Born in Fort Dodge, Iowa to a Russian Jewish family, Arkoff first studied to be a lawyer. Along with business partner James H. Nicholson and producer-director Roger Corman, he produced eighteen films. In the 1950s, he and Nicholson founded the American Releasing Corporation, which later became known as American International Pictures and produced over 125 films before the company’s demise in the 1980s. These films were mostly low-budget, with production completed in a few days, though nearly all of them became profitable.
Arkoff is also credited with starting a few genres, such as the Beach Party and outlaw biker movies, and his company played a substantial part in bringing the horror film genre to a novel level with successes such as Blacula, I Was a Teenage Werewolf and The Thing with Two Heads. American International Pictures movies starred many established actors in principal or cameo roles, such as Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester and Vincent Price, as well as up-and-comers… read more