PM Entertainment

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PM Entertainment
PM Entertainment Group Inc.
TypeCorporation
IndustryMotion pictures
PredecessorCity Lights Entertainment (1986-1990)
Founded1989
Defunct2002
FateAssets acquired by Echo Bridge Entertainment
SuccessorEcho Bridge Home Entertainment
Headquarters
Key people
Joseph Merhi
Richard Pepin
George Shamieh
ProductsMotion Pictures
Television Production
OwnerIndependent (1989–2000)
The Harvey Entertainment Group (2000–2002)
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment (2002–present)

PM Entertainment Group Inc. was an American independent production, distribution company which produced a distinctive line of low-to-medium budget films mostly targeted for home-video market. The company diversified into television production and larger budgeted star vehicles before being sold by its founders in 2000.

History[edit]

City Lights Entertainment (1986–1990)[edit]

In 1986, Joseph Toufik Merhi and Richard Joseph Pepin, indie film directors and producers, founded the production company City Lights Entertainment with Ronald L. Gilchrist for their first movies, the comedy Hollywood In Trouble and slasher film Mayhem.[1] The films were successful and caught the VHS Direct-to-video boom beginning in the mid-late 80s.

However, in 1989, the relationship between Pepin/ Merhi and Gilchrist turned sour and their partnership was dissolved with Gilchrist and City Lights keeping the rights to the films already produced or in production.[2] The last films released by City Lights were Payback and Contra Conspiracy in 1990.[3][4] City Lights Entertainment produced eleven films from 1986 to 1990.[5]

PM Entertainment Group Inc. (1989–2000)[edit]

Around 1989, after splitting from Ronald Gilchrist, Richard (Rick) Pepin and Joseph Merhi started PM Entertainment (PM Entertainment from surnames Pepin-Merhi). Based on the successful formula pioneered at City Lights Entertainment, PM Entertainment entered into an exclusive distribution contract with HBO and George Shamieh joined as the third partner and head of sales.[6] The first film produced by PM Entertainment was L.A. Heat directed by Merhi and starring Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and Jim Brown. The film was quickly followed by two sequels, L.A. Vice (1989) and Chance (1990) with Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs reprising his role as Jon Chance. He also directed Angels of the City in 1989 and cameos as Jon Chance, but the film's plot is not a sequel to L.A. Heat.

The company began bringing together a company of actors and directors to work over multiple projects, including Wings Hauser, who directed and starred in three films for the company in the early 90s,[7] and Jeff Conaway, who starred in three films and directed Bikini Summer II.[8]

Although the company focused primarily on the action market and exploitation films, they attempted to diversify into children's films (Magic Kid and Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter) and dramas (Cellblock Sisters: Banished Behind Bars) with limited success. During the '90s, PM Entertainment had success within the kickboxing and martial arts genre and championed Cynthia Rothrock and Don "The Dragon" Wilson in multiple film projects.

In 1996, PM Entertainment diversified into television production with L.A. Heat (TV series). The tv series is largely unrelated their earlier film, L.A. Heat and neither Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs nor his character, Det. Jon Chance, appear in the show. Instead, it focuses on Chester "Chase" McDonald (Wolf Larson) and Detective August Brooks (Steven Williams), two Los Angeles police detectives investigating robbery/homicides. The series aired on TNT for two seasons beginning March 15, 1999.

A second tv series, Hollywood Safari, which acted as a continuation of PM Entertainment's 1997 film of the same name and starred Sam J. Jones and Ted Jan Roberts, ran for one season before its cancellation.

In 1997, PM Entertainment decided that they wanted to double its own facilities on Sun Valley, in order to move to a nearly 15-acre site.[9]

The Harvey Entertainment Group. (2000–2002)[edit]

PM Entertainment's business model changed in the late '90s to accommodate distributors' requirement that films hire bankable names for projects and they began making films such as Inferno with Jean-Claude van Damme which greatly affected their profit margin. Joseph Merhi and Richard Pepin sold the company to The Harvey Entertainment Group in early 2000 $6.5 million in cash and a further $1.45 million in stock.[10] George Shamieh remained as head of the company under the new owners.[11] The company continued to produce star vehicles such as Layover with David Hasselhoff and Camouflage with Leslie Nielsen, however Shamieh departed the company in late 2000 due to financial restructuring of The Harvey Entertainment Group.[12]

CineTel Films was brought in to market the library of PM Entertainment and sell rights for up coming productions Con Express and Tunnel with Daniel Baldwin.[12] These would be the last films produced under the PM Entertainment banner. Facing liquidation, in 2001, The Harvey Entertainment Group sold off its assets, excluding PM Entertainment, to Classic Media, although PM Entertainment remains in the hands of Harvey chief Roger Burlage,[13] which later placed the company up for sale,[14] and two years later, the company sold PM Entertainment and its library of over 150 films and 2 TV series to Echo Bridge Entertainment, who also acquired the assets of CineTel Films.[15]

Films[edit]

Release date Title Notes
1989 L.A. Heat starring Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Midnight Warrior starring Kevin Bernhardt
Shotgun starring Rif Hutton
Deadly Breed
Angels of the City Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs cameos as Jon Chance from L.A. Heat
L.A. Vice sequel to L.A. Heat
East L.A. Warriors
1990 Sinners
Coldfire starring and directed by Wings Hauser
Chance sequel to L.A. Heat and L.A. Vice
Final appearance of Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as Jon Chance.
Night of the Wilding starring Erik Estrada
American Born
Living to Die starring and directed by Wings Hauser
Repo Jake starring Dan Haggerty
1991 The Killers Edge starring Wings Hauser, Karen Black and Robert Z'Dar
The Killing Zone
The Art of Dying starring and directed by Wings Hauser
Quiet Fire starring and directed by Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs
Ring of Fire starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson
A Time to Die starring Traci Lords
Bikini Summer
1992 The Last Riders starring Erik Estrada
Final Impact (film) starring Lorenzo Lamas
Deadly Bet starring Jeff Wincott
Maximum Force starring Sam J. Jones
Street Crimes
CIA Code Name: Alexa starring Kathleen Kinmont, Lorenzo Lamas and O. J. Simpson
Intent to Kill starring Traci Lords and Yaphet Kotto
Out for Blood starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson
Bikini Summer II sequel to Bikini Summer
1993 Alien Intruder starring Billy Dee Williams, Jeff Conaway and Maxwell Caulfield
Ring of Fire II: Blood and Steel sequel to Ring of Fire
Fist of Honor starring Sam J. Jones
Magic Kid
To Be The Best
Sunset Strip starring Jeff Conaway
Private Wars starring Steve Railsback
Firepower starring Gary Daniels
Amore! starring Jack Scalia and Kathy Ireland
CIA II: Target Alexa sequel to CIA Code Name: Alexa
No Escape, No Return starring Maxwell Caulfield and Dustin Nguyen
1994 Storybook
Magic Kid II
Direct Hit starring William Forsythe
Forced to Kill starring Michael Ironside
CyberTracker starring Don "The Dragon" Wilson
Zero Tolerance starring Robert Patrick
Ice starring Traci Lords
Deadly Target starring Gary Daniels
A Dangerous Place starring Ted Jan Roberts and Corey Feldman
Guardian Angel starring Cynthia Rothrock
T-Force starring Jack Scalia
Ring of Fire III: Lion Strike sequel to Ring of Fire and Ring of Fire II: Blood and Steel
1995 Forbidden Games
Steel Frontier starring Joe Lara, Bo Svenson, Brion James and Kane Hodder
Bigfoot: The Unforgettable Encounter starring Matt McCoy and Zachery Ty Bryan
Hologram Man starring Joe Lara
The Knickerbocker Gang: The Talking Grave
The Power Within starring Ted Jan Roberts and William Zabka
To the Limit starring Anna Nicole Smith, sequel to DaVinci's War
Last Man Standing starring Jeff Wincott
Rage starring Gary Daniels
Cyber Tracker 2 sequel to CyberTracker
Caged Hearts
Cellblock Sisters: Banished Behind Bars
Sinful Intrigue
Two Bits & Pepper starring Joe Piscopo
Under Lock and Key
1996 The Sweeper starring Jeff Fahey
Skyscraper starring Anna Nicole Smith
Tiger Heart starring Ted Jan Roberts
The Silencers starring Jack Scalia
Sword of Honor starring Steven Vincent Leigh
Pure Danger starring and directed by C. Thomas Howell
Dark Breed starring Jack Scalia
My Uncle the Alien
Riot starring Gary Daniels
Natural Enemy starring Donald Sutherland
Stormy Nights starring Shannon Tweed
Earth Minus Zero starring Pat Morita and Sam J. Jones
1997 The Big Fall starring and directed by C. Thomas Howell
Busted starring Corey Feldman, Corey Haim and Elliott Gould
Little Bigfoot starring P.J. Soles
Executive Target starring Michael Madsen, Roy Schieder, Keith David and Angie Everhart
Hollywood Safari starring John Savage, Ted Jan Roberts and Don "The Dragon" Wilson
Catherine's Grove starring Jeff Fahey
Dinner at Fred's
Safehouse starring Dennis Hopper, Peter Coyote and Chris Sarandon
The Underground starring Jeff Fahey
Bikini Summer III: South Beach Heat sequel to Bikini Summer and Bikini Summer II
Heaven Before I Die starring Giancarlo Giannini and Omar Sharif
Dumb Luck in Vegas
1998 Recoil starring Gary Daniels
The Sender starring Michael Madsen and Robert Vaughn
The Lake starring Yasmine Bleeth
Little Bigfoot 2: The Journey Home sequel to Little Bigfoot
Buck and the Magic Bracelet starring Matt McCoy
Wilbur Falls starring Sally Kirkland
Land of the Free starring Jeff Speakman and William Shatner
Extramarital starring Traci Lords and Jeff Fahey
Anna Nicole Smith: Exposed documentary starring Anna Nicole Smith
Welcome to Hollywood mockumentary directed by Adam Rifkin
Renegade Force aka Counterforce and Rogue Force
Malaika
The Gardener aka Garden of Evil starring Malcolm McDowell
Sand Trap unofficial remake of Inferno
1999 When Justice Fails starring Jeff Fahey
Can't Stop Dancing starring Janeane Garofalo
The Long Kill starring Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson
Running Red starring Jeff Speakman and Angie Everhart
Clubland starring Lori Petty, directed by Mary Lambert
Undercover Angel starring Yasmine Bleeth
No Tomorrow starring Gary Busey, Pam Grier and Gary Daniels
Inferno starring Jean-Claude van Damme, Danny Trejo and Pat Morita
Avalanche starring Thomas Ian Griffith, R. Lee Ermey and C. Thomas Howell
Y2K starring Louis Gossett Jr., Sarah Chalke and Malcolm McDowell
2000 The Spring starring Kyle MacLachlan
The Stray starring Michael Madsen and Angie Everhart
The Chaos Factor starring Fred Ward, R. Lee Ermey, and Kelly Rutherford
Hot Boyz aka Gang Law
Epicenter starring Gary Daniels, Traci Lords and Jeff Fahey
Final film produced by Richard Pepin and Joseph Merhi for PM Entertainment
Jailbait
High Noon starring Tom Skerritt
Little Heroes 2 sequel to Little Heroes
Backyard Dogs starring Bree Turner
2001 Camouflage starring Leslie Nielsen
The Elite starring Jurgen Prochnow
Firetrap starring Dean Cain and Lori Petty
Layover starring David Hasselhoff
2002 Con Express starring Arnold Vosloo
Tunnel starring Daniel Baldwin

Television programs[edit]

Title Original run Network Notes
L.A. Heat 1996–1999 TNT starring Wolf Larson and Steven Williams
Hollywood Safari 1998 Animal Planet starring Ted Jan Roberts and Sam J. Jones

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joseph Merhi". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  2. ^ "An oral history of PM Entertainment, a low-budget high-octane American dream". hopesandfears.com. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  3. ^ "Release Date for Payback". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  4. ^ "Release Date for Contra Conspiracy". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  5. ^ "Company Credits for City Lights Entertainment Group". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  6. ^ "An oral history of PM Entertainment, a low-budget high-octane American dream". hopesandfears.com. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  7. ^ "Feature Film/TV Episode/Video/TV Movie/TV Special/TV Mini-Series/Documentary/Video Game/Short Film, with Joseph Merhi, Wings Hauser". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  8. ^ "Feature Film/TV Episode/Video/TV Movie/TV Special/TV Mini-Series/Documentary/Video Game/Short Film, with Joseph Merhi, Jeff Conaway". IMDb. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  9. ^ "PM Ent. spreads out in Sun Valley". Variety. 1997-09-04. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  10. ^ "Harvey Goes PM". awn.com. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  11. ^ "Harvey Entertainment completes acquisition of PM". Screen International. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  12. ^ a b "Cinetel to o'see library of Harvey subsid PM". Variety. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  13. ^ DiOrio, Carl (2001-05-10). "Harvey sale a Classic". Variety. Retrieved 2021-12-25.
  14. ^ "Harvey Entertainment Is Facing Liquidity Shortfall in Next Year". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2020-12-01.
  15. ^ Kay, Jeremy (2004-02-12). "Echo Bridge to launch at AFM, armed with PM library and 94 CineTel titles". Screen. Retrieved 2021-12-25.

External links[edit]