05 April 2005

Happy birthday, Mr. Corman!

B-movie king Roger Corman turns 79 today.

a much younger Corman

Producer and/or director of over 350 movies(!) since the 1960s, Corman's influence on pop culture has been just like his movies: trashy, loud, over-the-top, and lotsa fun. Consider:

  • He was the first person to give work to a young Jack Nicholson, first in the original Little Shop Of Horrors, and later in 1963's horror/comedy The Raven (which also featured Vincent Price, Petter Lorre, and Boris Karloff spoofing on the horror-movie cliches they'd helped create).
  • Produced the original The Fast And The Furious in 1954, helping to create the "drag race movie" subgenre that would have only a brief popularity in the drive-in era, but would later influence directors like Monte Helleman and David Cronenberg.
  • Produced the only good movie Sylvester Stallone was ever in, Deathrace 2000, in which a future society culls its old, sick, and weak (and therefore, slow) members by staging a road race during which drivers score points for running over pedestrians... a brutal and hilarious satire. (Corman is supposedly working on Deathrace 3000 now; I'm not sure if this is a good or a bad thing.)
  • Produced the 1977 movie Grand Theft Auto, which starred a very young Ron Howard (not Opie Taylor-young; more Richie Cunningham-young) and later lent its name to one of the best video-game series ever.
Here's an interview with Corman from 1999, and another one from 1974. Happy 79th, Roger!


Blogger CatsFive said...

I should post some pix of that time at the drive-in where they showed Deathrace 2000, but then, all the bloggers here were THERE!

9:51 AM, April 05, 2005  

Post a Comment

<< Home