizons, later Concorde-New Horizons, became its primary company. In 1984, New Horizons released a critically acclaimed film set amid the punk scene and directed by Penelope Spheeris . The New York Timesreview concluded: ” Suburbia is a good movie genre.” [147]

Larry Cohen continued to twist genre conventions in pictures such as Q (aka Q: The Winged Snake , 1982), described by critic Chris Small as “the kind of movie that used to be indispensable to the market: an imaginative, popular, low- budget picture that makes the most of its limited resources, [148] In 1981, New Line put out Polyester , a John Waters movie with a small budget and an old-school operating gimmick: Odorama. That October The Book of the Dead , a gore-filled yet stylish horror movie made for less than $ 400,000, debuted in Detroit. [149] Its writer, director, and co-executive producer,Sam Raimi , was a week shy of his twenty-second birthday; star and co-executive producer Bruce Campbell was twenty-three. It was picked up by New Line, retitled The Evil Dead , and became a hit. In the words of one newspaper critic, it was a “shoestring tour de force .” [150]

One of the most successful 1980s B studios was a survivor of the heyday of exploitation, Troma Pictures , founded in 1974. Troma’s most characteristic productions, including Class of Nuke Em High (1986), Redneck Zombies(1986), and Surf Nazis Must Die (1987), take exploitation for an absurdist spin. Troma’s best-known production is The Toxic Avenger (1985); its hideous hero, affectionately known as Toxic, was featured in several sequels and a TV cartoon series. [151] One of the few successful B studio startups of the decade was Rome-based Empire Pictures , whose first production, Ghoulies, reached theaters in 1985. The Empire’s financial model is relaunched, but only later, at the video store. [152] A number of Concorde-New Horizon releases went this route, appearing only briefly in theaters, if at all. The growth of the cable television industry also helped the film industry, as many B movies quickly wound up as “filler” material for 24-hour cable channels or were made expressly for that purpose. [153]


By 1990, the cost of the US film had passed $ 25 million . [154] Of the nine films released that year to gross more than $ 100 million at the US box office, two would have been strictly B movie material before the late 1970s: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dick Tracy . Three more-the sci-fi thriller Total Recall , the action-filled detective thriller Die Hard 2 , and the year’s biggest hit, the slapstick kiddie comedy Home Alone -were also far closer to the traditional arena of the Bs than to classic A- list subject matter. [155]The growing popularity of home movies and television is one of the most important issues in the history of cinema. [156] Drive-in screens were rapidly disappearing from the American landscape. [157]

Surviving movies in different ways. Releases from Troma now frequently went straight to video . New Line, in its first decade, had been almost exclusively a distributor of low-budget independent and foreign genre pictures. With the smashing success of veteran Wes Craven ‘s original Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), which nearly $ 2 million cost it had directly backed, the company was beginning steadily moving into higher-budget genre productions. In 1994, New Line was sold to the Turner Broadcasting System ; Warner Bros. Warner Bros. within the Warner Conglomerate Time . [158]The following year, Showtime launched Roger Corman Presents , a series of thirteen straight-to-cable movies produced by Concorde-New Horizons. A New York Times reviewer found que la initial installment qualified as “vintage Corman … spiked with everything from bared female breasts to a mind-blowing quote from Thomas Mann ‘s Death in Venice .” [159]

At the same time as exhibition for B movies vanished, the independent film movement was burgeoning; among the results were various crossovers between the low-budget genre movie and the “sophisticated” arthouse picture. Director Abel Ferrara , who built a reputation with violent B movies such as The Driller Killer (1979) and Ms. 45 (1981), made two works in the early nineties that marry exploitation-worthy depictions of sex, drugs, and general sleaze to complex examinations of honor and redemption: King of New York (1990) was backed by a group of mostly small companies producing and the cost of Bad Lieutenant (1992), $ 1.8 million , was financement totally indépendamment.[160] Larry Fessenden’s micro-budget monster movies, such as No Telling (1991) and Habit (1997), reframe classic genre subjects- Frankenstein and vampirism , respectively-to explore issues of contemporary relevance. [161] The budget of David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996), $ 10 million , was not comfortably A-grade, but it was hardly B-level either. The film’s imagery was another matter: “On its scandalizing surface, David Cronenberg’sCrash is at its most disturbingly sick”, wrote Janet Maslin . [162] Financed, likeKing of New York , by a consortium of production companies, it was picked up for US distribution by Fine Line Features . This result mirrored the film’s scrambling of definitions: Fine Line was a subsidiary of New Line, recently merged into the Warner Empire-specifically, it was the old operating distributor’s arthouse division. [163] Pulp Fiction (1994), directed by Quentin Tarantinohas a $ 8.5 million budget, became a hugely influential hit by multiple crossing lines, as James Mottram describes: “With its art house narrative structure, B-movie subject matter and Hollywood cast , the film is the axis for three distinct cinematic traditions to intersect. ” [164]

Transition in the 2000s

Main article: B movies (1980s to the present)

By the turn of the millennium, the average production cost of an American feature had already exceeded $ 50 million mark. [154] In 2005, the top ten movies at the US box office included three adaptations of children’s fantasy novels, one Extending Reviews and another initiating event has series ( Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe , respectively), a child-targeted cartoon ( Madagascar ), a comic book adaptation ( Batman Begins ), a sci-fi series installment ( Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith ), a sci-fi remake ( War of the Worlds ), and aKing Kong remake. [165] It was a slow year for Corman: he produced just one movie, which had no American theatrical release. [166] As big-budget Hollywood movies continue to be popular, low-cost genres, the ongoing viability of the brand’s history. New York Times critic AO Scott warned of the impending “extinction” of “the cheesy, campy, guilty pleasures” of the B picture. [167]

B movies are not necessarily “schlock”. Shane Carruth made the sophisticated science fiction film Primer (2004) for $ 7,000. According to Adam Lemke, Carruth’s “cramped, claustrophobic mise-en-scene ” exemplifies “subtle yet austere visual style that never succumbs to the restrictions of his limited budget”. [168]

On the other hand, the production of traditional production is less important, but with fewer “programmers” bridging the gap. According to a 2006 report by industry analyst Alfonso Marone, “The average budget for a Hollywood movie is currently around $ 60m , rising to $ 100m when the cost of marketing for domestic launches (USA only) is factored into the equation. , we are now witnessing a polarization of film budgets into two thirds: large productions ($ 120- 150m ) and niche features ($ 5-20m) … Fewer $ 30- 70m releases are expected. ” [169] Fox launched a new subsidiary in 2006, Fox Atomic, to concentrate on teen-oriented genre movies. The economic model was deliberately low-rent, at least by major studio standards. According to a Variety Report, “Fox Atomic is staying at $ 10 Million mark for many of its movies.” It’s also encouraging filmmakers to shoot digitally-a cheaper process that results in a grittier, teen-friendly look. Of Atomic’s Nine Announced Movies, Not One Has a Big Name “. [170] The newfangled B movie division was shut down in 2009. [171]

As the Variety Report suggests, the recent production of truly productive low-budget motion pictures. ALTHOUGH there-have-been economy means clustering always with qui to shoot movies, Including Super 8 and 16 mm movie , as well as video cameras recording onto analog videotape , thesis mediums couldn’t rival the picture quality of 35 mm movie . The development of digital cameras and postproductionfilmmakers to produce films with excellent, and not necessarily “grittier”, image quality and editing effects. As Marone observes, “the equipment budget (camera, support) required for shooting digital is approximately 1/10 that for film, significantly lowering the production budget for independent features.At the same time, [since the early 2000s], the quality of digital filmmaking has dramatically improved. ” [169] Independent filmmakers, whether working in a genre or arthouse mode, continues to find it difficult to gain access to distribution channels, though digital end-to-end methods of distribution offer new opportunities. In a similar way, Internet sites such as YouTubehave opened up entirely new avenues for the presentation of low-budget motion pictures. [172]

Associated terms

The terms C movie and the more common Z movie describes progressively lower grades of the B movie category. The terms drive-in movie and midnight movie , which emerged in association with specific historical phenomena, are now often used as synonyms for B movie .

C movie

The C movie is the grade of motion picture at the end of the B movie, or some taxonomy-simply below it. [173] In the 1980s, with the growth of cable television , the C grade began to be applied with increasing frequency to low-quality genre movies. The “C” in the term does double duty, referring to only “B” but also to the initial c of cable. The Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988-99), which ran on national cable channels (first Comedy Central , then the Sci Fi Channel) after its first year. Updating a concept Introduced by TV hostess Vampira over three decades before, MST3K presented cheap, low-grade movies, Primarily science fiction of the 1950s and 1960s, along with running voiceover commentary highlighting the movies’ Shortcomings. Director Ed Wood has been called “the master of the ‘C-movie ‘ ” in this sense, although Z movie (see below) is perhaps even more applicable to his work. [174] The rapid expansion of Niche cable and satellite outlets Such As Sci Fi (with icts Sci Fi Pictures ) and HBO’s genre channels in the 1990s and 2000s movies, movies, movies, movies, movies. [175]

Often called “the worst film ever made”, Ed Wood’s ultra-low-budget Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) has become the most famous of all Z movies .

Z movie

Main article: Z movie

The term Z movie (or grade-Z movie ) is one of the most popular movies in the world. Most movies referred to as movies are made on very small budgets by operations on the fringes of the commercial film industry. The micro-budget “quickies” of 1930s fly-by-night Poverty Row production houses can be thought of as Z movies before the letter . [176] The films of director Ed Wood, such as Glen or Glenda (1953) and Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959) -frequently cited as one of the worst ever pictures-example the classic grade-Z movie. Latter-day Zs are characterized by violent, gory or sexual content and a minimum of artistic interest; The TV equivalent of the grindhouse. [177]

Psychotronic movie

Psychotronic movie is a term coined by film critic Michael J. Weldon-referred to by a fellow critic as “the historian of marginal movies” -to denote the fate of low-budget genre pictures that are generally disdained . [178] Weldon’s immediate source for the term Chicago cult film The Psychotronic Man (1980), whose title character is a barber who develops the ability to kill using psychic energy. According to Weldon, “My original idea is that it’s a two-part word. ‘Psycho’ stands for the horror movies, and ‘tronic’ stands for the science fiction movies. include any kind of gold exploitation B-movie. ” [179]The term, popularized beginning in the 1980s with publications of Weldon’s such as The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film and Psychotronic Video magazine, has all been adopted by other critics and fans. Use of the term tend to EMPHASIZE has focus and we love B movies For Those That Lend Themselves to have appreciation camp . [180]