Roger Corman is now working with Syfy creating monster movie films like Camel Spiders and Dinocrock.
If you know me you probably already know that I’ve seen a lot of Roger Corman’s films, weather he director, produced, or even starred. I’ve always had this affinity for movies done on the cheap if not because I truly loved them, simply because they were a middle finger to the big Hollywood machine, or because they were a lot of fun to watch with a group of friends. We’d ad-lib the films and make up our own dialogue or use the films actual dialogue to make up slang only fans of the films would understand. Some of them were great and some of them horrible but they didn’t ever pretend to be anything other then films made by someone who loved making film.
Corman’s World plays as a tribute to the man as well as a look at the progress of the film business and how it’s made as well as a bit of a sneak peek into gorilla film making. One of my favorite lines in the film is, “If Roger said we had 7 days to make a film we’d do it in 5 and then he’d say hey we still have two days let’s makes another film.” That is the true sign of someone that loves making movies. Weather it was a film for half a million or five thousand Corman was methodical in putting together the best film he could under whatever conditions arose, without or without the permission of movie studio’s or even the law.
It was a lot of fun seeing archival footage of Corman at work or hearing stories from cast and crew about working on a Roger Corman film but Corman’s world not only captured the business man but the phenomenal human as well. Two of my favorite stories in the film are about his decision to go ahead without the studio’s to make the film The Intruder (which kicked off William Shatner’s career), a film about the end days of segregation. Not only did he make it way ahead of it’s time but he also went to the deep South to make it. Despite having their lives threatened, being run out of town, and losing money on the picture I can imagine that when the Corman brothers say it was one of their proudest moments you can take that to the bank. Another moment was when they interviewed Polly Platt she discussed one of the lowest points in her life and how Corman stuck by her as a friend. I’m sure Corman couldn’t be more humbled and happier then to see how many people love him. Hell, Jack Nicholson get’s completely worked up about it in the documentary. It simply has a bit of everything and really shows how much of an influence Roger Corman has had on Hollywood through his films and his life as a friend to so many. I loved it.
As you can imagine the film is a mish mash of interviews shot digitally and older archive footage of actual film so your never really given the full HD experience and that’s understandable. I really liked the way in which the archive footage is presented as kind of an off shoot of the way Corman’s earlier films looked. That was really cool. The newer footage looks solid though. Colors are bright, skin tones natural looking, and clarity is beautiful. Audio was a plus because a lot of Corman’s earlier films have kind of ended at DVD with basic sound, but here even the clips of his older movies get the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 sound that makes seeing them a bit more polished up looking and sounding great.
~Extended Interviews: Really a must watch. About 15 extra minutes of interview time from a variety of people who were interviewed in the film.
~Special Messages To Roger: Another must see, though I felt a bit unnerved by some of the younger film makers. They basically tell the interviewee to speak to the camera as if it were Roger Corman. The people who grew up in the Roger Corman school of film making from writers, actors, and behind the scenes people were very sweet offering up wishes of good health and praise for Corman allowing them to get their foot in the door when they would have otherwise given up on their dream. The younger crowd are all about opportunity here. Bret Ratner immediately asks if he can remake one of Corman’s film, Paul W.S. Anderson asks when their going to work together again, pretty much the same with the rest. The only one out of the younger crowd was Eli Roth who was genuine. That being said you have to kind of irk your way through a bit of that.
~Trailer: Even this feature is cool. AIR does the music for the film and it sounds great.