Movie Review-Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel

Coming to home video March 27th

Plot-Finally a documentary on the life of Roger Corman. The man who created and mastered the alternative approach to making movies in Hollywood. We get to see his start all the way up to present day with him and his wife on the set of Dinoshark. We also get to hear from people like Paul W.S. Anderson, Peter Bogdanovich, Robert DeNiro, Peter Fonda, Pam Grier, Ron Howard, Eli Roth, Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicholson ( who breaks down and cries during a speech about Roger), William Shatner and many others. If you are a fan, aspiring film director, or may have seen a Corman film…this may be your new bible.

Review-The Roger Corman motto..” price over quality”. And you see it on the set of Dinoshark, in the opening minutes of this documentary. When a cast member tells a story of Roger, using locations without permission to make the film, one of the scenes was a fight scene, with the star and the Dinoshark. The actor and director were not aware they were filming that scene in crocodile filled water. To see this 80 plus year old man walk around, and move around like he is a kid, and to top it all off, that he is still as passionate about making films today, as he was when he first started. His life story is told thru people he either mentored, or worked with, while at times he chimes in as well. When Roger talks, he comes across as happy and very well spoken. They briefly touch upon the 1950’s, when he got his first job, as a story analyst at 20th Century Fox. Corman from there moved into writing. Quit Fox, when he was not given any credit for doing notes on a script. Which lead to him eventually selling scripts to fund his own productions for the burgeoning American Independent Pictures. His debut ‘Monster From the Ocean Floor’ in 1954 was the start. This documentary also touches on his film, The Terror, the film that had 7 directors and no story. Even Nicholson, who starred and also directed some of the film, chimes in and makes fun of the film as well. It also talks about how Roger made 7 Poe films, because they kept making him so much money. This film shows how Roger gave William Shatner his break in his first foray into big budget cinema, about the segregated south in The Intruder. Which Hollywood or the world was not ready for a stop racism film at that time. Which both Shatner and Roger go on and on about the death threats they got, being called communists, and also how Roger,lost money on that film. Roger and his brother put mortgages on their houses to get funding to do the film. The only negative I had with the film beside how short it was, was that they never really touched upon the origins of New World Video and how some of those films came to light for Roger to distribute. New World Video to me was one of the best movie companies ever.

As a whole, this is the best documentary about a Hollywood personality in a very long time. I did not get the meaning of Eli Roth being included, and his parts came across as sort of fake, and maybe just talking to get camera time. The bonus features include a trailer, and bonus interviews which is basically Eli Roth telling stories that seem to go nowhere. About how he tried to get Roger to distribute Cabin Fever and it never happened. Ron Howard and Jack Nicholson really came across as heart felt and made you feel the emotion they were feeling. When Nicholson broke down and cried, it was a touching tribute to someone he calls one of his best friends. Of course, the film also highlights Roger winning his lifetime achievement Oscar. For fans like me, that moment was so long overdue and it was so touching to see it on here again. All in all, this was a ton of fun and will be watched at least 2 more times before the release.

9 out of 10