b-movie link of the day
I love serendipity: Researching another post, I stumbled across this January 2001 CNN profile of prolific low-budget film director and producer Roger Corman.
This man who made Hollywood safe for papier-mâché monsters and gave an awful lot of A-people their early careers' B-breaks is actually a symbol now of the independent filmmaking movement. He's not the "King of the B's," as some have called him. He's the prince of upstarts. To this day, he's talking about underbudgeting, outselling, bypassing and -- best of all -- embarrassing "the studios." No killer crab, giant leech or toothy piranha looks as much like a monster to Corman as one of the major film studios does.
"It feels good. I've been doing this for a long time. I take moderate pride. Not every picture has turned out quite as well as I expected. But some of them have turned out better. There was some poll on the Internet during 2000. They asked people what they considered to be the 50 best B pictures of all time. And I had five on the list, including No. 1: 'Death Race 2000.'"
..."I can sit here at the office having breakfast, reading the trade papers, get an idea, before even finishing breakfast, bring in my head of development and we'll put a rider on that idea. That gives us a huge advantage. The studios must work with a certain amount of bureaucracy. It takes them more time. They're spending so much money, they have to be a little bit more cautious."
I should apologize for this post's title; according to this article and his autobiography, Corman said he doesn't like the term "B movie" (he prefers "exploitation film"), and since Mr. Corman once once favored me with an autographed photo (c00L!), I should acknowledge that fact. That's a debatable point, of course...but B or not, Corman's movies are usually entertaining far beyond the limitations of their budget. I have several Corman movies on DVD (including hte excellent Fall of the House of Usher); I'm hankering to watch one of them tonight, if time permits.