Category Archives: Roger Corman

A Night At The Movies, Halloween ’64.

This is a good one. First, this would’ve been a great night in Vineland, New Jersey — Vincent Price, twice!, and a cool Gordon Scott peplum. I’m going to assume the Laurence Harvey picture is actually The Ceremony (1963); not sure where “OF DEATH” came from.

Second, I’m so happy to report that the Delsea Drive-In is still in business!

Hope y’all are enjoying these old Halloween movie ads. They’ve been a lot of fun to track down.

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Filed under 1961, 1964, A Night At The Movies, AIP, Beverly Garland, Gordon Scott, Halloween Marathons, Peplum, Richard Denning, Roger Corman, Sergio Corbucci, Sidney Salkow, United Artists, Vincent Price

Blu-Ray News #314: Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman (1958).

Directed by Nathan H. Juran (as Nathan Hertz)
Starring Allison Hayes, William Hudson, Yvette Vickers

Warner Archive has announced Nathan Juran’s Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman (1958) as one of their December releases. I’m sure there are some folks out there asking, “Why?” If you don’t get it, I don’t think I could ever explain.

No one has ever accused this of being a good movie. The director Nathan Juran even decided to use a pseudonym, Nathan Hertz, the same name he used for Brain From Planet Arous. And like Arous, 50 Ft. Woman is a hoot, its entertainment value is in no way related to its budget (just $88,000, they say) or its quality as a film. Me, I’ll watch anything with Allison Hayes in it, from Chicago Syndicate (1955) and Gunslinger (1956) to Zombies Of Mora Tau (1957) and The High Powered Rifle (1960). Oh, and Tickle Me (1965) with Elvis.

Attack Of The 50 Ft. Woman was originally released as half of an Allied Artists twin bill with Roger Corman’s War Of The Satellites (1958) starring Dick Miller. Must’ve been a fun afternoon at the movies. By the way, this was remade in 1993, starring Darryl Hannah.

Haven’t seen any specs for the Blu-Ray, but I’m sure it’ll be widescreen and will look terrific. Hope they keep the commentary by Yvette Vickers and Tom Weaver that was on the old DVD. It was cool to listen to Ms. Vickers.

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Filed under 1958, Allison Hayes, Dick Miller, DVD/Blu-ray News, Monogram/Allied Artists, Nathan Juran, Roger Corman, Warner Archive, Yvette Vickers

Blu-Ray News #389: Cockfighter (1974).

Directed by Monte Hellman
Starring Warren Oates, Richard B. Shull, Harry Dean Stanton, Laurie Bird, Ed Begley Jr.

Shout Factory is bringing Monte Hellman’s Cockfighter (1974) to Blu-Ray, which is very good news indeed.

Hellman didn’t make many movies, which is a real shame. This is one of his best. It’s got a great cast — Warren Oates, Richard B. Shull and Harry Dean Stanton are some of my favorite character actors ever, and Laurie Bird is, well, Laurie Bird.

Cockfighter had a hard time with distribution, complete with titles changes (Born To Kill, Wild Drifter, etc.) and all kinds of oddball ad campaigns. It obviously was a tough sell. But it’s a terrific picture full of outstanding performances. Highly, highly recommended.

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Filed under 1974, DVD/Blu-ray News, Harry Dean Stanton, Monte Hellman, New World Pictures, Roger Corman, Warren Oates

Blu-Ray News #372: The Brain Eaters (1958).

Directed by Bruno VeSota
Starring Edwin Nelson, Joanna Lee, Alan Frost, Cornelius Keefe, Leonard Nimoy

As a kid, I spent more time studying TV Guide than my stuff for school. I was looking for was stuff like The Brain Eaters (1958), and when something turned up (often on WRAL’s Sunrise Theater), it was like I’d won a contest or something. While I love great movies like The Searchers (1956) or Citizen Kane (1941), it’s junk like The Brain Eaters than turned me into the movie nut I am today. Bet it worked that way for a lot of y’all out there, too.

So, it’s with a lot of nostalgia and glee that I report that Scream Factory is bringing The Brain Eaters to Blu-Ray later this month — in a limited edition of just 1,500 copies.

The story goes that actor Bruno VeSota wanted to direct, so he turned to Roger Corman. With Corman’s help, The Brain Eaters was made for less than $30,000. They got a distribution deal with AIP who paired it with Bert I. Gordon’s The Spider (1958) — and cooked up a great ad campaign for ’em (see the poster up top from Benson, North Carolina’s Benton Card Company). By the way, Scream Factory has already done a Blu-Ray of The Spider.

A big metal spiral-shaped thing turns up in rural Illinois, then people end up dead with weird parasites attached to the back of their necks. It’s got a bit of an Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956) thing going on — and was eventually wrapped up in a plagiarism suit from Robert A. Heinlein, who claimed The Brain Eaters ripped off his 1951 novel The Puppet Masters. And Leonard Nimoy’s name is misspelled in the credits, but he didn’t sue.

You don’t really recommend a movie like The Brain Eaters. You already know if this is your kind of thing. You can bet Scream Factory will have it looking as good as it’s ever gonna look, so grab one before they’re gone!

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Filed under 1958, AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Roger Corman, Shout/Scream Factory

Happy Birthday, Vincent Price.

Vincent Price
(May 27, 1911 – October 25, 1993)

Here’s the great Vincent Price having a drink during the shooting of Roger Corman’s Pit And The Pendulum (1961). You get so thirsty in those crypts!

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Filed under 1961, AIP, Roger Corman, Vincent Price

RIP, George Segal.

George Segal
(February 13, 1934 – March 23, 2021)

George Segal, who made some damn good movies in a pretty long, busy career, has passed away at 87. The one that always stands out for me is Peter Yates’s The Hot Rock (1972), a crime comedy thing based on a funny Dortmunder novel by Donald E. Westlake. He’s on the right in the above photo, along with (L-R) Paul Sand, Ron Leibman and Robert Redford. (Moses Gunn and Zero Mostel are also in it.) The Hot Rock lead me to Westlake’s books, which worked around to the Richard Stark novels (Stark was one of Westlake’s pen names). By the way, The Hot Rock gives us an eerie helicopter ride around the World Trade Center when the towers were under construction. 

George Segal was also in Ship Of Fools (1965), King Rat (1965), Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Roger Corman’s The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre (1967), Where’s Poppa? (1970) and Robert Altman’s California Split (1974).

He was also a really good banjo player.

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Filed under 1972, George Segal, Peter Yates, Robert Altman, Robert Redford, Roger Corman

Blu-Ray News #324: Targets (1968).

Directed by Peter Bogdanivich
Starring Boris Karloff, Tim O’Kelly, Peter Bogdanovich

Targets tells the stories of a troubled young man with a thing for guns (Tim O’Kelly) and an aging horror film star (Boris Karloff). O’Kelly’s character is based on Charles Whitman, who shot a bunch of people from the tower at the University Of Texas in Austin in 1966. Karloff’s character is based on, well, Boris Karloff. The movie gets creepier, and more topical, as time goes on. It also illustrates the shift from Gothic horror to more contemporary horror in a very literal way.

Targets came about because Boris Karloff owed Roger Corman a couple days’ work. Corman let Peter Bogdanovich make a picture out of the two days of Karloff and some footage from The Terror (1963). Bogdanovich and his wife Polly Platt based the story on Whitman, which was then in the news. Samuel Fuller helped out on the script, without credit or payment. The director managed to sell the picture to Paramount, which landed Corman a profit before it was even released.

The British Film Institute is bringing Targets to Blu-ray in March 2021, which will give us all a good look at the cinematography by László Kovács. The BFI will certainly load this up with supplemental stuff, too, making for a terrific package, I’m sure (hopefully, they’ll keep Bogdanovich’s commentary from the Paramount DVD). Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1968, BFI, Boris Karloff, DVD/Blu-ray News, Paramount, Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman

A Night At The Movies: Halloween – Illinois, 1967.

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Filed under 1959, 1963, 1964, 1966, 1967, A Night At The Movies, AIP, Boris Karloff, Dick Miller, Halloween Marathons, Herman Cohen, Jack Nicholson, Mario Bava, Michael Gough, Roger Corman

Blu-Ray News #307: Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957).

Produced & Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Richard Garland, Pamela Duncan, Russell Johnson, Leslie Bradley, Mel Welles, Richard H. Cutting

Shout Factory has announced that Roger Corman’s Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957) will be released on Blu-Ray on August 25th (that’s next week) in a limited edition of just 1,000 copies. Act now, folks!

This pretty much sums up all that was wonderful about Hollywood in the 1950s.

Made for just $70,000, Attack Of The Crab Monsters played in a double bill with Corman’s Not Of This Earth (1957) — which Shout Factory will hopefully get to soon, and made over a million bucks.

Attack Of The Crab Monsters was shot at Leo Carrillo State Beach, Bronson Caverns and Marineland by the great cinematographer Floyd Crosby, and it features a good score by Ronald Stein. The crab monsters were made out of styrofoam, so getting them to go underwater was tough (and destructive). Everything about this movie is terrific.

This Blu-Ray promises a new scan of a fine-grain print (in its original 1.85), a new commentary, the theatrical trailer and a tribute to Mr. Corman. It’s available exclusively through the Shout Factory website, and only 1,000 of ’em will be pressed. Highly, highly recommended. Click on the half sheet up top to order yours!

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Filed under 1957, DVD/Blu-ray News, Floyd Crosby, Monogram/Allied Artists, Roger Corman, Russell Johnson, Shout/Scream Factory

Blu-Ray News #276: X – The Man With The X-Ray Eyes (1963).

Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Ray Milland, Diana Van Der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles, Morris Ankrum, Dick Miller

Bring on the AIP and Corman! Second Sight out of the UK has announced a Blu-Ray release of Roger Corman’s X – The Man With The X-Ray Eyes (1963). It’s a terrific movie that does wonders with its small budget (you could say that about most Corman movies, I guess).

Ray Milland is researching ways to boost man’s eyesight, who in typical horror movie fashion, tries his serum out on himself — with the usual results.

One of Corman’s best, with outstanding camerawork from the great Floyd Crosby. And Milland is really, really good. Highly recommended.

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Filed under 1963, AIP, Dick Miller, Don Rickles, DVD/Blu-ray News, Morris Ankrum, Ray Milland, Roger Corman