AIP pic remakes rebels with a Showtime cause

Some of the most famous drive-in movies of the ’50s are coming back — but this time you won’t need a drive-in, just cable.

Quentin Tarantino, John Milius, John McNaughton, Mary Lambert, Ralph Bakshi and other top directors have signed on to make new versions of such classic American Intl. Pictures “teenage angst” movies as “Dragstrip Girl,””Motorcycle Gang” and “Rock All Night” for an anthology series to be seen on the Showtime Network.

The films will be produced by a newly formed partnership consisting of producers Lou Arkoff, Debra Hill, David Giler and Willie Kutner.

Under terms of the deal — hammered out by Intl. Creative Management’s Bart Walker, Rick Rosen and Robert Newman — the new versions will be seen as a film anthology on Showtime in the United States, with foreign distribution rights held by Spelling Films Intl. and homevid rights by CBS/Fox Video.

According to Lou Arkoff, whose father, Sam, co-founded AIP, the remakes will have a harder edge to them than the originals — meaning more sex and violence.

“Because there’s no code system on the cable, we can push it,” Arkoff said. “If you were to remake ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ today, it would be much angrier. Because of the film standards of the ’50s, there was no way to fully explore all the levels that these movies could contain. Now, we can do that. The shows will go over the edge.”

“Because of the morality back then, you couldn’t have sexy, hot movies,” added producer Hill.

Milius, whose roots are at AIP, will direct “Motorcycle Gang,” being scripted by Kent Anderson. “Anthology shows are fun to do,” Milius said. Hill said the series is expected to go into production this fall and that all directors will have final cut of their films.

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