Fanex Files – Samuel Z. Arkoff (2008) – By Duane L. Martin

Samuel Z. Arkoff is a name known to virtually every fan of classic b-movies. Along with his partner James Nicholson, they founded the hugely successful, American International Pictures. This studio was responsible for such greats as the Edgar Allen Poe films, most of which starred Vicent Price, The Dr. Phibes films, also starring Price, the Beach Party movies, films like The Amazing Colossal Man, Invasion of the Saucer-Men, It Conquered the World, The Angry Red Planet, and so many others that it boggles the mind. Arkoff is perhaps the greatest force behind these types of films that has ever lived, and this Fanex film is all about him and the wonderful movies he gave to the world.

The Fanex Conventions were held between 1984 and 2004. They were attended by some of the biggest names in classic film, including Arkoff, Roger Corman, Christopher Lee, Kevin McCarthy, starlets from the Hammer Studios films and many, many more. These conventions were literally like a visit to Mecca for classic b-movie fans, and the stories that came out of these conventions about the films, the people involved with them and the industry as a whole are more fascinating than I could possibly describe. These Fanex videos each cover a different person or studio. This one covers Samuel Z. Arkoff, and also in this issue I have a review for one that focuses on the Hammer Studios, their stars and the films they produced.

What’s great about these videos is that they have footage of the real people behind these films telling great stories that you’d never hear anywhere else, right from the horse’s mouth. There are also cut ins from various film writers and historians delivering their own facts, footage from the films, trailer footage, stills and more. I really can’t imagine how they could have made a more interesting production. It’s sad that the conventions don’t exist anymore, and that so many of the great people who appeared at them have passed on now, but at least we have videos like this that lovingly document the wonderful stories and experiences that arose from the experience. I can’t recommend this video enough. Any classic b-movie fan will absolutely love it.

If you’d like to grab a copy for yourself, you can pick it up from Amazon here.