Amicus Productions was a British film production company active in the 1960s and 1970s. It is best known for its genre pictures, particularly in the genres of horror and science fiction.
The science fiction films included two movies based on the then-new hit series Doctor Who
: Dr. Who and the Daleks
and Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D.
. They also made three films based on the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
, specifically The Land That Time Forgot
and its sequel, The People That Time Forgot
, and At The Earths Core
The horror films are often Wrongfully Attributed
to the older and more famous Hammer studio
, with which they share some stylistic similarities and many stars (including Christopher Lee
and Peter Cushing
). Two points of distinction are that Amicus tended to set its films in the present day (as opposed to Hammer's gothic historicals) and many of Amicus' horror films are anthologies, with a Framing Device
binding together three or four shorter stories. Two of the anthology films were adapted from the American horror anthology comics published by EC Comics
. Horror writer Robert Bloch
wrote many screenplays for Amicus, often adapting his own short stories, and joshed in his autobiography that "Amicus was Latin for 'no budget'."
Amicus Productions with their own trope pages include:
Other Amicus Productions provide examples of:
- Adaptation Name Change: I, Monster, in addition to not using the title of the novel it's based on, completely renames the central characters. This was an attempt to avert It Was His Sled; everybody can be expected to know the story of Jekyll and Hyde.
- Anthology Film
- Cake Toppers: A wedding cake topper is used for Sympathetic Magic in From Beyond the Grave (1973).
- Dead All Along: The frame story of Dr. Terror's House of Horrors ends with this revelation.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: Several of the anthology films end with the narrator character addressing the audience directly.
- Framing Device
- The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: In the anthology film From Beyond the Grave, the linking premise is that each of the stories involves an object bought from a mysterious shop owned by Peter Cushing.
- Lost World: The Land That Time Forgot.
- Man-Eating Plant:
- One of the tales from Dr. Terror's House of Horrors features a killer plant. There is little or no explanation for the vicious vine; it is simply noticed growing around an isolated house. Soon, it is snipping phone lines, strangling a hapless victim, and trapping the survivors in the house — until they learn that the wicked weed is afraid of fire, enabling them to escape. The final shot, of the vine batting out the flames left behind by the humans, leaves open the question of whether the plant is truly defeated.
- In the adaptation of At The Earths Core, a man-eating plant makes a brief appearance, interrupting a fight scene between the hero and an adversary. Needless to say, even though the two men had been trying to kill each other only minutes before, the hero saves his opponent from the clutches of the carnivorous creeping vine, and the two become fast friends, joining forces to defeat the evil Mahars that rule the underground world.