Tigon British Film Productions

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Tigon British Film Productions or Tigon was a film production and distribution company, founded by Tony Tenser in 1966.


It is best remembered for its horror films, particularly Witchfinder General (directed by Michael Reeves, 1968) and The Blood on Satan's Claw (directed by Piers Haggard, 1971). [1] Other Tigon films include The Creeping Flesh , The Sorcerers and Doomwatch (1972), based on the TV series of the same name. [2]


Tigon was based at Hammer House in Wardour Street, London, and released a wide range of films from sexploitation ( Zeta One ), to an acclaimed television adaptation of August Strindberg's Miss Julie (1972) starring Helen Mirren. [3] [4] The largest part of its output, however, was made up by low-budget horror films in direct competition for audiences with Hammer Film Productions and Amicus Productions.

In February 2005, a DVD box set of Tigon films was released by Anchor BayUK. The box set contains only Witchfinder General , The Body Stealers , The Haunted House of Horror , The Blood on Satan's Claw , The Beast in the Cellar , and Virgin Witch , and consists of UK rather than US prints, in Region 2 – PAL format. Providing an audio commentary on a number of the films, as well as writing the productions notes, was the author and film critic John Hamilton. [5]

The same year, FAB press in the UK published John Hamilton's biography of Tony Tenser, a comprehensive look at the career of Tigon's founder and the man dubbed "the Godfather of British Exploitation". [6] Hamilton had access to production files, diaries and personal correspondence, as well as recording a number of exclusive interviews with the likes of Vernon Sewell, Michael Armstrong, Christopher Lee, Ian Ogilvy and Peter Sasdy. He also recorded over 18 hours of interviews with Tony Tenser himself, all of which went to create an in-depth look not only at the making of the films but the machinations involved with running a film company. The book was critically acclaimed in a number of newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times and The Independent , as well as Film Review and SPFX (the latter dubbed it the "best single volume history ever written on British horror").

Hamilton has gone on to write a number of articles on Tigon film productions, published in magazines like The Darkside, Shivers and Little Shoppe of Horrors; in 2015, Hemlock Books published Tigon: Blood on a Budget, the author's look at the studio's horror and fantasy movies. [7]


Further reading

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<i>Witchfinder General</i> (film) 1968 British period horror film by Michael Reeves

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The Blood Beast Terror is a 1968 British horror film directed by Vernon Sewell and starring Peter Cushing, Robert Flemyng and Wanda Ventham, released by Tigon in February 1968. In the United States it was released by Pacemaker Pictures on a double-bill with Slaughter of the Vampires under the title The Vampire Beast Craves Blood. The film is also known as Blood Beast From Hell and Deathshead Vampire. The budget was circa £40,000 and this was the first film to be made under the Tigon British Film Productions banner. The Sorcerers (1967), made by the company under the corporate name of Tony Tenser Films Ltd was later rebranded Tigon.

<i>The Blood on Satans Claw</i> 1971 film

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  1. "BFI Screenonline: Film Studios and Industry Bodies > Tigon British Film Productions". www.screenonline.org.uk.
  2. "Tigon British Productions Ltd". BFI. Archived from the original on 4 July 2016.
  3. "Zeta One (Blu-ray) Salvation/Kino Lorber". www.dvddrive-in.com.
  4. "Miss Julie (1972)". BFI. Archived from the original on 22 November 2018.
  5. "The Tigon Collection Review". Film @ The Digital Fix. 18 February 2005.
  6. Hamilton, John (5 March 2019). Beasts in the cellar: the exploitation film career of Tony Tenser. FAB Press. OCLC   61849205.
  7. "Hemlock Books". www.hemlockbooks.co.uk.