Roger Corman is a movie producer and director sometimes known as "King of the B-Movie". He has directed over 50 movies and produced over 300, every single one of them having been created on time and under budget. Most of them are low-brow shameless exploitation films of various types that have become "classic" examples of So Bad It's Good and are as far from True Art as it is possible to get.
Corman did have his shining moment of artistic legitimacy when he directed a series of Gothic horrors based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. These eight films -- all released between 1960 and 1964, and all but one starring Vincent Price -- are noticeably uneven, but the standouts really stand out. These include House Of Usher, featuring a legendary performance from Price, and The Haunted Palace, which was the first screen adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story, dolled up for the Poe series. Also directed The Little Shop of Horrors in 1960; it was filmed in exactly two days, a world record.
In addition to his knack for the financial aspects of moviemaking, Roger Corman also has a keen eye for talent. Many famous directors, including Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Ron Howard, Joe Dante, and Martin Scorsese, started out directing films that Roger Corman produced. A number of actors -- notably Jack Nicholson and Robert Vaughn -- also had their start under Corman.
Corman recieved the Academy Honorary Award in 2009.
Tropes That Apply To This Filmmaker:
- Badass: Say what you will about the quality of his films, the sheer number of careers he launched and financially-successful projects he helmed definitely qualify him for this trope.
- Celebrity Endorsement: Has a lot of fans in the industry, including Quentin Tarantino.
- The Cameo: During the 70s, 80s and 90s, he often showed up in his proteges' movies, including such respected films as The Godfather Part II, Philadelphia and The Silence of the Lambs.
- Cool Old Guy
- Embarrassing Nickname: Corman has always disliked being called "King of the B's", as the double feature was fading out by the time he made his movies.
- Happily Married
- In the Blood: His brother became a movie producer and they collaborated on a remake of Tower Of London.
- Insistent Terminology: Corman maintains that he never directed a B-movie in his life, proudly describing his work as exploitation films.
- Mentor: A lot of people in the industry (both big names and unknowns) got their start by working under him.
- Nice Guy: Most people (even Ron Howard and others who didn't get along with him) saw him as an affable, friendly guy.
- One Last Job: After a 10-year hiatus from directing (but not producing), he made one last film (Frankenstein Unbound). He hasn't directed a film since (but he has produced an obscenely large amount).
- The Smart Guy
Corman's Movies Contain Examples Of:
- Action Girl. Usually Beverly Garland. Corman was a filmmaker who did not believe in the Neutral Female - he had female protagonists who were tough, intelligent and resourceful. A good example is when Beverly Garland's character in It Conquered the World grabs a shotgun when her idiot husband is mesmerized by the alien, and gives it a memorable "The Reason You Suck" Speech, then growls: "You think you're gonna make a slave of the world... I'll see you in Hell first!" Keep in mind, Garland was delivering this to a walking carrot and made it believable.
- Heck, she's why it looks like a carrot in the first place. (The original character design was very squat, as Corman and creature designer Paul Blaisdell figured it was from a high-gravity planet. Bev walked up to it, said "So you're gonna conquer the world, huh? Ha!" and kicked it. It was quickly decided that the creature would have to be taller than her. Given the usual time and budget restraints of Corman, this translated to "Give it a big tall conehead.")
- Black Comedy
- Cat Scare
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority
- Creator Cameo
- Fan Service: Many of his films will have a scene that shows the female lead topless.
- Blatantly obvious in Humanoids From The Deep. He wanted more nudity but the director, Barbara Peeters, refused to shoot it, so he fired her and brought in someone else (in case you were wondering why a movie credited to a female director had so much monster-rape).
- Follow the Leader: His films basically take whatever movie subjects are popular at the time, and make them cheaper, funnier, and (sometimes) racier.
- Jump Scare
- Line-of-Sight Name: A nurses union wrote to Corman to complain about one of his films which had an exploitative view of Night Call Nurses. Corman realized he had the title of his next flick.
- The Mockbuster: Did some of these.
- No Budget: Legendary for this, and is still going at it.
- Stock Footage: Some of his early films had to do this to stay within budget. He actually wanted to avoid this in his remake of Tower Of London, but Executive Meddling wouldn't let him.
- He also used to buy quality Soviet sci-fi productions, re-edit them with added scenes, dub them in English and he'd have a cheapie sci-fi movie with quality special effects.
- Stripperiffic: Mainly his output from the 70s and onward.