Empire Pictures was responsible for some of the weirdest titles released in the video-store era, turning out schlock like Troll, Trancers, Re-Animator, TerrorVision, Ghoulies, and From Beyond at an alarming rate. Many of these films have gone on to garner cult followings for their eccentricities and willingness to throw whatever popped into the filmmakers’ heads onto the screen. But what was it like to work on these films? And what’s their enduring legacy on the filmmakers of today?
That’s what an upcoming documentary is hoping to find out by speaking to many of the principals involved in making these films, not only to get the inside story on Robot Jox, but also to find out what the atmosphere was like at a mini-major studio, the likes of which probably couldn’t exist today. Ballyhoo Motion Pictures, makers of the behind-the-scenes documentaries on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 Shout! Factory DVD releases, is setting out to chronicle this strange little studio—but it needs some help in order to do it. Fans can go to Kickstarter and donate to help complete the film, which has the incredible name of Celluloid Wizards In The Video Wasteland: The Saga Of Empire Pictures. If funded, this new project will join a slew of documentaries about this specific era of film, such as Electric Boogaloo: The Wild Untold Story Of Cannon Films, Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story Of OZploitation!, and Machete Maidens Unleashed!
Below is a video that outlines what Ballyhoo is setting out to do and how much further they have to complete their vision. If you’re interested, head on over to the Kickstarter page and kick in a few coins to help bring this weird story to life. In the meantime, those curious about Empire Pictures can enjoy this excellent YouTube playlist Ballyhoo put together of trailers for some of the studio’s more epic releases.