Roger Corman

"Though, for most of his prolific directing career, Corman churned out sci-fi, horror, westerns and teen melodramas for the drive-in crowd, inventive pragmatism and absurdist irony ensured that they were not only entertaining and to-the-point (virtually every film displayed its requisite quota of sexual intrigue, fast-paced action and violence), but surprisingly intelligent." - Geoff Andrew (The Director's Vision, 1999)

Roger Corman

Director / Producer
(1926- ) Born April 5, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Key Production Country: USA
Key Genres: Horror, Costume Horror, Gothic Film, Science Fiction, Crime Drama, Horror Comedy, Drama, Crime, Psychological Drama, Gangster Film, Alien Invasion Films, Satire
Key Collaborators: Daniel Haller (Production Designer), Dick Miller (Character Actor), Floyd Crosby (Cinematographer), Vincent Price (Leading Actor), Ronald Sinclair (Editor), Ronald Stein (Composer), Jonathan Haze (Character Actor), Charles B. Griffith (Screenwriter), Anthony Carras (Editor), Les Baxter (Composer), Charles Beaumont (Screenwriter), Richard Matheson (Screenwriter)

"A busy, prolific producer-director since the fifties, Roger Corman is best known for the cycle of stylish horror films he created in the sixties. Based largely on the tales of Edgar Allan Poe, these tightly budgeted films made vivid use of color, decor, and special effects to frighten the audience, as opposed to Tod Browning's emphasis on the grotesque nature and implicit evil of his characters… As a producer he was a valuable mentor to top rising directors such as Francis Coppola and Peter Bogdanovich, whose first films he produced." - Ted Sennett (Great Movie Directors, 1986)
"Although this American film-maker became a powerful and innovative independent producer, forever encouraging new young talent tom the American cinema, for most of us he will remain the man who directed all those tremendously enjoyable, and increasingly good 'Edgar Allan Poe' horror films of the 1960s, the inhabitants of whose coffins never rested in peace and whose heroines tottered tremulously across the CinemaScope screen, brushing aside the Pathecolor cobwebs and doing the very things liable to end them up on a slab at the mercy of some madman... At the beginning of his career, Corman quickly became known as the 'King of the Z-Movies', making exploitational subjects that abounded in black humour, had often been rushed out in less than a week in front of cardboard scenery, and almost all made money." - David Quinlan (Quinlan's Film Directors, 1999)
"Roger Corman's outstanding achievement to date is The Masque of the Red Death, but on the whole he seems much more stronger visually than dramatically. His acting is usually atrocious, and his feeling for dialogue uncertain. It is quite possible that he is miscast, like Mankiewicz, Wyler, and Wise, as a director, when he would be much more effective as a producer." - Andrew Sarris (The American Cinema, 1968)
"Since the early Fifties he has striven to put the excellence into exploitation movies chiefly for the teen market, completing dozens of monster, science-fiction, horror (notably his personal series of Edgar Allan Poe adaptations starring Vincent Price), hot-rod, 'nurse' and gangster movies - most of them for American International Pictures and his own company New World. All were quickly made on non-existent budgets." - The Illustrated Who's Who of Cinema, 1983
"Backhandedly dubbed by critics 'the King of Schlock' and 'the Orson Welles of Z-Pictures,' Corman has become a symbol of the creativity available to those willing to accept the economic limitations of working outside the mainstream... Corman hit his artistic stride in the early 1960s with a series of seven flamboyantly artificial color horror films, loosely based on Poe and ranging in tone from slightly tongue-in-cheek to openly parodic." - Ed Lowry (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"A low-budget producer/director who has visual flair and a sense for telling even the most absurd story." - William R. Meyer (The Film Buff's Catalog, 1978)
“Roger Corman's Hollywood career seems to start where a director like Allan Dwan's leaves off, in low-budget exploitation movies (gimmick Westerns and thrillers, trash science-fiction) realized with efficiency but minimal enthusiasm or expertise. Like Dwan, however, he finds the odd assignment sufficiently provocative to work it into something more ambitious; and the sheer abundance of his early work commands respect for its tiresless energy if nothing else.” - Tony Rayns (Cinema: A Critical Dictionary, 1980)
"Other writers, producers, and directors of low-budget films would often put down the film they were making, saying it was just something to make money with. I never felt that. If I took the assignment, I'd give it my best shot." - Roger Corman
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
The Intruder (1962), The Tomb of Ligeia (1965)
Recommended
The Fall of the House of Usher (1960), The Pit and the Pendulum (1961), X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)
Worth a Look
It Conquered the World (1956), Not of This Earth (1957), Machine Gun Kelly (1958), A Bucket of Blood (1959), The Premature Burial (1962), The Haunted Palace (1963), The Masque of the Red Death (1964), The Wild Angels (1966), The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (1967)
Approach with Caution
Day the World Ended (1956), Rock All Night (1957), The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), Tales of Terror (1961), The Raven (1963), The Trip (1967), Bloody Mama (1970), Frankenstein Unbound (1990)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
Roger Corman / Favourite Films
Avatar (2009) James Cameron, Battleship Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein, Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean, On the Waterfront (1954) Elia Kazan.
Source: Rotten Tomatoes (2011)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    The Raven
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