Monday, May 13, 2024

Roger Corman, 1926-2024

Image from HERE

Sad news recently as we found out that film legend Roger Corman passed away last Thursday at his home.  Obviously, at 98 years old, he doesn't necessarily fit a "tragically early" narrative, but it is always a loss when such a strong influence moves on from our world.

Corman directed about 55 and produced somewhere around 385 films during his career.  I remember, as a youngster, seeing his name pop up in places that seemed somewhat disparate at the time.  I hadn't tuned my geek sensibilities enough to put everything together; finally, after probably years of noting Corman's presence around the film industry, I kind of realized, "Oh!  Little Shop of Horrors...A Bucket of Blood...Battle Beyond the Stars...Carnosaur...The Fantastic Four from the 90s...somehow, that's all from the SAME GUY!"

To be completely honest, looking over Corman's filmography makes me realize that I have seen embarrassingly little of his work.  As someone who has become more and more drawn into genre films over the course of my life, however, I think I've seen Corman's influence all over the movies I've enjoyed through the years.  The list of folks who cut their teeth on Corman productions is long and impressive, from James Cameron to Francis Ford Coppola to Martin Scorsese.  (I love the tale that he once told Ron Howard, "If you do a good job on this film, you'll never have to work for me again.")

I think Roger Corman is sort of the Lou Reed of motion pictures...he may not be universally recognized, but his influence is everywhere.  To paraphrase the summary I've often seen with regard to the albums of the Velvet Underground: Only 1000 people might have seen his movies, but every one of them went on to make movies of their own.  (Although, really...the magnitude of his output means that a whole lot of us have experienced at least some small part of his catalog.)

Perhaps most importantly, Corman was all-in for the medium he loved, and by all accounts that I can recall, it seems he was a pretty nice guy.  That'll always be good for Hollywood.

As I continue to (attempt to) move this blog into a specific direction with regard to the content I present (e.g. I'm really into creature features at the moment), I have a feeling I'm going to mention Roger Corman a time or two in the coming months.  I hope you'll take a moment to look over his work, think a bit about the massive impact he has had on our culture, and maybe take in some of the hundreds of silver screen spectaculars he left the world.  I can pretty much guarantee'll find something you love.

No comments:

Post a Comment