Friday, April 6, 2012
Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011, Alex Stapleton)
I can't remember when I first heard of Roger Corman. I had seen the name and probably identified it with his old black and white monster pictures. It wasn't until I got into horror movies and then exploitation movies that I noticed his name repeatedly popping up. This wasn't just one little niche of films all being produced by the same guy either. It was horror, action, sci-fi, sexploitation, WIP films, biker films, comedies, etc. Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, just released by Anchor Bay Entertainment, perfectly demonstrates the wide range of films he was responsible for and also how important and influential he was on modern day independent cinema...and even today's blockbusters.
Director Alex Stapleton follows Corman's career from his meager start to his current day productions for the SyFy channel. What's in between though is where the film excels. Just how many famous careers he started in the film business is discussed as is his knack for making his budgets as low as possible to guarantee not to lose money. We see in depth interviews from big names like Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Peter Bogdanovich and Robert DeNiro as well as lesser known directors and actors, most of whom have worked for Corman in the past.
Corman's World is a touching tribute to one of the most important (and underrated) film makers of all time. Influencing so many genres of modern cinema, it is great to see him finally getting the recognition he deserves. Corman's World is a great mixture of interviews with Corman himself, his wife and fellow producer Julie Corman, various directors and actors who have worked with him and some modern day film makers who found inspiration in his work. Besides the big names listed above, we also get input from Pam Grier, Eli Roth, Jonathan Demme, Gale Anne Hurd, Joe Dante, Allan Arkush, Dick Miller, Bruce Dern, William Shatner and more. We also get lots of footage from Corman's films including The Intruder, The Big Bird Cage, Piranha, Dinoshark, his various Edgar Allen Poe films and many more. Included as bonus features on both the DVD and Blu Ray are trailers, extended interviews and personal messages from the folks interviewed to Roger Corman.