Samuel Z. Arkoff


Executive, Producer

About

Birth Place
Fort Dodge, Iowa, USA
Born
June 12, 1918
Died
September 16, 2001
Cause of Death
Natural Causes

Biography

Arkoff is the co-founder (with James H. Nicholson) of American International Pictures and has served as producer or executive on over 200 of the low-budget exploitation films--monster movies, motorcycle films and beach-party pictures geared to the teenage audience--that made the studio famous. Arkoff also gave fresh talent such as Francis Ford Coppola ("Dementia 13" 1963), Martin Scorses...

Family & Companions

Hilda Rusoff
Wife
Sculptor. Born in Winnipeg, Canada; married to Arkoff from 1945 until her death on July 26, 2001.

Bibliography

"Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants"
Samuel Z. Arkoff with Richard Trubo (1992)

Notes

In 1990, Arkoff announced his return to film production, with plans to remake "Machine Gun Kelly" and "The Man With X-Ray Eyes." In 1993, he was planning auditions for a remake of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf".

He is the international vice president of the Variety Clubs International (1973- )

Biography

Arkoff is the co-founder (with James H. Nicholson) of American International Pictures and has served as producer or executive on over 200 of the low-budget exploitation films--monster movies, motorcycle films and beach-party pictures geared to the teenage audience--that made the studio famous. Arkoff also gave fresh talent such as Francis Ford Coppola ("Dementia 13" 1963), Martin Scorsese ("Boxcar Bertha" 1972) and Woody Allen ("What's Up, Tiger Lily?" 1966) the opportunity to direct some of their early feature films. In 1980, he sold AIP and formed his own companies, Samuel Z. Arkoff Pictures and Arkoff International Pictures. Arkoff wrote his memoirs, "Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants" in 1992. His son, Louis, is also a producer.

Filmography

 

Cast (Feature Film)

Some Nudity Required (1998)
The Pitch (1996)
Himself
Runaway Daughters (1994)
Naked Paradise (1957)
Sam, plantation owner

Producer (Feature Film)

The Day the World Ended (2001)
Executive Producer
Up The Creek (1983)
Executive Producer
The Final Terror (1981)
Executive Producer
Dressed To Kill (1980)
Executive Producer
How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980)
Executive Producer
The Amityville Horror (1979)
Executive Producer
C.H.O.M.P.S. (1979)
Executive Producer
Our Winning Season (1978)
Executive Producer
The Norseman (1978)
Executive Producer
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1977)
Executive Producer
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
Executive Producer
Empire Of The Ants (1977)
Executive Producer
The Island Of Dr. Moreau (1977)
Executive Producer
The Great Scout And Cathouse Thursday (1976)
Executive Producer
Futureworld (1976)
Executive Producer
A Matter of Time (1976)
Executive Producer
The Food Of The Gods (1976)
Executive Producer
Hennessy (1975)
Executive Producer
Return to Macon County (1975)
Executive Producer
Dragonfly (1975)
Executive Producer
Cooley High (1975)
Executive Producer
Madhouse (1974)
Executive Producer
Frogs (1972)
Presented By
Slaughter (1972)
Presented By
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)
Executive Producer
Boxcar Bertha (1972)
Presented By
Blacula (1972)
Executive Producer
Blacula (1972)
Presented By
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)
Presented By
The Thing with Two Heads (1972)
Presented By
Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)
Presented By
Who Slew Auntie Roo? (1971)
Producer
Bunny O'Hare (1971)
Executive Producer
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
Presented By
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971)
Executive Producer
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
Executive Producer
Wuthering Heights (1970)
Producer
Up in the Cellar (1970)
Producer
The Dunwich Horror (1970)
Producer
Bloody Mama (1970)
Executive Producer
Bloody Mama (1970)
Presented By
Angel Unchained (1970)
Presented By
Two Gentlemen Sharing (1969)
Presented By
Angel, Angel, Down We Go (1969)
Presented By
De Sade (1969)
Producer
Psych-Out (1968)
Presented By
3 in the Attic (1968)
Executive Producer
Wild in the Streets (1968)
Producer
Thunder Alley (1967)
Executive Producer
Devil's Angels (1967)
Executive Producer
Fireball 500 (1966)
Producer
What's Up Tiger Lily? (1966)
Presented By
Frankenstein Conquers the World (1966)
Presented By
The Big T.N.T. Show (1966)
Executive Producer
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)
Producer
Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
Presented By
Ski Party (1965)
Executive Producer
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)
Producer
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)
Producer
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965)
Producer
Sergeant Deadhead (1965)
Producer
Die, Monster, Die! (1965)
Executive Producer
Muscle Beach Party (1964)
Executive Producer
The Masque of the Red Death (1964)
Presented By
Pajama Party (1964)
Producer
Atragon (1964)
Presented By
Bikini Beach (1964)
Presented By
Black Sabbath (1964)
Presented By
Bikini Beach (1964)
Producer
X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
Executive Producer
The Haunted Palace (1963)
Executive Producer
Beach Party (1963)
Executive Producer
Operation Bikini (1963)
Presented By
The Raven (1963)
Executive Producer
Summer Holiday (1963)
Executive Producer
Operation Bikini (1963)
Executive Producer
The Young Racers (1963)
Presented By
The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
Presented By
The Comedy of Terrors (1963)
Producer
Tales of Terror (1962)
Executive Producer
Marco Polo (1962)
Presented By
Panic in Year Zero! (1962)
Executive Producer
Prisoner of the Iron Mask (1962)
Presented By
Burn, Witch, Burn (1962)
Presented By
Alakazam the Great (1961)
Pres, U.S. version
Black Sunday (1961)
Pres of U.S. version
The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
Presented By
Master of the World (1961)
Presented By
Lost Battalion (1961)
Presented By
Master of the World (1961)
Executive Producer
The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)
Executive Producer
House of Usher (1960)
Presented By
La Maschera del Demonio (1960)
Executive Producer
The Headless Ghost (1959)
Presented By
Horrors of the Black Museum (1959)
Presented By
Goliath and the Barbarians (1959)
Presented By
The Diary of a High School Bride (1959)
Presented By
Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959)
Presented By
A Bucket of Blood (1959)
Producer
Paratroop Command (1959)
Presented By
The Jailbreakers (1959)
Executive Producer
Terror from the Year 5,000 (1958)
Presented By
Hot Rod Gang (1958)
Presented By
Jet Attack (1958)
Presented By
Suicide Battalion (1958)
Presented By
The Bonnie Parker Story (1958)
Presented By
High School Hellcats (1958)
Producer
Attack of the Puppet People (1958)
Executive Producer
The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1958)
Executive Producer
Machine-Gun Kelly (1958)
Executive Producer
Night of the Blood Beast (1958)
Executive Producer
Suicide Battalion (1958)
Executive Producer
Teenage Cave Man (1958)
Executive Producer
Terror from the Year 5,000 (1958)
Executive Producer
War of the Colossal Beast (1958)
Presented By
How to Make a Monster (1958)
Presented By
Motorcycle Gang (1957)
Executive Producer
The Amazing Colossal Man (1957)
Presented By
I Was a Teenage Werewolf (1957)
Presented By
I Was a Teenage Frankenstein (1957)
Presented By
Motorcycle Gang (1957)
Presented By
Blood of Dracula (1957)
Presented By
Rock All Night (1957)
Presented By
Reform School Girl (1957)
Presented By
Reform School Girl (1957)
Producer
Naked Paradise (1957)
Presented By
Voodoo Woman (1957)
Executive Producer
Dragstrip Girl (1957)
Presented By
Dragstrip Girl (1957)
Executive Producer
Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
Presented By
Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
Executive Producer
Runaway Daughters (1956)
Executive Producer
Runaway Daughters (1956)
Presented By
Shake, Rattle & Rock! (1956)
Presented By
Day the World Ended (1956)
Presented By
Girls in Prison (1956)
Executive Producer
The She-Creature (1956)
Executive Producer

Production Companies (Feature Film)

Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)
Company
Beach Party (1963)
Company
Panic in Year Zero! (1962)
Company
Submarine Seahawk (1959)
Company
Roadracers (1959)
Company
Tank Commando (1959)
Company
High School Hellcats (1958)
Company
The Spider (1958)
Company

Misc. Crew (Feature Film)

The Pitch (1996)
Other

Cast (Special)

It Conquered Hollywood: The Story of American International Pictures (2001)
Canned Ham: Bowfinger (1999)
Interviewee
After Sunset: The Life and Times of the Drive-In (1998)
The Man Who Drew Bug-Eyed Monsters (1996)
Anatomy of Horror (1995)

Writer (Special)

It Conquered Hollywood: The Story of American International Pictures (2001)
Story By

Special Thanks (Special)

It Conquered Hollywood: The Story of American International Pictures (2001)
Story By

Producer (TV Mini-Series)

Teenage Caveman (2001)
Executive Producer
How to Make A Monster (2001)
Executive Producer
Earth Vs. the Spider (2001)
Executive Producer
She Creature (2001)
Executive Producer

Life Events

1950

Began producing career with TV's "The Hank McCune Show" (NBC)

1952

Suffered a cerebral hemorrhage; recovered after spending a week in a coma

1954

Co-founded American Releasing Corp. with James H Nicholson; first released film "The Fast and the Furious", directed by Roger Corman

1955

Company name changed to American International Pictures (AIP)

1957

AIP released "I Was a Teenage Werewolf", starring Michael Landon

1960

With "House of Usher" starring Vincent Price, AIP began series of adaptations based in part on the writings of Edgar Allen Poe

1963

Enjoyed success with the teen "beach" movie "Beach Party", starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello

1966

AIP released the English-language dubbed version of "What's Up, Tiger Lily?" with dialogue by Woody Allen

1966

Moved into highbrow fare releasing Fellini's "La Dolce Vita"

1972

AIP released "Boxcar Bertha", helmed by Martin Scorsese, and "Sisters", directed by Brian De Palma

1973

First association between John Milius and AIP, "Dillinger"

1980

AIP released "Mad Max", featuring Mel Gibson (although dialogue was re-dubbed to eradicate Australian accents)

1980

Formed Samuel Z Arkoff Company (president and chairman)

1981

Formed Arkoff International Pictures (president)

1993

Received star Number 1973 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 14

2000

Signed deal with HBO allowing remakes of five AIP films

Videos

Movie Clip

Bikini Beach (1964) - Gimmie Your Love Testing video for ticket 1394 with clip Gimmie Your Love from Bikini Beach, 1964.
Cult Of The Damned (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go) (1969) - I'm A Fairy Princess Shortly after the opening, a flashback to earlier in the life of troubled Tara-Nicole (Joan Calhoun in this scene, growing up to be Holly Near), at a restaurant with her warring super-wealthy parents (Charles Aidman, Jennifer Jones) with writer Robert Thom in his only outing as a director, in Cult Of The Damned, (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go), 1969.
Cult Of The Damned (1969) - All Sorts Of Tranquilizers Usually low-budget American International pictures shooting on location at the Getz-Hearst “Beverly House” in Beverly Hills, singer Bogart (Jordan Christopher) has the full attention of mother Astrid (Jennifer Jones) and daughter Tara Nicole (Holly Near), then another original song by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil in Cult Of The Damned, (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go), 1969.
Cult Of The Damned (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go) (1969) - The Fat Song Tara-Nicole (Holly Near), after a sexual encounter with singer Bogart (Jordan Christopher), by whom she was willingly abducted from her own debutante ball, meets his “new group,” Davey Davison, Lou Rawls and Roddy McDowall as Ana Livia, Joe and Santoro, and hears his new song for her (by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil), in Cult Of The Damned, (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go), 1969.
Cult Of The Damned (1969) - Open, My Parents Were Perfect The soundtrack doing much of the work, with voice over by Holly Near as rich and twisted Tara Nicole, the opening to American International’s shocker Cult Of The Damned, (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go), 1969, leading to Charles Aidman as her father in the shower, also starring Jennifer Jones.
Cult Of The Damned (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go) (1969) - Angel, Angel Down We Go At her coming-out party thrown by her super-rich parents in LA (Jennifer Jones, Charles Aidman), Tara-Nicole (Holly Near), home from finishing school in Switzerland and nervous about her weight, is dazzled by singer “Bogart” (Jordan Christopher), performing an original song by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, in American International’s Cult Of The Damned, (a.k.a. Angel, Angel Down We Go), 1969.
Masque Of The Red Death, The (1964) - Demon Lover Being conducted away from chambers where her captive father and brother are being tortured, hostage Francesca (Jane Asher) tries to keep up with proud devil worshipper Prospero (Vincent Price), while his incumbent lover Juliana (Hazel Court) works to enhance her own credentials, in Roger Corman’s Masque Of The Red Death, 1964.
Masque of the Red Death, The (1964) - Shouldn't You Be On Your Knees? Cruel Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) discovers the humble Francesca (Paul McCartney's then-girlfriend Jane Asher), looking out for the interest of her village, lover and father (David Weston, Nigel Green, early in The Masque of the Red Death, 1964.
Boxcar Bertha (1972) - Leave It To Harvey Rake (Barry Primus), Von (Bernie Casey) and Bill (David Carradine), all friends of Barbara Hershey (title character), have wound up on the same chain gang, guarded by lame Harvey (Harry Northrup), in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha, 1972.
Boxcar Bertha (1972) - Thing Called The Depression As the credits finish, wandering Barbara Hershey (title character) finds friend Big Bill (David Carradine) doing some labor organizing, before they escape together, in Martin Scorsese's Boxcar Bertha, 1972.
Cooley High (1975) - Y'all Need To Go To Church After school Preach (Glynn Turman) in a dice game with Stone and Robert (recruited Chicago gang members Rick Stone and Norman Gibson, in their first scene), joined by Cochise (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs), the bothered Brenda (Cynthia Davis) and proprietor Martha (Juanita McConnell), Michael Schultz directing from Eric Monte's original screenplay, in Cooley High, 1975.
Cooley High (1975) - Open, Rise And Shine Not accidentally idyllic, though the Chicago scenes and other elements confirm that the credit sequence was shot after 1964, when the story begins, with The Supremes’ recording of the Holland-Dozier-Holland song, and director Michael Schultz just introducing leads Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Glynn Turman, opening Cooley High, 1975.

Trailer

Bloody Mama (1970) Original Trailer Original trailer with twisted content right up front, and commentary resembling critical praise for producer-director Roger Corman, for Bloody Mama, 1970, from American International Pictures, with Shelley Winters, Robert De Niro and Bruce Dern.
X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes -- (1963) -- Original Trailer Original trailer for what has become one of producer-director Roger Corman and American-Internationlal Pictjures' most beloved titles, X: The Man With The X-Ray Eyes, 1963, starring Ray Milland.
Blacula - (Original Trailer) An African prince (William Marshall) bitten by Dracula stalks the Los Angeles night as Blacula (1972).
Amityville Horror, The - (Original Trailer) Newlyweds (James Brolin, Margot Kidder) discover their dream home is haunted in The Amityville Horror (1979).
Beach Blanket Bingo - (Original Trailer) Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello play Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) with guest appearances by Paul Lynde, Don Rickles and Buster Keaton.
Pit and the Pendulum, The - (Original Trailer) Vincent Price and Barbara Steele are a couple united by guilt and madness in Roger Corman's The Pit and the Pendulum (1961).
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini - (Original Trailer) White witch doctor Buster Keaton teaches the Beach Party gang How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965).
Tales of Terror - (Original Trailer) Vincent Price, Peter Lorre and Basil Rathbone star in three of Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Terror (1962).
What's Up, Tiger Lily? - (Re-issue Trailer) Woody Allen added comic dialogue to What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966), a Japanese spy thriller dubbed into English.
Burn, Witch, Burn - (Original Trailer) A skeptical college professor discovers that his wife has been practicing magic for years in Burn, Witch, Burn (1962).
House of Usher -- (Original Trailer) A young man tries to rescue the woman he loves from her demonic brother (Vincent Price). The first of director Roger Corman's adaptations of Poe.
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971) - (Original Trailer) A Parisian theater owner producing a Grand Guignol play discovers a string of murders on set in Murders in the Rue Morgue (1971).

Family

Louis Arkoff
Son
Producer.
Donna Arkoff Roth
Daughter
Producer. Married to executive and director Joe Roth.
Joe Roth
Son-In-Law
Executive, director.

Companions

Hilda Rusoff
Wife
Sculptor. Born in Winnipeg, Canada; married to Arkoff from 1945 until her death on July 26, 2001.

Bibliography

"Flying Through Hollywood by the Seat of My Pants"
Samuel Z. Arkoff with Richard Trubo (1992)

Notes

In 1990, Arkoff announced his return to film production, with plans to remake "Machine Gun Kelly" and "The Man With X-Ray Eyes." In 1993, he was planning auditions for a remake of "I Was a Teenage Werewolf".

He is the international vice president of the Variety Clubs International (1973- )

He has served as the vice president of the Permanent Charities Committee.

Arkoff has served as a member of the board of trustees of Loyola Marymount University.

He received the Commendatore of the Order of Merit by the President of the Republic of Italy in 1970.