By Brian Albright
Fans of low-budget-film director Al Adamson can now view a number of his mind-boggling exploitation films for free on YouTube via the IIPAlAdamsonMania channel recently established by Adamson’s friend and producer Sam Sherman. The head of Independent-International Pictures, Sherman has made a package of 35 features and their trailers available on the channel.
Of particular interest to horror fans are Adamson’s DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN (1971), HORROR OF THE BLOOD MONSTERS (1970), and PSYCHO A GO-GO (and its later incarnation, BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR, 1972), as well as Gerardo de Leon’s TERROR IS A MAN (1959), TERROR OF FRANKENSTEIN (1977), John Russo’s rural cult thriller MIDNIGHT (1982), the New Orleans oddity BLOOD OF THE ZOMBIE (1961), the Christopher Lee-narrated documentary IN SEARCH OF DRACULA (1975) and the Paul Naschy flick FRANKENSTEIN'S BLOODY TERROR (LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO, 1968). Sherman has been offering some of his titles via on-line pay services like Netflix for several years, but wanted to provide a free platform for fans.
“I’m a Web junkie myself, and I don’t like to pay for anything on the Internet,” Sherman tells Fango. “When YouTube came up with this channel model, I said, ‘That’s fine with me.’ Why should I be a hypocrite and say I’m going to use other people’s content, but you can’t have mine?”
IIP joins a handful of other studios—including Lionsgate, MGM and Sony (through its Crackle channel)—offering full-length features for free via YouTube (the films are sponsored and include brief commercials). “We’re all there on equal terms, which is great,” Sherman says. “It’s putting a kind of fair play back into the industry that’s been missing for a number of years.”
As for the non-horror titles on IIP’s channel, Adamson completists can view the late director's MEAN MOTHER, THE DYNAMITE BROTHERS, HELL’S BLOODY DEVILS and FIVE BLOODY GRAVES. Sherman has also included a number of other films from the IIP library, including several war and action flicks from the Philippines (WALLS OF HELL, RAIDERS OF LEYTE GULF), foreign exploitation fare and dramas such as THE ALFRED NOBEL STORY and HOUSE OF INTRIGUE, which Sherman says hasn’t been seen in the U.S. since it was originally released in 1959.
And there should be more to come. “This is something I believe has great potential,” Sherman says. “I want to build on it and add more films. I’ve put these films up to see what they will do and how the commercial utilization works.”
In addition to building the YouTube channel, Sherman is still collaborating with Russo on the long-aborning zombie feature ESCAPE OF THE LIVING DEAD. He’s also teaming with actor Daniel Roebuck and filmmaker/writer Sam Borowski on a biopic about Adamson and IIP, tentatively titled MURDER A GO-GO. We’ll keep you posted on those projects.