Movie News

Roger Corman Won An Oscar The Other Night...

Published at: Nov. 18, 2009, 11:06 a.m. CST

... and it feels like no one really wrote about it. Sure, there was coverage of the ceremony, and maybe some drive-by praise of Corman's career (like Cinematical's Eric D. Snider blithely condemning his entire oeuvre whilst comparing the legendary producer-director to Dr. Uwe Boll), but in terms of anything substantial... nothin'. Perhaps everyone was too busy whoring for TWILIGHT traffic to notice that the one-man film industry who mentored the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson, James Cameron, John Sayles, Joe Dante and many, many more was receiving the ultimate career achievement award in Hollywood last Saturday night. Or perhaps these people were tacitly blaming Corman for lowering standards to the point where audiences will settle (and line up in droves) for quick-and-cheap adaptations of a popular literary series. Fair enough. Thing is, though, when Corman worked on the quick-and-cheap back in the 1960s, he became, in the sage words of Don Druker, "cinema's chief interpreter of [Edgar Allan] Poe." When Corman was engaged, he knew how to wring the lurid best out of America's poet laureate of madness - and his thrift was equaled by his craft. This ability to make art on a murderously short shooting schedule with no money and reused sets (or cleverly-shot practical locations) was passed on by Corman to his most adroit proteges: Dante had a low-budget, homage-heavy blast with PIRANHA; Cameron willed a sci-fi classic out of next-to-nothing in THE TERMINATOR; and Peter Bogdanovich used two contract-mandated days of Boris Karloff to pull off a classic sequence at the conclusion of TARGETS. And while these directors later made films on budgets that would've easily funded Corman's entire '90s output, the resourcefulness imparted by their stingy mentor would get them through some rough early days in the studio system (Cameron's facility with matte paintings and forced perspective proved especially handy on ALIENS). Of course, Corman's goal was never to hand himself (and his profit-making potential) over to the studio system; after completing his run with AIP in the '60s and starting up New World Pictures in 1970, all he wanted to do was churn out the cinematic equivalent of McDonald's cheeseburgers and, per the title of his autobiography, never lose a dime. That some enterprising young filmmaker might serve up an unusually tasty Big Mac from time to time was all well and good, but hardly his intent. This became apparent as the 1980s wore on, at which point his Concorde Pictures outfit started coughing up films that were barely worth a bargain 99-cent rental from Blockbuster. With the advent of the direct-to-video market, Corman's fast-and-cheap ethic was downgraded to faster-and-cheaper (though I do have fond memories of slumming through Katt Shea's STREETS and thrilling to the butt-whupping brio of Don "The Dragon" Wilson in the BLOODFIST series). Meanwhile, the shoestring, indie-film triumphs of folks like Spike Lee, Richard Linklater and Kevin Smith intoxicated a generation of would-be auteurs with dreams of masterpieces right out of the gate. Combine this with a sudden wane in the popularity of horror (brought on by slasher-flick overkill), and the Corman factory was no longer viewed as a viable fast-track to studio-sponsored bliss. Obviously, Corman's heyday as a filmmaker was the 1960s. This was when he knocked out eight quality Poe adaptations over the course of five years, while also finding time to direct the underrated Civil Rights parable THE INTRUDER, the madly-inventive sci-fi X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (one of his very best), and the musical-spawning LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. True, not all of these films are home runs, but they're all carried off with a wild 'scope panache that would be viewed as uncommonly accomplished today. Even when one can tell Corman has made do with a blown take or an ill-fitting costume or a laughably-ineffective special effect, he covers these concessions with his innate gift for shot composition. For example, get past the mild over-cutting of the below-embedded sequence from HOUSE OF USHER, and just marvel at the way he stages the tense conversation between Vincent Price and Mark Damon (garbed respectively in blood red and icy blue).
Or just marvel at dread-inducing line delivery of Vincent Price. "I can hear the scratch of rat claws within the stone wall,... Mr. Winthrop." If nothing else, Corman deserves that honorary Oscar just for bringing Poe and Price together. Three years after finishing with Poe, Corman would make what feels like his masterpiece in THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE. Starring a fresh-faced George Segal as gangster Peter Gusenberg and Jason Robards as a scenery-scarfing Al Capone (De Niro might've borrowed a tic or two here for THE UNTOUCHABLES), this is the movie that best gets across Corman's unremittingly grim world view. Based on the 1929 historical event (which didn't end well for seven members of Bugsy Moran's North Side Gang in Chicago), the film steadily acquires a pervasive sense of doom as a monotone narrator constantly breaks in to let us know each character's background, their function within the unfolding drama, and when they're going to die. There's very little suspense in THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE - just gorgeously designed-and-shot nihilism. Basically, we're stuck watching a buncha poor saps who've got it coming one way or another - and the joke's on us 'cuz we've got it coming, too. It's blunt, brutal, and it breaks down pretty cleanly on the first viewing, but for pure movie-watching pleasure, I actually prefer its classical, backlot aesthetic to the standards-flouting violence of BONNIE AND CLYDE. After 1971's VON RICHTHOFEN AND BROWN, Corman essentially gave up directing and focused on producing - and it's been my experience that pretty much every New World release from that decade has at least one indescribably nutty sequence that justifies the seventy-to-ninety-minute sit (though I'm not sure where it resides in UP FROM THE DEPTHS). If I had to pick a favorite Corman from the '70s, eight times out of ten I'd probably go with Paul Bartel's gleefully violent satire, DEATH RACE 2000 - which looks even more like a classic after last year's dipshit remake. But catch me in the right mood, and I might opt for Dante's PIRANHA or Bogdanovich's SAINT JACK. And while I'm ambivalent about the film overall, I could certainly make a case for Monte Hellman's COCKFIGHTER based on Warren Oates's performance alone. As for the multitude of chicks-in-chains flicks Corman financed throughout the '70s, no disrespect to Jonathan Demme, but I'll take the Pam Grier and Sid Haig in THE BIG DOLL HOUSE or THE BIG BIRD CAGE (both from Jack Hill) over CAGED HEAT. The trash outweighed the treasures in the '80s, but there were some minor triumphs hidden amid the refuse. The John Sayles-scripted BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS is an enjoyable space-bound riff on the SEVEN SAMURAI formula - and the sets for that film were memorably reused in Aaron Lipstadt's thoughtful ANDROID and the kid-skewing SPACE RAIDERS (neither of which I've seen since their initial run on cable). Corman also teamed with the great Jim Wynorski on several movies, most notably CHOPPING MALL and the cult fave DEATHSTALKER II. And I've still got a soft spot for Penelope Spheeris's punk rock/juvenile delinquent drama SUBURBIA, even if it hasn't aged all that well. Then came the '90s. Let's stop there before they repossess his Oscar. 386 films (and counting) as a producer. Fifty films (and out) as a director. Mentor to some of the greatest directors working today, including five Academy Award-winners. To borrow a thought from my friend BenDavid Grabinski, imagine Corman pulling a George Bailey in 1955, and tell me the American film industry would be a better place without him. When the studio system failed in the 1960s, those wheezing behemoths needed fresh young talent to keep them afloat. Corman gave them the seasoned trio of Coppola, Bogdanovich and Scorsese, who went on to deliver THE GODFATHER, THE LAST PICTURE SHOW and MEAN STREETS. Oscar earned. Congratulations, Mr. Corman. Thanks for being so damned disreputable. Faithfully submitted, Mr. Beaks

Readers Talkback

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  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:49 a.m. CST

    Agreed

    by criticalbliss

    Corman still rules.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:56 a.m. CST

    An ancient hack is still a hack

    by Rocco Curioso

    If you're mediocre at something for a REALLY long time, that doesn't mean you eventually became good at it by dint of endurance.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:02 a.m. CST

    They still have Oscars?

    by GibsonUSA Returns

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:04 a.m. CST

    If you dont like Chopping Mall

    by quantize

    you're dead inside already

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:16 a.m. CST

    here here quantize...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...chopping mall is awesome!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:22 a.m. CST

    Long overdue

    by LastOfTheV8Interceptors

    He deserves it for the Price/Poe stuff alone. Those flicks were the total package (even if not always very faithful to the source). Titles, scores, sets, costumes... and the dream sequences were fuckin' art!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST

    yeah it's strange...

    by billyhitchcock1

    ...no coverage of this whatsoever! surely they should have launched this event a bit bigger no? well done to roger though, totally deserved. was dick miller there? leeeeeeegend!!!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:24 a.m. CST

    ..and you left out..

    by LastOfTheV8Interceptors

    Humanoids From the Deep. Classic.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:28 a.m. CST

    Congrats to Corman!

    by SnapT

    Ed Wood's wiser older brother!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:28 a.m. CST

    No mention of Big Bad Mama?

    by hst666

    One of the few Corman's I actually bought on DVD (cheap).

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Also have the Big Bird Cage

    by hst666

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:33 a.m. CST

    I Left Out A Lot

    by mrbeaks

    Mostly because I didn't want to turn this into a David Thomson entry. I should've mentioned, though, that I saw the original NOT OF THIS EARTH projected at the New Bev earlier this year. There's a no-budget wonder for ya. Probably my fave of the '50s films.<br><br>I should've also thrown a little love MACHINE GUN KELLY's way. Harry kicked off BNAT with that back in... '03, I think. Really nice, surprisingly vulnerable Charles Bronson performance in that one.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:34 a.m. CST

    ... and furthermore.

    by LastOfTheV8Interceptors

    As for the tool on the other site who compared him to Uwe Boll... Boll isn't fit to wipe Corman's butt.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:40 a.m. CST

    you also left out "*" explanation

    by Womb2dooM

    after Terminator.<P>TELL ME WHY!!!! I. Neeeeeeeeeed. Toooooooooo. Sleeeeeep!!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:45 a.m. CST

    Oh

    by mrbeaks

    Sorry, Womb2dooM. Asterisk gone. I think it had to do with THE TERMINATOR not being a Corman-produced film.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:50 a.m. CST

    stuff your sorrys in a sack

    by Womb2dooM

    Turns out lack of sleep from re-imagining the too-shiny-not-to-be-unrested-dead renee zellweger from last years oscars. Still your fault you arcadian rhythm rapist!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Corman's Fantastic Four

    by TheNorthlander

    Still WAY better than the best parts of Tim Story's two attempts put together.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 4:20 a.m. CST

    Corman Rules indeed

    by cahcat

    Nice to see mention of ANDROID, I remember that from my cable days...Corman School of Filmmaking gave us lots of greats! He deserves the Oscar and it's long overdue.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 4:49 a.m. CST

    Without Corman we wouldn't have Slither!

    by ISleptWithKathyBatesAndAllThatIGotWasThisStupidTalkbackName

    Top horror movie that one. I believe the director (whose name escapes me) was a student of Corman's.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5 a.m. CST

    Corman and William Castle are unsurpassed geniuses of entertainm

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    'X the Man with the X-Ray Eyes' is my personal favorite Corman film. The Poe series is a highlight of the '60s & the Demme/Dante/Arkush/Bartel/Ron Howard '70s material is still very, very fun and was the template for '80s mainstream film. <p>Even the latter-day Jim Wynorski stuff is great if you're in the right mood and I treasure my Black Scorpion TV series DVD set. Corman forever! <p>Also, James Cameron is NOT part of Corman's legacy -- Gale Anne Hurd is.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5:08 a.m. CST

    A shame this award was moved to the non-televised ceremony

    by MaliceHighload

    Would have been great to see Corman recognized on the big live program.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5:10 a.m. CST

    Harry, it's Edgar Allan Poe (not Allen)

    by thegreatwhatzit

    And THE ST. VALENTINE'S DAY MASSACRE is Corman's masterpiece? A clutter of stereotypes, fabrications, a narration that may have been entirely burlesque (sounds like a Stan Freeberg routine)--and Jason Robards eating the scenery (the equivalent of Rod Steiger x 10)? Yeah, it's truly the most perceptive, renascent "gangster" movie since PARDON US (Laurel and Hardy). I mean, "fresh faced" George Segal performing a pale imitation of Jimmy Cagney's "booze dominion" scene from PUBLIC ENEMY? The only "relief" is Nicholson's cameo and Dick Miller in a too-brief climactic role. But you prefer VALENTINE over BONNIE AND CLYDE? Do you fingerpaint your reviews? And have you ever seen MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH? (when I inquired about the movie's final line of dialogue, Corman just grinned). This is the man's masterpiece. Whenever you have some leisure time from name-dropping, try to catch a reel or two (13-year-old apprenticing journalists interview the same celebrities whom you have addressed--but at least they're professional and not under the delusion they're best buds with whomever they're interviewing).

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5:20 a.m. CST

    Being an ultra low-budget moviemaker myself-

    by sonnyfern

    -Corman is my fucking hero.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5:22 a.m. CST

    Wait--Mr. Beaks wrote this homage?

    by thegreatwhatzit

    Well, you've cloned into Harry (goddam seed pods). Yeah, Margot...Bill Castle deserves some veneration (inexpensive gimmicks challenging "corruptive" TV medium). But Hollywood only worships its A-list (trashing the B-movie apprenticeship). I am relieved that Castle's intro footage has been restored to TV prints (his hamming in MR. SARDONICUS is bliss; I really love the guy). I presumed that Corman would have been honored at next year's (televised) Oscar abortion--he certainly deserves the visibility. Ray Harryhausen was also "honored" in these li'l Oscar retreats that are likely officiated at Hollywood Boulevard's Taco Bell. These guys deserve MUCH better.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5:56 a.m. CST

    A shame this won't be part of the

    by kwisatzhaderach

    actual Oscar ceremony. The dumbing down of the Oscars is complete.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 6:47 a.m. CST

    They know

    by Tripper

    Coppola, Cameron; they all know who Roger Corman is and they *do* say he gave them their first start and mentored them. I gotta go wash the taste of "Mentored by Uwe Bol" out of my mouth.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Congratulations Mr. Corman!

    by blakindigo

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 7:39 a.m. CST

    The upcoming sequel to Carnosaur

    by Himbo

    Will be Oscarnosaur

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 7:53 a.m. CST

    Yeah, nobody mentioned Cormon winning an Oscar...

    by StarWarsRedux

    ...just like nobody mentioned Gordon Willis and Lauren Bacall winning theirs, either, at that no-account pre-awards show. Good thing AICN was there to pick up the slack. <p>Oh wait...

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 8:48 a.m. CST

    As a general notion, the Oscars are a diminished award

    by YackBacker

    These lifetime achievement awards aside, winning an Oscar outright has really become a political more than artistic triumph. I cannot sit through a whole awards ceremony as I am too overwhelmed by the shit-eating taking place. But hats off to Corman for getting some recognition, even though it's by an organization that has its head up its ass.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST

    been providing stuff for Sci-Fi recently

    by Gungan Slayer

    Classics like the recent "Cyclops." He's still churning them out. Like it or not, Roger Corman is an important part of film history, and despite the tons of trashy stuff he's put out, he's made some good flicks. And then tons of great flicks to crack open some beers and watch with friends.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Rewarding schlock?

    by Powerring

    He is inventive and frugal when he wants to be. But damn, it's rewarding a mostly inept career of schlock. The oscar has become the "It's my turn" award for people that know people and have been in the biz long enough. Snicker at the golden globes never again. Even Grammy didn't fuck up this bad.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Next: lifetime achievement in cinema will

    by Powerring

    go to Paris Hilton. 2030 Oscars."The Irving G. Thalberg award."

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I THINK ITS QUITE OBVIOUS BY NOW THAT THE OSCARS.....

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    Are worthless. It's a fucking dog show designed so that a bunch of asswipes can pat themselves on the back over making a few decent movies. It's rare that a truly great movie wins best picture. The fact that Ordinary People beat Raging Bull and Dances with Wolves got the win over Goodfellas shows what a fucking joke it is. Oh and how about Forrest Gump beating Pulp Fiction or Shakespeare In Love winning over The Truman Show. FUCK THE OSCARS!!!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Margot Tenebaum

    by TurdontheRun

    "Also, James Cameron is NOT part of Corman's legacy -- Gale Anne Hurd is."<p>Exactly how? Cameron worked for New World Pictures between 78-81, working on Battle Beyond the Stars,second unit filming on Galaxy of Terror, effects work for Escape from New York, etc. It's where he met Hurd in the first place.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:27 a.m. CST

    Corman - worth every damn cent.

    by workshed

    'The Masque of Red Death' is a stone cold classic and, possibly, Price's greatest performance. Great sets and photography with an innate sense of 60's camp schlockery. Well deserved Mr.Corman. Congratulations.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:39 a.m. CST

    Hockey is better than the Oscars

    by DigitalDong

    just asked George C Scott " Hey you won Best Actor George ", "FUCK OFF!! HOCKEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT MEAT MARKET"

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:45 a.m. CST

    Corman is one of my heroes...

    by HarryCalder

    ...and it breaks my heart that this recognition is getting such relatively little noise. The last shot of "Man With the X-Ray Eyes" fucking pwns.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Hey if they can forget about Lauren Bacall

    by CherryValance

    and decide to leave her off the Oscar telecast they can do it to anyone. This Oscar ratings bullshit is getting out of hand. If anything they're just going to lose the viewers they've already got. You're right there was no coverage on this. I mean I knew about it but that's because I pay attention to this stuff. But I didn't see anything on TV at all.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    In this article, Cameron...

    by Margot Tenenbaum

    ...was given credit for his frugality and the creative use of his low budgets on Terminator and ALIENS without mentioning Hurd. She's also built her career on producing small, genre films like Corman did. On his own, Cameron wouldn't know to save money even if he found a coupon for 10 free CG shots in his Sunday LA Times.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 11:01 a.m. CST

    Yes, small genre films

    by TurdontheRun

    Like the bloated Hulk movies and Armageddon.<p>So, you weren't speaking liteally, it was just an asinine attempt to discredit Cameron's contribution to Corman's studios at that time (which is acknowledged by even Corman himself)? Cameron makes sure every cent gets on screen - and that's down to the frugality he learned with Corman, whatever the scale of production those principles are applied to. Nothing to do with working on high or low budgets, low tech or cutting edge tech. I also seem to recall The Abyss going over budget - which Hurd also produced, although they were certainly a great team. No one is denying that. But whatever floats your boat, eh?

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    "Perhaps everyone was too busy whoring for TWILIGHT traffic to n

    by The Garbage Man

    I'm sorry, what were you saying? You see I got distracted by how much AICN's high horse was sparkling in the sunlight. Strange, how it sparkles and broods at the same time...

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Entertainment Weekly just published a piece

    by RogueScribner

    on Corman. just sayin'

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 12:25 p.m. CST

    But the Oscars dont mean anything

    by MonsterKilledThePilot

    so who cares.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 12:29 p.m. CST

    Masque of the Red Death

    by mrm1138

    I just saw Masque of the Red Death for the first time a couple weeks ago, and that movie is a work of art! The sets and costumes may have been left over from previous productions but Corman and his crew had fantastic eyes for how best to utilize them in their film. The acting was also fantastic. I haven't seen all of Corman's Poe adaptations yet, but I have no doubt that Masque is the best of them all. It's a shame that so many people will just lump it in with so much of his other schlocky output.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 12:49 p.m. CST

    RogueScribner

    by Darth Mulder

    You beat me to it. Entertainment Weekly was where I learned about Corman's Oscar. Also, they reported on it a few days before it happened and not a few days after like AICN.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Amen, LastOfTheV8Interceptors

    by Nice Marmot

    Humanoids From The Deep is the SHIT!!!! And it wouldn't be the cinematic classic it is had Corman not insisted on turning the humanoids into rapists.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:39 p.m. CST

    About freaking time.

    by disfigurehead

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    Hey Beaks..You forgot Ronny Howard!!!

    by dingleberryjerry

    Little Ronny Howard got the chance to direct HIS first flick thru Roger Corman. Not sure whether we should thank him or kill him...

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Corman earned it

    by MGTHEDJ

    As Beaks said, when the studio system began to fall apart in the late 1960's, Corman became the Triple-A farm system.<p>Let's also mention some others in more detail. Firts up Jack Nicholson. Stuff he learned working on "The Raven" and "Little Shop of Horrors" he took to "Head" and "Easy Rider." Ron Howard got his first shot behind the camera because of Corman. Robert Towne, yes the Robert Towne, worked for Corman on Tomb of Ligera.<p>The Poe films are the best stuff: a nice mix of Hammer and Big-Studio Hollywood. Congrats sir.-----later-----m

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:07 p.m. CST

    THE HAUNTED PALACE IS CORMAN'S BEST FILM!!!FACT!!!

    by TehCreepyThinMan

    It also has the distinction of being the very first film adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft, specifically his novella The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, which was later remade as The Resurrected by Dan O Bannon who Directed/Scripted my favorite movie of all time The Return of the Living Dead. Anyway, Corman changed the title to The Haunted Palace so he could sell it on the back of his Poe adaptations. Either way it’s a GREAT movie that drips with atmosphere and most likely the closest that we’ll ever get to a true adaptation of Lovecraft’s work.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:12 p.m. CST

    B-movies are still movies...

    by Spice-Orange

    if you don't celebrate B-movies along with the rest of cinema, you're missing the point of the industry. Corman was an amazing presence. More so than agents and executives, he created more super stars and birthed the future movie moments that have shaped the industry today. He deserves this, and i hope there's a good 5-minute montage and he gets to speak at the Oscars!!! PLEASE make it happen.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Oscar winner Roger Corman...

    by kravmaguffin

    Wow, I honestly never expected to see that ever. Quick somebody tell VERN that Oscar winner Steven Seagal is still a possibility...ijs

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:17 p.m. CST

    Seriously, Beaks. Baccall? Willis? No mention?

    by StarWarsRedux

    Granted, I understand the focus on a genre movie-producer like Corman, especially seeing as he helped start the careers of plenty of respected directors. Still, there were three great movie figures who were robbed of the attention they deserve at that Oscar ceremony, and you're only making up the debt on one of them.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:36 p.m. CST

    Roger Corman

    by Larry Jay

    Eric Snyder certainly is getting the what for over at the linked site for his blasphemy comparing Roger Corman to Uwe (I can fuck up anything) Boll. I was thinking of "The Raven" Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Jack Nicholson, Vincent Price all in the same motion picture. The wizard battle, so cheaply done you want to laugh but shot with such great dexterity and inventiveness you actually find yourself drawn into a contest between TWO SEATED MEN. Corman may not be the greatest director but its a damn surety that the films we see today are part of his legacy. Without Corman there would have been no Terminator, Aliens, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, or The Departed. Thank you Roger Corman and Fuck you Paul W.S. Anderson for screwing with DEATH RACE. May your balls wither and fall.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:49 p.m. CST

    Fear Zone

    by slimeguy1

    I actuallyw rote about this the day before it happened, on a site that will be no more come Turkey Day: http://www.fearzone.com/blog/corman-oscar

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 2:54 p.m. CST

    Richly deserved.

    by Harry Weinstein

    When Roger Corman made THE WILD ANGELS in 1966, he set the tonal blueprint for 1970s American filmmaking. Dennis Hopper's later EASY RIDER hasn't aged nearly as gracefully. The MGM box-set THE ROGER CORMAN COLLECTION contains WILD ANGELS, X, the positively deranged BLOODY MAMA, GAS-S-S-S, YOUNG RACERS and several other films - it is a must own and very reasonably priced.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:16 p.m. CST

    AND THE OSCAR GOES TO UWE BOLL

    by supercowbell5THECOWBELLHASSPOKEN

    we'll be hearing that soon

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:21 p.m. CST

    Was it one of those pity Oscars?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Hell, Spielberg never got one until Schindler's List, while asshat George Cloony always gets nominated. Fuck the Oscars.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 3:50 p.m. CST

    no mention

    by gregc

    . . . aside from the huge article in USA TODAY earlier this week?

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    This must be some new definition of "Win"

    by DVDBoy

    Corman didn't "win" the Oscar. It's not like he was in a group of nominees and got the most votes. This is an honorary Oscar. So he was "given" it...it wasn't won.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 5:11 p.m. CST

    Wow

    by Latauro

    That was kind-of amazing. Fantastic article.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 6:25 p.m. CST

    Omar comin yo...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    Omar comin.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST

    well written

    by biberkopf5

    i was reading this saying "wow, i have been hating on harry too much lately, this is coherent and eloquent" then i realized it was written by beaks. well done beaks.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 7:07 p.m. CST

    Let's all cheer for "Humanoids From the Deep"!

    by The Reluctant Austinite

    I love "Humanoids From the Deep." Long live Doug McClure! I agree that the Corman directed Poe films are the artistic highlight of his career with "Masque of the Red Death" a true masterpiece. However, I love the 70s era B-movies he produced as well. "Rock n Roll High School" also deserves mention here in addition to the titles you guys have mentioned.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 7:33 p.m. CST

    Is he still reusing effects from Battle Beyond the Stars?

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    if i won that 'honor' id tell them to shove it up their ass

    by BMacSmith

    i think honorary oscars are a good idea, but taking them off tv is just an insult. i wouldnt show up.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 8:36 p.m. CST

    i guess this means Schwarzennegar will get his soon

    by BMacSmith

    dude made some awesome b-movies, too. give him an oscar.

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 9:08 p.m. CST

    Congrats...

    by micturatingbenjamin

    But, as much as I think the guy's a fat sellout now, doesn't George Lucas deserve this shit more? I mean the fuck invented all sorts of fucking techniques and cameras for fuck's sake to make his toy-commercial fucking movies.<p>Give that guy something for fuck's sake.<p>Roger Corman = Fantastic Four. And Teenage Caveman...THE WORLD OF THE LAW IS THE WORD!

  • Nov. 18, 2009, 10:41 p.m. CST

    micturatingbenjamin is right!

    by Azlam Orlandu

    And on top of that, Lucas has actually made some good movies in his time. This is absolute bullshit.

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 2 a.m. CST

    Lucas won the Irving Thalberg award...

    by SK229

    I could be wrong, but isn't that considered a higher honor than the honorary Oscar? Not sure... but he won that a long time ago.

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 3:57 a.m. CST

    I'm actually...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    very fucking confused as to why Roger Corman won an Oscar but party on.

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 4:29 a.m. CST

    and next Ed Wood wins the Irving Thalberg award

    by tphile2

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 4:58 a.m. CST

    ATTA' BOY, BEAKS - CORMAN IS AN INSPIRATION AND A MENTOR

    by SeXX ED

    So many great film makers of the past 40 years got their start through him. He truly is the father of independent film in America.

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 5 a.m. CST

    OH, AND FUCK THE OSCARS TOO!!!

    by SeXX ED

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Damn good write up Mr. Beaks

    by ED2D2

    Damn good indeed...

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 2:43 p.m. CST

    Do kids today even know who Corman is?

    by lockesbrokenleg

  • Nov. 19, 2009, 3:59 p.m. CST

    And the 2010 Honorary Hack Oscar goes to: Lloyd Kaufman!

    by AL bino

    An Oscar for Roger Corman? Really? Meh.

  • Nov. 20, 2009, 10:18 a.m. CST

    TheNorthlander Re: Corman's FF

    by Blanket-Man

    I understand the sentiment, and I'm not a big fan of Story's two underwhelming flicks, but they are miles above Corman's laughable debacle. There's a good reason it was never released. At least Story's had some great work by Evans and Chiklis, and parts of the Surfer were done well. There's very little positive to be said about Corman's. Doom was slightly more like his comics counterpart, but what about that Jeweler character? WTF?

  • Nov. 20, 2009, 11:09 a.m. CST

    I'd say Little Ronnie Howard is a positive

    by Damned if I can login

    He made Apollo 13, and that film is frikkin' *brilliant*. Not to mention, a film with a very young Daryl Hannah swimmin around pretty much nekkid is a good thing in my book.<p>Not to mention that Howard gave Tom Hanks his big film break, and whether you like Hanks or not, one can't deny the success of that choice.

  • Nov. 20, 2009, 11:12 a.m. CST

    soory...

    by Damned if I can login

    ...didn't mean to use "not to mention" twice in the same post...damn this site's lack of an editor. DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!<p>what the hey...I don't get to quote Chuck Heston that often and I'm goin' for it every chance I get...

  • Nov. 20, 2009, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Chopping Mall

    by Philly_Phil_in_VA

    was an excellent movie man, for some reason, I just love it :)

  • Nov. 20, 2009, 8:15 p.m. CST

    Corman made mostly crap

    by Powerring

    But Kazan got an Oscar as well. Sure, Kazan made some classics, but he also fucked everyone in the ass with a hot poker during the McCarthy era. Corman made some cool movies, but not in the sense of what an Oscar should be about. Oscar=sellout now. Sad.

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 12:10 a.m. CST

    So NO Harry Knowels NEW MOON review thi time?

    by newmoon4545

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 12:24 a.m. CST

    Whoring TWILIGHT & AICN has 5 reviews for it up!

    by newmoon4545

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 2 a.m. CST

    i don't like you beaks

    by Waka_Flocka_Flame

    but i respect the article. maybe do more of these instead of your awful interviews.

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 5:12 a.m. CST

    Space Raiders

    by HarryLove

    needs to be on DVD.

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 1:06 p.m. CST

    My Most "LA" Experience

    by Autodidact

    I lived in LA for a while back in the 90s. I had some crazy fucking experiences at that time... in a way I still feel burned out by it. Anyways, the most LA moment I had was buying a fridge from an old producing partner of Roger Corman. I drove out to Pasadena with my girlfriend and it turned out the ad in the LA Times for a used fridge was from an old partner of Roger Corman's, now living in a run-down old mansion near the rose bowl. The back yard was like a set from the beginning of Empire of the Sun.. like half a mansion that looked all bombed-out and was exposed to the elements. There was all kinds of crap stored back there, in such a way that it felt like Ridley Scott had art directed the placement of things... old film-props painted with gold spray paint, dangling on hooks embedded on crumbly stone walls sprouting greenery. The guy was quite a fucking character and clearly not quite all there. He had worked with Corman. At the time I knew who Corman was, that he had launched Jack Nicholson, but little else. Too bad, would have been a more interesting conversation these days. I probably would have gone and talked to that guy regularly now. Anyhow it was a very interesting meeting, never been ina house or place quite like that again. He gave us the fridge for like $40. I ended up having to leave my GF there as collateral while I borrowed the guy's truck to drive the fridge back home into the valley.

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 1:08 p.m. CST

    ... and tons of books

    by Autodidact

    I couldn't believe the amount of books this guy had basically sitting outside. I wish I could remember if we got an explanation as to why the place was in such a state.

  • Nov. 21, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Don't forget a nod to Ellison when you mention Terminator

    by ReportAbuse

    IIRC, there was some legal stuff going on there. And if we're going to mention Coppola, Bogdonovich and Scorcese we probably shouldn't forget "One from the Heart," "At Long Last Love" and "New York, New York" ... if only to remind us that even the mighty can stumble once in a while and give hope to us shmucks in the trenches that lightning might strike us someday. I'm reminded of the great Rupert Pupkin line (from "The King of Comedy," an underrated masterpiece which I recently netflixed): "I'd rather be king for a night than a shmuck for a lifetime."

  • Nov. 22, 2009, 10:10 a.m. CST

    long live roger corman

    by mr. smith

    any way you slice it, house of usher is a great film.

  • Nov. 22, 2009, 1:37 p.m. CST

    A note to all internet writers:

    by pelhamsim

    STOP USING THE WORD 'WHILST'! You come off as a pompous nerd when you use that word.

  • Nov. 22, 2009, 10:12 p.m. CST

    You forgot...

    by cheyne_stoking_DMS

    you shouldn't use capslock when trying to make a point.

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 2:09 a.m. CST

    TOMB OF LIGEIA and THE INTRUDER

    by Gorgomel

    that's two masterpieces for ya! and don't forget the original LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS

  • Nov. 23, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Frankenstein Unbound

    by spire_walk

    Very awesome and creative take on the monster. It's the only Corman DVD I own.

  • Nov. 25, 2009, 9:54 p.m. CST

    Do non-televised Oscars really count??

    by RequisiteMonkey

    This seems like an empty gesture

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