Born in Hollywood on July 25, 1929, director Al Adamson grew up in southern California as the son of western actor and director Victor Adamson (aka Denver Dixon). His first foray into filmmaking came by way of his father, who was directing the low-budget western Half Way to Hell (1961); Al Adamson, billed as Rick Adams, acted in the film, which was shot in Mexico and Utah. In 1965, he produced and directed his first film, Psycho a-Go-Go (1965; with Tacey Robbins) in which Adamson also has a small role. With some assistance from his sometime producing partner, Sam Sherman, Adamson eventually repackaged Psycho a Go-Go as Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972; with Tommy Kirk and Regina Carrol), splicing in newly shot footage using the talents of John Carradine, Kent Taylor, Tommy Kirk, and actress/singer Regina Carrol. Adamson partnered with Sam Sherman, the two creating Independent International Pictures in the late 1960s. His next release, Satan's Sadists (1969; with Russ Tamblyn, Scott Brady, and Regina Carrol), was an exploitation film to cash in on the biker craze and performed well at the box office. His follow-up release was Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969; with Alexander D'Arcy and Paula Raymond), which had been shot three years beforehand.

Regina CarrolRegina CarrolAl Adamson and Zandor Vorkov

LEFT and CENTER: Shots of actress Regina Carrol. Adamson and Carrol began a romance in the late 1960s, and the director cast Carrol in many of this subsequent films. The couple married in 1972. RIGHT: Behind-the-scenes photo of Al Adamson and Zandor Vorkov (aka Roger Engel) while shooting Dracula vs. Frankenstein in 1970

Although he is remembered today as a horror director, in truth Al Adamson only made a handful of horror films following Blood of Dracula's Castle, which include Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970; with John Carradine and Robert Dix), Brain of Blood (1971; with Grant Williams and Regina Carrol), Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971; with Anthony Eisley and Regina Carrol), and Doctor Dracula (1978; with John Carradine and Regina Carrol). Following trends in the exploitation market, Adamson branched out into sexploitation films such as Blazing Stewardesses (1975; with Yvonne De Carlo and Regina Carrol) and The Naughty Stewardesses (1975; with Marilyn Joi), as well as blaxploitation flicks including Dynamite Brothers (1974; with Timothy Brown, Aldo Ray, and Carol Speed) and Black Heat (1976; with Timothy Brown and Russ Tamblyn).

the films of al adamson

Half Way to Hell (1961)

Lyle Felice and Al AdamsonLyle Felice and Al Adamson

Al Adamson (center, wearing a hat) acted in the western Half Way to Hell, a film he also helped script. It was directed by his father, Victor Adamson

Psycho a Go-Go (1965)

Tacey RobbinsTacey Robbins

From Adamson's crime drama Psycho a Go-Go. LEFT and RIGHT: Pop singer Tacey Robbins (aka Joan Murray) stars as pop singer Linda Clarke

Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969)

Paula RaymondAlexander D'Arcy and Paula RaymondVicki Volante and John Carradine

Images from Al Adamson's horror favorite Blood of Dracula's Castle. This film was shot in the summer of 1966 but was not released until October 1969. LEFT: Paula Raymond as the Countess, a vampire. CENTER: Alexander D'Arcy and Paula Raymond are exposed as vampires at the end of the film. RIGHT: With Vicki Volante and John Carradine

Satan's Sadists (1969)

Scott BradyRuss Tamblyn

From Adamson's biker film Satan's Sadists, scripted by Greydon Clark. LEFT; With Kent Taylor and Scott Brady. RIGHT: Russ Tamblyn stars as Anchor, head of a vicious biker gang

Hell's Bloody Devils (1970)

Broderick Crawford

Broderick Crawford starred in Adamson's biker flick Hell's Bloody Devils

Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970)

Al Adamson

Al Adamson (fourth from left) appears as a vampire in an early sequence of Horror of the Blood Monsters. Part of this film is borrowed from a 1965 adventure film titled Tagani

Dracula Vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Lon Chaney Jr.J. Carrol Naish, John Bloom, and Zandor VorkovRegina CarrolZandor Vorkov and Regina Carrol

LEFT: Lon Chaney Jr. passed away not long after his performance as Groton in Adamson's Dracula Vs. Frankenstein, Chaney's last film. CENTER A: With J. Carrol Naish as Dr. Frankenstein, John Bloom as the monster, and Zandor Vorkov as Dracula. This was also Naish's last film. CENTER B: Regina Carrol is searching for her lost sister. RIGHT: Near the end of the film with Zandor Vorkov and Regina Carrol

Brain of Blood (1971)

Grant Williams, John Bloom, and Kent TaylorGrant WilliamsRegina Carrol and Grant Williams

From Adamson's horror flick Brain of Blood. LEFT: Grant Williams (in his final film) and Kent Taylor try to fend off Gor (John Bloom). CENTER: Grant Williams tends to one of Gor's victims. RIGHT: With Regina Carrol and Grant Williams

The Female Bunch (1971)

Jennifer Bishop

With Jennifer Bishop in Adamson's fun crime drama The Female Bunch

Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972)

Regina CarrolRegina Carrol

From Adamson's horror film Blood of Ghastly Horror, which contains much footage from Psycho a Go-Go. LEFT: Regina Carrol, as Susan Vanard, is menaced by one of Kent Taylor's human experiments

Blazing Stewardesses (1975)

Marilyn Joi, Jerry Mills, and Connie Hoffman

With Marilyn Joi, Jerry Mills, and Connie Hoffman in Al Adamson's sex comedy romp Blazing Stewardesses

Cinderella 2000 (1977)

Catharine Burgess

Catharine Burgess stars in Adamson's science fiction effort Cinderella 2000

later years

Al Adamson wrapped his film career with the release of Lost (1983; with Sandra Dee), probably his best effort. Afterward, Carrol and Adamson, who owned homes in various locales, traveled extensively until Carrol's health deteriorated. After a long struggle with cancer, she passed away on November 4, 1992 at age 49. Less than three years later, Al Adamson died at age 66 on June 20, 1995, when he was murdered by live-in contractor Fred Fulford in his Indio, California home. Fulford buried Adamson's body underneath four tons of concrete and was caught in Florida in August 1995 while on the run. Adamson was survived by his brother and two sisters.

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Lost (1983) with Sandra Dee, Gary Kent, Jack Elam, Ken Curtis, and William Kerwin
Carnival Magic (1981) with Don Stewart and Regina Carrol
Nurse Sherri (1978) with Geoffrey Land, Jill Jacobson, and Marilyn Joi
Death Dimension (1978) with Jim Kelly, Harold Sakata, George Lazenby, Terry Moore, Aldo Ray, and Bob Minor
Sunset Cove (1978) with John Carradine
Doctor Dracula (1978) with John Carradine, Don 'Red' Barry, Larry Hankin, Regina Carrol, and Paul Thomas
Cinderella 2000 (1977) with Vaughn Armstrong and Renee Harmon
Black Samurai (1977) with Jim Kelly, Marilyn Joi, and Felix Silla
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1976) with Herbert Lom
Black Heat (1976) with Timothy Brown, Russ Tamblyn, and Regina Carrol
Blazing Stewardesses (1975) with Yvonne De Carlo, Robert Livingston, Don 'Red' Barry, Regina Carrol, Marilyn Joi, Harry Ritz, and Jimmy Ritz
Jessi's Girls (1975) with Sondra Currie, Regina Carrol, Joe Cortese, and Rod Cameron
The Naughty Stewardesses (1975) with Robert Livingston and Marilyn Joi
I Spit on Your Corpse (1974) with Georgina Spelvin, Preston Pierce, Kent Taylor, Robert Livingston, Tallie Cochrane, Patrick Wright, and Gary Graver
Mean Mother (1974) with Dobie Gray, Luciana Paluzzi, Lang Jeffries, Marilyn Joi, and Albert Cole
Dynamite Brothers (1974) with Timothy Brown, Aldo Ray, James Hong, and Carol Speed
Angels' Wild Women (1972) with Ross Hagen, Kent Taylor, Preston Pierce, Regina Carrol, Vicki Volante, Albert Cole, and Claire Polan
Blood of Ghastly Horror (1972) with John Carradine, Kent Taylor, Tommy Kirk, Regina Carrol, and Tacey Robbins
Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971) with J. Carrol Naish, Lon Chaney Jr., Zandor Vorkov, Anthony Eisley, Regina Carrol, Russ Tamblyn, Jim Davis, Angelo Rossitto, Greydon Clark, Forrest J Ackerman, Albert Cole, and Gary Kent
The Female Bunch (1971) with Lon Chaney Jr., Russ Tamblyn, Jennifer Bishop, Leslie McRay, Regina Carrol, and Albert Cole
Brain of Blood (1971) with Grant Williams, Kent Taylor, John Bloom, Regina Carrol, Vicki Volante, Angelo Rossitto, Reed Hadley, and Zandor Vorkov
Five Bloody Graves (1970) with Robert Dix, Scott Brady, Jim Davis, John Carradine, Paula Raymond, John 'Bud' Cardos, and Vicki Volante
Horror of the Blood Monsters (1970) with John Carradine, Robert Dix, Vicki Volante, and Jennifer Bishop
Hell's Bloody Devils (1970) with Broderick Crawford, Scott Brady, Kent Taylor, Keith Andes, John Carradine, John Gabriel, Vicki Volante, Jack Starrett, and Robert Dix
Shock Treatment (1969)
Satan's Sadists (1969) with Russ Tamblyn, Scott Brady, John 'Bud' Cardos, Robert Dix, Gary Kent, Greydon Clark, Kent Taylor, Regina Carrol, and Jacqueline Cole
Blood of Dracula's Castle (1969) with John Carradine, Paula Raymond, Alexander D'Arcy, Robert Dix, Jennifer Bishop, Vicki Volante, and John 'Bud' Cardos
Psycho a Go-Go (1965) with Tacey Robbins
Half Way to Hell (1961) with Lyle Felice and Al Adamson

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Watch the trailer for Al Adamson's 1971 horror flick Dracula vs. Frankenstein
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This page premiered October 10, 2014.