Roger Corman

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Roger Corman is one of the most important examples of a way of doing independent cinema, one of the few cases in which the filmography of an indie director has achieved worldwide fame. But Roger Corman has long collaborated with big studios as well, continually moving in and out of the mainstream. Many of his films are based on works that already have an established reputation, such as his cycle of low-budget cult films adapted from the short stories of Edgar Allan Poe.

Member of the British Film Institute, the Museum of Modern Art and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in his career he has been the talent scout of some of the most important directors and actors in world cinema: the famous Corman school.

Roger Corman’s Beginnings

Roger-Corman

Corman begins working in film at 20th Century Fox Post Office. It is difficult to imagine a humbler and more conflictual beginning for an independent spirit like yours. Indeed, including the nature of anonymous and mechanized work within a studio, he leaves Fox and stubbornly chooses to work in film alone. He writes a script at Allied Artists for $ 2,000 and works free on the film set to gain experience. He collects $ 12,000 to produce his first film, Monster from the Ocean Floor (1954).

The film was successful and Corman produced another film, the racing thriller The Fast and the Furious (1955), directed by John Ireland, and starring Dorothy Malone. He manages to distribute the film with a new independent company, the American Releasing Company. ARC also advances him the money to allow him to make other films: Five Guns West (1955), a western, made in color for about $ 60,000, with Malone and John Lund. He then shoots High Steel, Cobra, Fortress Beneath the Sea, Day the World Ended (1955), a post-apocalyptic science fiction film.

He later shoots Corman’s Swamp Women (1956), a story of girls on the run, and then The Oklahoma Woman (1956) and Gunslinger (1956); Gunslinger was co-written by Griffith, who ended up being an essential partner of Corman for many projects. American International Pictures and Allied Artists hire Roger Corman as their main director. They finance It Conquered the World (1956), The Undead (1957), Not of this Earth (1957).

In August 1956 he made a film in Hawaii, Naked Paradise (1957). Corman shot the film simultaneously with a film made with his own money, She Gods of Shark Reef (1958). Most of the films are written with Griffith. The two also collaborate on Attack of the Crab Monsters (1957), one of the most popular films. As an independent producer Corman made two rock music films: Carnival Rock (1957) and Rock All Night (1957).

In April 1957, Corman made two films one after the other to save expenses: Teenage Doll (1957) and Sorority Girl (1957). Then follows The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent (1957), shot in August 1957.

Roger Corman got his first real success for Machine-Gun Kelly (1958), a gangster movie with Charles Bronson in his first starring role.follows Teenage Caveman (1958), with Robert Vaughn,. He then went on to produce 2 films for Allied Artists: Hot Car Girl (1958), directed by Bernard Kowalski and produced by his brother Gene, with Jack Nicholson in his first starring role.

The biggest budget available comes with The Mobster (1958), a gangster story for 20th Century Fox. War of the Satellites (1958) was developed and shot in record time to make the most of the Sputnik launch event.

Corman also produced, but not directed, Stakeout on Dope Street (1958), directed by Irvin Kershner; Night of the Blood Beast (1958), directed by Kowalski, using the remaining outfits from Teenage Caveman; and Crime and Punishment USA (1959), directed by Dennis Sanders with George Hamilton in his first starring role.

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Roger Corman Independent Producer

In 1959, Corman founded The Filmgroup with his brother Gene, a company that produced or launched low-budget black and white films. Their very first films were High School Big Shot (1959) and T-Bird Gang (1959) produced by Stanley Bickman.

In the meantime he continues to work on commission for AIP: Corman and Griffith make A Bucket of Blood (1959). Corman and screenwriter Griffith recycled the exact same narrative structure and many actors from the same cast in The little shop of horrors (1960).

With his Filmgroup, Corman directed The Wasp Woman (1959). With his brother he made 2 films in South Dakota: Ski Troop Attack (1960), a war film, and Beast from Haunted Cave (1959), the first film directed by Monte Hellman.

Corman went to Puerto Rico and produced 2 other films in a row: Battle of Blood Island (1960), directed by Joel Rapp, and Last Woman in the world (1960), directed by Corman from a screenplay by Robert Towne. The shooting of these 2 films was so fast that Corman commissioned Griffith to write a third film: the result was Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961).

The House of Usher

AIP wanted Corman to make 2 horror films for them, in black and white, for less than $ 100,000 each on a 10-day shooting schedule. Corman, however, was tired of making low-budget films, and the market was down. Corman proposed an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher and the AIP went along with it.

He worked with Richard Matheson for writing and Vincent Price was called up for the lead role. The film is House of Usher, shot in the early 1960s, which became the biggest hit of his career.

Corman later directed a peplum in Greece, Atlas (1961). The Usher house had actually been so effective that AIP wanted a sequel, and Corman, Haller, Matheson and Price got together to make The Pendulum and the Pit (1961). It was another significant success and the “Poe cycle” of films was in development.

The Intruder

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After The Pendulum and the Pit, Corman directed William Shatner in one of his first starring films with The Intruder. Corman was dissatisfied with his percentage of Poe’s first 2 films, so he made a third film for producers other than AIP, The Premature Burial (1962), written by Charles Beaumont and starring Ray Milland. The film was co-financed by the Pathé laboratories.

For producer Edward Small, Corman made a historical horror film about Richard III, Tower of London (1962), starring Vincent Price. It was supposed to be the first of three low-budget films, but Corman can’t get along with the producer.

For Filmgroup, he also bought the rights to a Soviet science fiction film, Nebo Zovyot (1959) and had some extra scenes shot by his then assistant, Francis Ford Coppola; the result was Battle Beyond the Sun (1962). In the same way he made The Magic Voyage of Sinbad (1962), also inspired by a Soviet film.

Later, Corman used the sets from that film for The terror (1963), made for Filmgroup but launched by AIP, and starring Boris Karloff (whose scenes were all shot in 2 days) and Jack Nicholson. Corman did not direct all of this film; extra scenes were shot by Monte Hellman, Coppola and Jack Hill, among others.

The Young Racers (1963) was produced and directed by Corman in Europe for AIP, starring and written by Campbell. The film was handled by Francis Ford Coppola, whom Corman financed to make his directorial launch, Dementia 13 (1963).

Back in the United States, Corman made X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes (1963), a modern science fiction film for AIP starring Ray Milland.follows The Haunted Palace (1963). Apparently part of the Poe cycle, it included Price’s interpretation and was AIP product, but was actually based on a story by HP Lovecraft.

Corman directed a war film in Yugoslavia with his brother, The Secret Invasion (1964), starring Stewart Granger and Mickey Rooney, from a screenplay by Campbell. Corman made 2 other films inspired by Poe’s tales in England with Price, The Masque of the Red Death (1964), and The Tomb of Ligeia (1965), from a screenplay by Robert Towne. 

Corman convinced Towne to write a script called The Red Baron. He bought the rights to another Soviet science fiction film, Planeta Bur (1962), and included some extra scenes from Curtis Harrington. Harrington used footage of Planeta Bur in another Corman-funded film, Queen of Blood (1966).

Similarly, he bought the rights to a Yugoslavian film, Operation Titan (1963), and financed the extra filming of Jack Hill and Stephanie Rothman. The result was Blood Bath (1966). He also participated in the financial investment in the beach celebration films Beach Ball (1965) and It’s a Bikini World (1967).

Roger Corman and the Studios

In August 1965, Corman, fed up with low budgets, signs an agreement with United Artists to make 2 films in 3 years. He also signs a contract with Columbia to make a western, The Long ride Home, based on a screenplay by Robert Towne.

After a year without directing, Corman took a hiatus while under contract with Columbia to make a film for AIP, the very first cycling film, The Wild Angels. He was portrayed by Peter Fonda and Nancy Sinatra, from a screenplay by Griffith; Peter Bogdanovich worked as Corman’s assistant.

He also wanted to make a movie about the Red Baron, but Columbia refused. Corman began directing Long Ride Home with Glenn Ford at Columbia, but he left production a couple of weeks after filming began and was replaced by Phil Karlson.

Corman is awarded a contract to direct The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), for 20th Century Fox, with Jason Robards and George Segal. As an independent director he was very comfortable with productions like this one, with small spending plans and shooting schedules determined in days rather than weeks. It is considered one of his best films.

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Return to Independent Cinema

He went on to finance films for his Filmgroup company: Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965), buying a Soviet film, Planeta Bur, and dubbing it in English with some extra footage shot by Curtis Harrington; Queen of Blood (1966), which uses material shot for Soviet films to make a new film, directed by Harrington; Blood Bath (1966), a Yugoslavian film adapted with extra footage shot by Stephanie Rothman and Jack Hill; Voyage to the Planet of Prehistoric Women (1967), another variant of Planeta Bur with some extra scenes shot by Corman’s then assistant, Peter Bogdanovich.

He financed 2 westerns shot simultaneously in Utah directed by Monte Hellman and written and co-produced by Jack Nicholson, The Shooting (1967) and Ride in the Whirlwind (1967) which ended up being cult hits. He also financed 2 films directed by Dan Haller, Devil’s Angels (1967), a sequel to Wild Angels written by Griffith; and a car racing film shot in Europe, The Wild Racers (1968). 

Corman directed The Trip for AIP, written by Jack Nicholson and starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Bruce Dern. AIP made some changes to the film in post-production that made Corman dissatisfied with the final result. Corman made a film for American television: Harry (1968), shot in Europe with his brother as a producer. He produced The Dunwich Horror (1970) for AIP, directed by Haller and co-written with Curtis Hanson.

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For AIP, Corman returned to the director’s chair for a gangster film, Bloody Mama (1970), starring Shelley Winters and a young Robert de Niro. It was a success. He also directed a funny film noir, Gas-sss (1970), written by George Armitage; the film was cut for editing without his consent from the AIP and was a box office failure.

Then he made the film Von Richthofen and Brown (1971), inspired by the events of the Red Baron, in Ireland in July 1970. There were numerous plane crashes during the filming and one of the crew died.

“Directing is extremely distressing and extremely hard,” says Corman in 1971. “Producing is simple. I can do it without thinking too much.” Corman financed Curtis Hanson’s directorial launch, Sweet Kill (1971). Then another AIP film, Boxcar Bertha (1972), the second feature film directed by Martin Scorsese, with David Carradine.

Distribution of Foreign Movies

The production of Corman New World became the US distributor of great foreign films such as Whispering and Crying (1972), directed by Ingmar Bergman. Corman bought it for $ 75,000 and made over $ 2 million in the United States. New World launched Fantastic Planet (1974).

Over a 10-year run, New World Pictures has won more Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film than any other studio combined. Meanwhile, he executive produced four 20th Century Fox films, making Capone (1975), Fighting Mad (1976) (by Jonathan Demme), Moving Violation (1976) and Thunder and Lightning (1977).

The Hit New World

Death Race 2000 (1975), written by Robert Thom and directed by Paul Bartel, was a huge hit, earning $ 4 million. This helped launch a series of car chase films: Cannonball (1976), directed by Bartel; Eat my dust! (1976), directed by Griffith with Ron Howard, which led to a sequel, Grand Theft Auto (1978), Howard’s directorial debut.

The New World trailers were edited by aspiring young directors Joe Dante and Alan Arkush. Corman gave them the opportunity to jointly direct Hollywood Boulevard (1976). The film was successful enough to offer both boys a directorial debut: Dante with Piranha (1978) and Arkush with Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979).

Piranha was written by John Sayles, who was actually found by Corman’s story editor Frances Doel. Sayles later wrote The Lady in Red (1979) for Corman, directed by Lewis Teague.

Other popular films during this period were Tidal Wave (1975), a Japanese film in which Corman inserted additional scenes, and Jackson County Jail (1976). Less popular was Avalanche (1979), a disaster film directed by Corey Allen. For Universal he made Fast Charlie … the Moonbeam Rider (1979), directed by Carver. He financed Saint Jack Bogdanovich’s(1979).

The success of Star Wars influenced the New World’s most expensive film, Battle Beyond the Stars (1981). Corman offered New World Pictures in January 1983 to a consortium of 3 attorneys for $ 16.9 million. He later created a brand new production business, Millennium, the title of which was taken from the name of a 1981 retrospective of Corman’s work at the National Film Theater in London.

Millenium’s films were Space Raiders (1983), an impressive science fiction film that used images and music from Battle Beyond Destiny; Love Letters (1984), a play by Amy Holden Jones; Screwballs (1984), a hilarious sex movie following Porky’s; Suburbia (1984), directed by Penelope Spheeris, and The Warrior and the Sorceress.

New Horizons

Corman claims that some people had problems with the name “Millennium” – “no one could write it, no one understood what it suggested” – so he changed it to New Horizons in early 1984. Corman and the brand new owners of New World ended up undertaking a lawsuit against each other in March 1985. New World in exchange took legal action against Corman, claiming he was trying to get back into circulation, and discrediting New World to possible financiers. They claimed that Corman bypassed New World for some of his films, such as Hardbodies (1984).

Concorde Pictures

In March 1985, Corman revealed that he would be developing a brand new “cooperative”, Concorde Pictures, in which producers could obtain reasonably low-cost distribution from Concorde in exchange for a contribution to the company’s overheads. Their very first releases were the productions of Corman School Spirit, Wheels of Fire and Barbarian Queen. Concorde later joined a low-cost film production company, Cinema Group, and made 15-20 films a year.

Corman faced the decline of the drive-in market and studio competition in the 1990s. In 1995, Corman executive produced Roger Corman Presents, a unique series of 13 films for Showtime with spending plans of approximately $ 1.5 million each. “I think the name Corman suggests action, humor and a little bit of excitement,” says Mike Elliott, producer of the series. Corman ended up doing a second season of 11 films.

Concorde started operations in Ireland, building studios in Connemara, County Galway. He got help from the Irish federal government, a choice that ended up being counterproductive when material from some of Corman’s productions such as Criminal Affairs was criticized in the press. Corman also ran a comic book publication in 1995/1996 called Cosmic Comics with which he produced comics based on his films. 

In 2006 Corman claimed to have made 60% of his films overseas. “These foreign nations are providing such extraordinary aid that not only me, but also numerous independent producers are moving abroad,” he said. He offered the remake rights of Death Race 2000 to Universal, which made Death Race (2008) with Jason Statham, with Corman credited as executive producer.

In 2009, Corman co-directed and produced theweb serieswith director Joe Dante Splatter for Netflix. In 2011 Corman cited James Cameron’s Avatar (2009) and Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010) as examples of “exceptional creativity”.

Private Life

roger-corman

Corman married Julie Halloran in 1970. His autobiography, entitled How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime, documents his experiences in the film market. In 1964, Corman was the youngest producer / director to have received a retrospective at the Cinémathèque Française, as well as retrospectives at the British Film Institute and the Museum of Modern Art.

Corman won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Stockholm International Film Festival in 1990. He was the star of the 1978 documentary Roger Corman: Hollywood’s Wild Angel, produced and directed by Christian Blackwood. In 1998 he won the very first Producer’s Award ever awarded by the Cannes Film Festival.

In 2006, Corman received the David O. Selznick Award from the Producers Guild of America. In 2006, his film Fall of the House of Usher was among the twenty-five films chosen for the National Film Registry, a collection of notable films managed by the Library of Congress.

In 2010, author and star Mark Gatiss spoke to Corman for his BBC documentary series A History of Horror, of which the second half of the second episode focuses on Corman. In 2010, Corman was inducted into the Beverly Hills High School Hall of Fame.

The Corman Film School

Many directors have claimed that Corman’s impact taught them some of the secrets of cinema. Cameron, Coppola, Demme, Hanson, Howard and Scorsese all won the Academy Awards. Howard would have been cast by Corman: “If you do a great job on this movie, you’ll never have to work for me again.”

The stars who have achieved professional success working for Corman are Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, Charles Bronson, Todd Field, Michael McDonald, Dennis Hopper, Talia Shire, Sandra Bullock, Robert De Niro and David Carradine, who have obtained the their very first starring film roles in Corman’s Boxcar Bertha (1972) and went on to star in Death Race 2000 (alongside Sylvester Stallone).

Roger Corman Films to Watch

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The Terror (1953)

The Terror (1963) by Roger Corman is a science fiction horror film based on Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “The Raven.” The film tells the story of a magician, Erasmus Craven, who seeks to bring his wife Lenore back to life, whom he believed to be dead. To do this, Craven makes a deal with the devil, but the price to pay is high.

The film stars Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre. Price plays Erasmus Craven, a magician who is also a powerful sorcerer. Karloff plays Scarabus, an evil magician who allies himself with the devil. Lorre plays Adolphus Bedlo, a magician who is Craven’s friend.

The film’s plot is set in 16th century England. Craven is a magician famous for his skills. After the death of his wife Lenore, Craven retires to his castle and begins to study alchemy. Craven discovers a way to bring the dead back to life, but the price to pay is high. To bring Lenore back to life, Craven must sacrifice the life of another human being.

Craven makes a deal with the devil, and the devil grants him the power to bring Lenore back to life. However, the devil has a plan: Lenore is not truly alive, but is a damned soul that has been trapped in the body of a woman. Lenore is controlled by the devil, and begins to kill the people Craven loves.

Craven must find a way to stop Lenore and the devil. With the help of Adolphus Bedlo, Craven fights Lenore and the devil. In the end, Craven manages to defeat the devil and save Lenore.

The Terror is a science fiction horror film. The film is characterized by a dark and unsettling plot, and macabre imagery and atmospheres. The film is also characterized by the performances of Vincent Price, Boris Karloff, and Peter Lorre.

The Terror was a box office success and received positive reviews from critics. The film is considered a classic of the science fiction horror genre.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s special effects were groundbreaking for their time.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Les Baxter.

The Terror is a classic horror film that is still enjoyed by audiences today. The film is a testament to the talent of Roger Corman and the cast and crew.

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Apache Woman (1955)

Apache Woman (1955) is a 1955 American Western film directed by Roger Corman and starring Lloyd Bridges and Joan Taylor. The film tells the story of a US cavalry officer who is sent to investigate a series of attacks on a white settlement by a group of Apaches. However, the officer soon discovers that the Apaches are not the ones responsible for the attacks.

The film is a classic example of Corman’s low-budget filmmaking style. The film was shot in just 12 days, and Corman used a number of innovative filmmaking techniques to save money. For example, Corman used stock footage of horses and Native Americans to save money on filming these scenes.

Despite its low budget, Apache Woman is a well-made and entertaining film. Corman’s direction is tight and suspenseful, and the performances by Bridges and Taylor are excellent. The film is also notable for its sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans.

Apache Woman was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, its strong performances, and its sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans. The film has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best low-budget Westerns ever made.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on September 15, 1955.

Apache Woman is a classic Western film that is still enjoyed by audiences today. The film is a suspenseful and entertaining film with strong performances and a sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans. The film is a must-see for any fan of the Western genre.

Day the World Ended (1955)

Day the World Ended is a 1955 American science fiction horror film directed by Jack Arnold and starring Richard Denning, Lori Nelson, and Paul Birch. The film tells the story of a group of survivors of a nuclear apocalypse who take refuge in an abandoned mine. However, the group soon discovers that they are not alone, and that a radioactive monster lives in the depths of the mine.

The film is a classic example of the late 1950s nuclear science fiction genre. The film explores themes such as the fear of nuclear war and survival in a post-apocalyptic world.

Plot

The film begins with a nuclear apocalypse that destroys the Earth. A group of survivors, including Jim Drake (Richard Denning), Helen Benson (Lori Nelson), and Paul Carlson (Paul Birch), take refuge in an abandoned mine.

The group soon discovers that they are not alone. A radioactive monster, created by nuclear radiation, lives in the depths of the mine. The monster attacks the group, and Jim and Helen are forced to flee the mine.

Jim and Helen find refuge in an abandoned city, but the monster finds them and attacks them again. Jim and Helen manage to kill the monster, but the city is destroyed by a nuclear explosion.

Critical reception

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its special effects, suspenseful atmosphere, and performances.

The film is considered a classic of the nuclear science fiction genre. The film was influenced by other films in the genre, such as Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on September 15, 1955.

The Oklahoma Woman (1956)

The Oklahoma Woman is a 1956 American Western film directed by Roger Corman and starring Peggie Castle, Richard Denning, and Gerald Mohr. The film tells the story of a woman who returns to her hometown to find that it is controlled by a ruthless outlaw and his gang. The woman decides to take on the outlaw and his gang, and she becomes a symbol of hope for the townspeople.

The film is a classic example of Corman’s low-budget filmmaking style. The film was shot in just 12 days, and Corman used a number of innovative filmmaking techniques to save money. For example, Corman used stock footage of horses and Native Americans to save money on filming these scenes.

Despite its low budget, The Oklahoma Woman is a well-made and entertaining film. Corman’s direction is tight and suspenseful, and the performances by Castle, Denning, and Mohr are excellent. The film is also notable for its strong female protagonist.

The Oklahoma Woman was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, its strong performances, and its positive portrayal of a female protagonist. The film has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best low-budget Westerns ever made.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on June 15, 1956.

Gunslinger (1956)

Gunslinger (1956) is a classic American Western film directed by Roger Corman and starring John Ireland, Beverly Garland, and Allison Hayes. The film tells the story of Rosa Hood, a young woman who becomes the new sheriff of a small town in the Old West after her husband is murdered by a gang of bandits.

The film is a classic example of Corman’s low-budget filmmaking style. The film was shot in just 12 days, and Corman used a number of innovative filmmaking techniques to save money. For example, Corman used stock footage of horses and Native Americans to save money on filming these scenes.

Despite its low budget, Gunslinger is a well-made and entertaining film. Corman’s direction is tight and suspenseful, and the performances by Ireland, Garland, and Hayes are excellent. The film is also notable for its strong female protagonist.

Gunslinger was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, its strong performances, and its positive portrayal of a female protagonist. The film has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best low-budget Westerns ever made.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on October 15, 1956.

It Conquered the World (1956)

It Conquered the World (1956) is an independently made American black-and-white science fiction horror film produced and directed by Roger Corman. The film tells the story of a young American scientist who, excited by his close encounter with aliens, facilitates their invasion of Earth. In reality, he hopes that the Venusian emissary is a bearer of peace, but he soon discovers his true intentions.

The film is a classic example of Corman’s low-budget filmmaking style. The film was shot in just 12 days, and Corman used a number of innovative filmmaking techniques to save money. For example, Corman used stock footage of horses and Native Americans to save money on filming these scenes.

Despite its low budget, It Conquered the World is a well-made and entertaining film. Corman’s direction is tight and suspenseful, and the performances by Peter Graves, Beverly Garland, and Sally Fraser are excellent. The film is also notable for its alien monster, which is an original design by Paul Blaisdell.

It Conquered the World was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, its strong performances, and its alien monster. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best science fiction horror films of the 1950s.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on July 15, 1956.

The Undead (1957)

The Undead (1957) is a black and white horror/fantasy film directed by Roger Corman and starring Pamela Duncan, Richard Garland, Allison Hayes, Val Dufour, Mel Welles, Dorothy Neumann, Billy Barty, Bruno Sota, Richard Devon, Maurice Manson, Aaron Saxon, Don Garrett, and Dick Miller.

Plot:

Diana Love (Pamela Duncan), a prostitute, is chosen by young scientist Quintus Ratcliff (Val Dufour) for a sensational experiment: to reach the knowledge of past history through hypnosis. Hypnotized by Quintus, Diana finds herself in chains in a medieval prison for witchcraft. After escaping, she takes refuge in a coffin with a dead man to avoid a knight, but things get more and more complicated.

The Undead is a bizarre and fascinating film that explores the themes of reincarnation, time travel, and justice. The film is known for its Gothic atmosphere, its violent scenes, and Pamela Duncan’s performance.

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Gothic atmosphere, its violent scenes, and Pamela Duncan’s performance. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best horror/fantasy films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s score was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on March 2, 1957.

Viking Women and the Great Sea Serpent (1957)

Viking Women and the Great Sea Serpent is a low-budget American fantasy film directed by Roger Corman and starring Abby Dalton, Susan Cabot, and Richard Devon. The film tells the story of a group of Viking women who set out to rescue their men from a mysterious island inhabited by a race of enslaved people and a giant sea serpent.

The film is a classic example of Corman’s low-budget filmmaking style. The film was shot in just 12 days, and Corman used a number of innovative filmmaking techniques to save money. For example, Corman used stock footage of horses and Native Americans to save money on filming these scenes.

Despite its low budget, Viking Women and the Great Sea Serpent is a well-made and entertaining film. Corman’s direction is tight and suspenseful, and the performances by Dalton, Cabot, and Devon are excellent. The film is also notable for its strong female protagonist and its over-the-top special effects.

Viking Women and the Great Sea Serpent was a critical and commercial success upon its release. The film was praised for its suspenseful atmosphere, its strong performances, and its over-the-top special effects. The film has since become a cult classic and is considered one of the best low-budget fantasy films ever made.

Here are some additional details about the film:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on December 15, 1957.

The Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

Little Shop of Horrors (1960) is a black comedy horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph, Mel Welles, and Dick Miller. It is based on the short story “Green Thoughts” by John Collier.

Plot:

Seymour Krelboin is a timid and awkward florist shop clerk. One day, he finds a strange carnivorous plant, which he names Audrey. Seymour takes care of the plant, which grows rapidly and becomes increasingly hungry.

To satisfy the plant’s hunger, Seymour begins killing people and feeding their flesh to Audrey. The plant becomes increasingly large and powerful, and Seymour begins to lose control.

In the end, Audrey becomes so large that it destroys the flower shop. Seymour and Audrey are killed in a fire, but their story lives on in the town’s legends.

Little Shop of Horrors is a cult classic that has had a major critical and commercial success. The film is known for its bizarre and unsettling atmosphere, its violent scenes, and Jonathan Haze’s performance.

The film has been praised for its satire of American society and its exploration of themes of human nature, such as violence, perversion, and madness.

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The House of Usher (1960)

The Fall of the House of Usher (1960) is a Gothic horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, Mark Damon, Myrna Fahey, and Harry Ellerbe. The film is based on the short story “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe.

The film tells the story of Roderick Usher (Vincent Price), a sickly man who lives in his decaying ancestral home with his sister Madeline (Myrna Fahey). Roderick invites his friend Philip Winthrop (Mark Damon) to visit, and Philip soon discovers that the House of Usher is full of dark secrets.

The Fall of the House of Usher is a atmospheric and unsettling film, with a strong visual component. The House of Usher is a dark and claustrophobic place, and Corman uses a variety of visual techniques to create an atmosphere of tension and suspense. The film is also notable for its performance by Vincent Price, who plays Roderick Usher as a tormented and obsessed man.

The Fall of the House of Usher is a classic Gothic horror film, and is considered one of the best films directed by Roger Corman. The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release, and helped to launch the career of Vincent Price as a horror film actor.

Summary:

A sickly man living in his decaying ancestral home with his sister Madeline invites his friend Philip to visit. Philip soon discovers that the House of Usher is full of dark secrets.

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961)

The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) is a Gothic horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, John Kerr, Barbara Steele, and Luana Anders. The film is based on the short story “The Pit and the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Plot:

Francis Barnard (John Kerr) is a young Spanish nobleman who is accused of heresy by the Spanish Inquisition. He is imprisoned in a castle and subjected to unspeakable tortures.

One night, Francis is locked in a dark and claustrophobic room. In the center of the room is a deep and dark pit, and above it hangs a swinging pendulum with a sharp blade.

Francis is convinced that he has been condemned to death. He begins to lose his mind and see visions of his past.

One day, Francis meets his ex-wife Elizabeth (Barbara Steele), who has been imprisoned in the castle for having betrayed her husband. Elizabeth helps Francis to escape from the torture chamber, and the two team up to escape the Inquisition.

Conclusion:

The Pit and the Pendulum is a dark and unsettling film that explores the themes of torture, madness, and revenge. The film is known for its realistic torture scenes and for the performance of Vincent Price, who plays Francis Barnard as a tormented and desperate man.

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Gothic atmosphere, its torture scenes, and the performance of Vincent Price. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best Gothic horror films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Les Baxter.
  • The film was released in the United States on October 24, 1961.

The Tower of London (1962)

Tower of London (1962) is a historical horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman, Robert Brown, Bruce Gordon, Joan Camden, Richard Hale, Sandra Knight, Charles Macaulay, Justice Watson, Sarah Selby, Donald Losby, Sara Taft, Eugene Mazzola. The film is a remake of The Tower of London (1939).

Plot:

In 15th-century England, Richard III desperately wants the throne, but the regent grants it to his brother, Clarence. This action leads Richard to unleash a murderous fury.

Richard kills his brother Clarence, then has the Prince Edward and his younger brother Richard arrested. The two boys are imprisoned in the Tower of London, where Richard has them killed.

Queen Margaret, the wife of Edward IV, organizes a revolt to depose Richard. The revolt is successful and Richard is killed.

Conclusion:

Tower of London is a historical horror film that explores the themes of political corruption, madness, and revenge. The film is known for Vincent Price’s performance, who plays Richard III as an evil and psychopathic man.

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Gothic atmosphere, its scenes of violence, and Vincent Price’s performance. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best Gothic horror films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s soundtrack was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on October 24, 1962.

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964)

The Tomb of Ligeia (1964) is a Gothic horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, Elizabeth Shepherd, and John Westbrook. It is an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of the same name.

Plot:

In 19th-century England, Verden Fell (Vincent Price) is a man haunted by the death of his beautiful wife Ligeia (Elizabeth Shepherd). When he remarries Lady Rowena (Luana Anders), Verden begins to see the ghost of Ligeia.

Rowena is convinced that she is possessed by Ligeia, and Verden begins to lose his mind. In the end, Verden discovers that Ligeia is still alive, and that she has used magic to possess Rowena.

The Tomb of Ligeia is a dark and disturbing film that explores themes of death, love, and possession. The film is known for its Gothic atmosphere, its suspenseful scenes, and Vincent Price’s performance.

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Gothic atmosphere, its suspenseful scenes, and Vincent Price’s performance. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best Gothic horror films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film’s score was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on October 24, 1964.

Notes:

  • The film is a classic example of Roger Corman’s low-budget filmmaking style. Corman was known for producing films on tight budgets and using innovative techniques to save money.
  • The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Gothic atmosphere, its suspenseful scenes, and Vincent Price’s performance. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best Gothic horror films ever made.
cult-movie

The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

The Masque of the Red Death (1964) is a Gothic horror film directed by Roger Corman and starring Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Jane Asher, and Patrick Magee. It is based on the short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe.

Plot:

In the Middle Ages, Prince Prospero (Vincent Price) hosts a masquerade ball to escape a mysterious plague, the “Red Death,” that is ravaging the land.

The party takes place in an isolated castle, but the Red Death arrives there as well, in the form of a spectral figure dressed in red. The figure kills all of the partygoers, one by one.

Prospero is the only survivor, but he is eventually killed by the Red Death as well.

Conclusion:

The Masque of the Red Death is a dark and disturbing film that explores themes of death, madness, and revenge. The film is known for its Gothic atmosphere, its scenes of violence, and Vincent Price’s performance.

The film was a critical and commercial success upon its release. It was praised for its Gothic atmosphere, its scenes of violence, and Vincent Price’s performance. The film has become a cult classic and is considered one of the best Gothic horror films ever made.

Additional details:

  • The film was shot in black and white.
  • The film’s score was composed by Ronald Stein.
  • The film was released in the United States on October 24, 1964.
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