Curious British Cinema Double Bills

The Hills Have Eyes & The World is full of Married Men Double Bi

Odd theatrical pairings from the golden age of the British movie double bill.

Ahh, the day of the double bill… long gone, but once a staple of British cinema, when distributors would either pair a couple of films that might not have been considered commercial enough on their own, or simple threw together a pair of films that they owned the rights to and wanted to send out on re-release. While these would often have a certain logic – two softcore sex films, two horror movies, two movies with the same star or even a box office hit and sequel – equally as often, they were random pairings of movies that made no sense at all. Some of these double bills are almost inspired in their randomness, and you have to wonder just what audiences made of it all. But then, your Reprobate editor was one of those audience members back in the day, watching such unlikely pairings as The Incredible Melting Man and Every Which Way But Loose, Stone and The Hills Have Eyes or Eaten Alive and Love in a Women’s Prison, or marvelling as an underage nipper as such tempting double bills as The Brood and Cruel Passion or Dawn of the Dead and The Great British Striptease Festival. And I can attest that audiences sat through these oddball pairings without complaint or question.

Here are posters for just a handful of the pairings that might raise eyebrows now. But honestly, don’t you wish that these double bills were still playing in cinemas rather than the unadventurous diet of bland blockbusters?

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