Saturday, November 3, 2007

No. 31 - Sunn International Classics

Sunn International Classics specialized in documentaries about uncanny and mysterious subjects. Their first hit was the film version of Chariots of the Gods, which theorized that advanced civilizations from distant galaxies arrived on earth many centuries ago to help shape ancient human societies. In the 70's, public curiosity about UFO's, the occult and other unexplainable phenomena created a thriving market for Sunn's speculative documentaries.

Other big hits included In Search of Noah's Ark, The Lincoln Conspiracy, and Beyond and Back. The success of these films led to imitators, such as In Search Of... on TV, and other films such as The Late, Great Planet Earth and Outer Space Connection.

Sunn mastered the marketing tactic known as four-walling, in which theaters were rented by the week so that Sunn films could be screened "for one week only." Unlike the big studios, Sunn released films on a limited and regional basis. Their films were produced at a very low cost, and returned huge profits.

Sunn also turned out dramatic films such as Grizzly Adams, Frontier Fremont, Hangar 18 and The Boogens in the 80's.

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