Joined: July 21st, 2009, 9:30 pm

September 14th, 2018, 2:53 pm #21

Next theory: Merchant-Ivory killed Hammer. 



Or Mike Hammer killed Keenan Ivory-Wayans. Or something like that.
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PhantomXCI
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September 14th, 2018, 4:43 pm #22

Well, Chris Pennock (above right) sure as Hell killed DARK SHADOWS.
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Joined: July 21st, 2009, 9:30 pm

September 14th, 2018, 5:21 pm #23

Now that was a genuine LOL. Thanks.
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Kelg
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Kelg
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September 14th, 2018, 5:39 pm #24

Germany-Spain-Italy have language and other cultural barriers that would make Hollywood distribution more difficult.
But its also about what kind of films were made.
Merchant-Ivory did not make the same kind of films as Hammer or Rank etc. They weren't competition for Hollywood at all. 
It's the popular genre productions that appear to have been stifled outside of Hollywood.
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Godziwolf
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September 14th, 2018, 8:53 pm #25

Kelg wrote: Germany-Spain-Italy have language and other cultural barriers that would make Hollywood distribution more difficult.
But its also about what kind of films were made.
Merchant-Ivory did not make the same kind of films as Hammer or Rank etc. They weren't competition for Hollywood at all. 
It's the popular genre productions that appear to have been stifled outside of Hollywood.
This is what I was getting at.

Hammer made films as much for the American market as for the British one. M-I basically makes over-sized BBC dramas; it's for internal consumption where overseas sales are a bonus. But otherwise, they work similarly. Small scale studios who make genre pictures (M-I does corset-porn as much as Hammer did; just historical instead of gothic-horror) with a house look using a recurring cast of actors and maybe one or two name outsiders.

Merchant Ivory does what Hammer did, but with a different audience target in mind. Their niche replaced Hammer's.
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will
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September 14th, 2018, 10:38 pm #26

Merchant Ivory didn't grind them out like
Hammer.
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Rick
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September 15th, 2018, 12:50 am #27

We need to get Woodstein on the case.   Hammergate!
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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Wich2
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September 15th, 2018, 3:45 pm #28

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Wich2
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September 17th, 2018, 2:36 pm #29

He did it. Too much competition!

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VAMPIRITO
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Joined: January 11th, 2018, 3:38 am

Yesterday, 3:05 am #30

What a riot the picture of  Nixon as a dracula-type vampire.  If this were to develop into a more concrete article that would be the ideal cover.  Lots of learned comments posted here, some profound that demonstrate knowledge of film industry and government.  Because of timing I can not backtrack into the few sources suggestive of USA tax breaks after WWII for the USA film majors if they made a film in Europe and UK and Japan.  My sources would have to be, to repeat, random interviews and author comments here and there.  But to dig up these precise comments I would have to ransack through periodicals and books and I simply will not have the time to do that.  I did take this for granted that it would be common knowledge among Hammer fans especially.  What was a little new to me was that of Nixon eliminating such types of tax breaks and that corresponding implication that if there were such tax breaks and Nixon did eliminate them that would (sort of) answer why we (film fans) got so much movie diversities in the 60s for example and why eventually this dried out.  We can postulate that Hammer films were a result of the next step in the evolution of horror films from Universal and AIP teen films and make an assumption that James carreras and company were observant of daily Variety and trends and fads and created a product that took public appetite to the next assumed level.   So the collapse of Hammer may have been multifaceted obviously ranging from Michal Carreras  who may not have been at his best at driving the company forward.  With all credit to Michael Carreras we must not forget that his name appears as Executive Producer of many great Hammer classics going back to the late 50s and early 60s.  So that man knew his stuff  also.  If there was something 'wrong' about Hammer at the end it is also that they were the trend setters for the 60s and refused to be followers as the decade wore on. RosemaryBaby and Night of The Living Dead and The Exorcist came and went and skyrocketed the horror industry and not an eyelash moved over at Hammer.  It is not remarkable however to find that the USA would want to create all sorts of incentives to contribute to the recuperation of the bombed countries of Japan and Germany and others and after the danger zones started to clear for safety to be actively involved in tax breaks to USA major studios if they produced a film in such countries and for production output to diminish once the incentive was removed.  The war threat had been neutralized and the USA was the winner,  What better way to increase public acceptance of those countries?  By the early 70s those countries were now up and running and safely democratic and tax breaks could be eliminated.
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Joe Stemme
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Yesterday, 5:40 am #31

Godziwolf wrote:The takeaway seems to be that there is no evidence supporting the original poster's theory. What seems to have happened is three things:

1. Hollywood hit a recession in the late 60s, and funding was drying up.
2. A tax break came, went, and returned, which made domestic production cheaper, because you could carry forward last year's losses.
3. Hollywood started chasing blockbusters.
And, 4. Hammer's Films continued to not only decline in overall quality, but, their staid way of doing things put them further and further out of step with the filmgoing community. An inordinate amout of their material continued to be either straight out period pieces, or so vaguely 'modern' they might as well have been. A prime example is something like DRACULA A.D. 1972 which tried to 'bridge' the gap -- and, failed on virtually any scale. 
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Kelg
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Kelg
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Yesterday, 6:31 am #32

But the question returns. What were audiences in the UK watching when Hammer, British Lion, and Rank and other UK companies fizzled?
If they were watching Hollywood films (including those shot in England with a few British supporting actors and crew) then it represents a blockbooking kind of victory for Hollywood since it means the UK government was siding with international companies over native filmmaker and artists.
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Joined: July 21st, 2009, 9:30 pm

Yesterday, 11:29 am #33

Wich2 wrote: He did it. Too much competition!

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Enemy's List? It's... it's a menu!
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amanaplan1
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Yesterday, 12:42 pm #34

Or, in Nixon’s case, “It’s a crook book!”
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Godziwolf
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Yesterday, 2:27 pm #35

Joe Stemme wrote:
Godziwolf wrote:The takeaway seems to be that there is no evidence supporting the original poster's theory. What seems to have happened is three things:

1. Hollywood hit a recession in the late 60s, and funding was drying up.
2. A tax break came, went, and returned, which made domestic production cheaper, because you could carry forward last year's losses.
3. Hollywood started chasing blockbusters.
And, 4. Hammer's Films continued to not only decline in overall quality, but, their staid way of doing things put them further and further out of step with the filmgoing community. An inordinate amout of their material continued to be either straight out period pieces, or so vaguely 'modern' they might as well have been. A prime example is something like DRACULA A.D. 1972 which tried to 'bridge' the gap -- and, failed on virtually any scale.
How much of a role Hammer's style played depends quite strongly on when this apocryphal (and I believe, fictional) tax break went away.

In 1968, Hammer's house style was contemporary. In 1972, it was aged, but not dead. Tigon, Amicus, and AIP were still cranking out films in the same vein. Amicus/AIP would make similar types of films with similar actors (Cushing especially) until Star Wars. Arguably, De Laurentis was doing the same into the late 1980s. I think, given M-I's success with costume dramas and the success of BBC series in the same vein, it wasn't so much that the genre well was dry as Hammer had exhausted its creative fertility. Everyone who had made Hammer Hammer was pretty much gone by the end.
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Joe Stemme
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Yesterday, 2:46 pm #36

Yes, I agree it was a combination of things. As I noted, even their contemporary pictures were stale by the end. And, while AIP did still put out some period films, they also had a whole slate of more modern productions to put their feet in both ponds as it were. Ex AIP stalwart Roger Corman certainly saw the handwriting on the wall and left behind most of those period pictures in favor of WIP and other sex and violence movies. His horror and sci-fi output also veered more and more to modern settings (if fewer in number).
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amanaplan1
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Yesterday, 9:14 pm #37

It was also a time of the old guard not having a clue as to what youth wanted.  For every one EASY RIDER there were 10 self-indulgent hacks who had money thrown their way by folks hoping lightning was gonna strike.

But for sure, you could see the handwriting on the wall even by HAS RISEN ‘68.
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Rick
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Yesterday, 9:30 pm #38

Tax breaks, schmax breaks, I got no idea. But I have no problem blaming it on Nixon. Ya got any unresolved disputes, unsolved crimes, uncertain scandals lying around? Just pile 'em on Tricky Dick. He's got it coming.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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Kelg
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Kelg
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Yesterday, 9:44 pm #39

The existence of Merchant Ivory is proof that some kind of Victorian horror film could have continued at least semi-annually since no one talks about their films (there is no Facebook fan group for Remains of the Day or Howard's End- I am not surprised) yet they continued to make them. Someone was giving them money.

The decline in alternative genre film wasn't due to a lack of possible ideas and it wasn't a lack of audience (since Hollywood could not supply an endless stream of Exorcists or Star Wars anyway--too much FX work and other considerations, and  people would be seeking movie entertainment every week so there were lots of spaces to fill).
How much of an audience does a movie need to have to be successful? Why must it be an Easy Rider or a Star Wars in box office?
It was Hollywood who promoted the idea that people wanted bigger films and less variety but is it really supported by the facts?
Look at today. If we listen to the same media, then people REALLY wanted a third (or is it fourth) reboot of Halloween.

I am extremely skeptical about that.
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Rick
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Yesterday, 9:54 pm #40

Kelg wrote:The existence of Merchant Ivory is proof that some kind of Victorian horror film could have continued at least semi-annually since no one talks about their films (there is no Facebook fan group for Remains of the Day or Howard's End- I am not surprised) yet they continued to make them. Someone was giving them money.
I guess one could make interesting comparisons between Merchant-Ivory films and period horror films, but how the success of REMAINS OF THE DAY is "proof"  for a continuance of Gothic horror...there I got no idea. I don't think that necessarily translates.
Big difference between HOWARDS END and a theoretical horror film.  Maybe if the horror film was from a book by an esteemed writer and starred Anthony Hopkins, Emma Thompson, and Daniel Day-Lewis. Maybe.
“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
~ Douglas Adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
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