By MICHAEL GINGOLD
With indoor movie houses shut down across the nation, drive-in theaters are the only venues still operating. Now, veteran producer/distributor Sam Sherman, who kept the drive-ins well-stocked with horror and other genre fare from the ’60s through the ’80s via his Independent-International Pictures Corporation, is bringing some of his classic titles back to them.
To reissue newly restored flicks from his B-movie catalog in their natural habitat, Sherman is teaming with longtime exploitation distributor Mel Maron, former AMC programmer David Sehring of Drive-In-Sanity Films, DVDdrive-in.com’s George Reis and Severin Films’ David Gregory, who oversaw the restorations and directed BLOOD & FLESH: THE REEL LIFE AND GHASTLY DEATH OF AL ADAMSON, the new documentary about I-I’s stalwart director. Sherman will kick off a nationwide road show with his most famous production, DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN, at Dickson City, PA’s Circle Drive-In on May 26. This fall, Reis, who produces the semi-annual Super Monsterama Show at Vandergrift, PA’s Riverside Drive-In in, will showcase Sherman’s Hemisphere horror titles, including the popular BLOOD ISLAND franchise. More shows will be announced as we get deeper into the drive-in season.
Sherman, who came up with numerous fun and imaginative promotional gimmicks for his movies (like “The Oath of Green Blood” for MAD DOCTOR OF BLOOD ISLAND), will be providing drive-in owners with marketing ideas, nostalgia gimmicks, limited-edition souvenirs and guest appearances. “As an exploitation pioneer, I know how to recapture the magic and campy fun my films brought to drive-ins during their heyday with good old-fashioned ballyhoo and showmanship—something that has been missing for years in the film business,” Sherman says. “I think kids and their folks will get a big kick out of seeing something you rarely see today.”
Sherman is currently wrapping up WHEN DRACULA MET FRANKENSTEIN, his memoir of his long career in the drive-in-movie trenches. Drive-in owners interested in booking his Independent-International flicks can contact Sehring at firstname.lastname@example.org.