The Best of Crown International

Formed in 1959, Crown International is one of the longest-standing American genre independents in the game (only Lloyd Kaufman's Troma comes close to matching the company's longevity).

During the mid-1970s, Crown was indubitably the King of the drive-in, scoring surprisingly large hits with teen-aimed fluff such as THE POM POM GIRLS and distributing many a z-flick unclassic (Jamaa Fanaka's WELCOME HOME, BROTHER CHARLES and the incomparably bizarre PICK-UP among them). While Cannon, New World, Atlantic, Empire and Film Ventures all went to the wall by the late-'80s and the likes of New Line and AIP sold out their interests to the highest bidder, Crown trundled on oblivious.

Today, the company seemingly solely survives off its extensive back-catalogue, having not produced and/or distributed any new product since 1994 (aside from the instantly forgettable MALIBU SPRING BREAK in 2003). Thankfully, the advent of the digital home entertainment market has meant that most of the studio's movies are now widely available - more often than not OAR and in good nick.

Anyway, in no particular order, here's my pick of the Crown jewels...

  • Pick-up

    1

  • Don't Answer the Phone!

    2

  • Best Friends

    3

  • The Kidnapping Of The President

    4

  • The Van

    5

  • Budo: The Art of Killing

    6

  • Malibu High

    7

  • Death Machines

    8

  • Sextette

    9

  • Blue Money

    10

  • Death Riders

    11

  • Stanley

    12

  • French Quarter

    13

  • Van Nuys Blvd.

    14

  • Welcome Home Brother Charles

    15

  • The Hearse

    16

  • Terror

    17

  • The Last Chase

    18

  • The Pom Pom Girls

    19

  • Double Exposure

    20

  • Dracula's Dog

    21

  • The Beach Girls

    22

  • Satan's Slave

    23

  • Malibu Beach

    24

  • The Babysitter

    25

  • The Crater Lake Monster

    26

  • Trip with the Teacher

    27

  • The Young Graduates

    28

  • Galaxina

    29

  • Pink Angels

    30

10 Comments

  • Oh man - Galaxina! That takes me back... I think I may have even had that poster (or a mini version of it) on my bedroom wall, much to my mother's chagrin.

  • Yeah, GALAXINA isn't my favourite Crown moment, TBH. It's a film I've always wanted to like more than I do, but some of the attempts at 'humour' are just cringe-worthy. But as you've noted, it remains one of their more memorable movies, mainly due to the the Dorothy Stratten connection, Dean Cundey's cinematography and the wonderfully kitsch production design.

  • I don't think I've ever seen it, Dave, I just really remember the poster.

  • Dracula's Dog is the only one on here I've definitely seen. Might have seen Don't Answer The Phone too, but don't really remember.

  • If you're in the mood for some VERY '70s b-movie nonsense, Tobes, I'd recommend PICK-UP and THE VAN. Be sure to switch your brain off first, though...

  • Despite not being a big Crown fan, I still appreciate seeing a list like this made. However, I'm even more pleased to see those that I DID like appear here (Such as PICK-UP,DEATH MACHINES,BLUE MONEY and TRIP/TEACHER) I'd say that POLICEWOMEN is my most favorite (It's very reminiscent of an AIP film)

  • some classic stuff here. I own quite a few of the Exploitation Cinema/Welcome to the Grindhouse and cult-classic editions.

  • I love Stanley.

  • I tried watching Blue Money a few weeks ago and I made it about 20-30 minutes in and just couldn't take it anymore.

  • @James - they are not all winners sir.

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