Category Archives: Roger Corman

Blu-Ray News #122: Wasp Woman And Beast From Haunted Cave (1959).

This one snuck up on me — and with so many great things being announced, one right after another, it was just a matter of time before something would fall through the cracks. Retromedia Entertainment if offering up this terrific twofer, “2 New Thrill Shocking Hits!” from 1959 — The Wasp Woman and Beast From Haunted Cave. The set’s evidently available now.

The Wasp Woman was produced and directed by Roger Corman and stars Susan Cabot. It was written by character actor Leo Gordon. He’s not in it, but his wife Lynn Cartwright is. The budget was around $50,000. Of course, the Wasp Woman in the movie looks nothing like the incredible poster art.

Beast From Haunted Cave was directed by Monte Hellman, who’s since made some superb movies like 1966’s The Shooting and 1971’s Two-Lane Blacktop. It was shot in South Dakota’s Black Hills; the cave is actually an abandoned mine. Written by Charles Griffith, it’s a remake of Naked Paradise (1957) with a monster dropped in the middle of it. Griffith would dust off the story again (complete with the monster) for Creature From The Haunted Sea (1961). That’s one thing you can count on with a Roger Corman movie — the picture might be lousy, but the production history will always be interesting.

Both films are already available on DVD from various sources, usually looking pretty terrible. Retromedia says the both film will be presented widescreen on their Blu-Ray, which is a huge plus. Not sure what their source material is, but the TV prologue for Wasp Woman is supposedly going to be an extra. If anyone sees or hears anything about what these look like, please let me know.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1959, DVD/Blu-ray News, Leo Gordon, Monte Hellman, Roger Corman, Susan Cabot

Why Aren’t These Out On DVD?

kelly-parker-pressbook

There are hundreds, probably thousands, of movies sitting on our collective DVD and Blu-Ray Want Lists. But coming across this pressbook for a twin bill of Machine Gun Kelly and The Bonnie Parker Story (both 1958) — while doing some research on William Witney — got me thinking what a fun widescreen, hi-def package this would be.

1 Comment

Filed under 1958, AIP, Charles Bronson, Roger Corman, William Witney

Blu-Ray News #89: The Film Detective’s Roger Corman Collection.

the_san_bernardino_county_sun_sat__sep_28__1963_

The Film Detective has gathered up three Roger Corman pictures and repackaged them on Blu-Ray at a special price. Sounds like a good idea to me.

The Terror (1963)
Directed by Roger Corman (along with Francis Ford Coppola, Monte Hellman, Jack Hill, Jack Nicholson)
Starring Boris Karloff, Jack Nicholson, Sandra Knight, Dick Miller

A crazy patchwork quilt of a movie. Boris Karloff’s scenes were shot as the wonderful sets for Corman’s The Raven (1963) were being torn down. The rest was made up, with a script by Leo Gordon and Jack Hill, and shot later by a revolving door of cast and crew. It all comes together much better than you’d think, and with repeat viewing almost starts to make some sense. Almost. The Film Detective has this one looking good — and in 1.85 (which AIP called Vistascope).

Dementia 13 (1963)
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Starring William Campbell, Luana Anders, Patrick Magee

With just $40,000 and nine days, Francis Ford Coppola made one of the best Psycho ripoffs, even though you can feel the fact that it was written in a hurry. However, Coppola the director saves Coppola the writer.

bucket-of-blood-np

A Bucket Of Blood (1959)
Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone

A goofy/funny/scary little gem of a movie with a rare lead role for Dick Miiler. Of course, he’s terrific. The Film Detective offers it up 1.85, the way it oughta be.

It’s easy to recommend this set. I grew up on these things, and it’s great to see them treated with the respect some people (like me) feel they deserve.

3 Comments

Filed under 1959, 1963, AIP, Dick Miller, DVD/Blu-ray News, Francis Ford Coppola, Leo Gordon, Monte Hellman, Roger Corman, The Film Detective

Happy Halloween.

the_post_crescent_wed__oct_26__1960_

Halloween in Wisconsin in 1960 looks like it was a lot of fun, especially the Paul Landres double feature at the Neenah.

Here’s hoping your Halloween is every bit as terrific.

3 Comments

Filed under 1960, Hammer Films, Paul Landres, Roger Corman, The Three Stooges

DVD Review: Not Of This Earth (1957).

Not Of This Earth TC

Produced and Directed by Roger Corman
Screenplay by Charles B. Griffith and Mark Hanna
Photographed by John Mescall
Music by Ronald Stein
Titles by Paul Julian

Cast: Paul Birch (Paul Johnson), Beverly Garland (Nadine Storey), Morgan Jones (Harry Sherbourne), William Roerick (Dr. Rochelle), Jonathan Haze (Jeremy Perrin), Dick Miller (Joe Piper)

__________

Beverly Garland is one of my favorite actresses, thanks to terrific performances in movies like this. Sure, she was capable of much, much more, as she proved later. But Beverly was such a pro, and so good, she can pick up a cheap picture like Gunslinger (1956) or The Alligator People (1959) and carry it on her back for 60-plus minutes. In Not Of This Earth (1957), Paul Birch is on hand to help out, and the two of them helped Roger Corman knock out what is probably the best of his early monster movies.

Not Of The Earth LCPaul Johnson (Birch) requires a lot of medical care, so he hires a nurse (Garland) to tend to his ongoing need for transfusions. Turns out, he’s from the planet Davanna, whose populace is dying of a blood disease, and he’s come to check out the earth as a possible supply.

Of course, this is pretty silly stuff, but Charles B. Griffith and Mark Hanna’s script really works, the cast puts the dialogue over (Birch somehow makes the alien’s stilted lines feel natural), location shooting in real homes and around Griffith Park add some production value, and it leaves us with a genuinely creepy ending. Good stuff.

Then there’s Paul Julian’s titles. He was a world-class background artist for Warner Bros. cartoons, and his work for Corman really classes things up. They’re so cool, so simple and so effective. Also worth noting is the beautiful advertising art by Albert Kallis — one of my favorite posters ever.

Not Of This Earth is available as part of Shout Factory’s Roger Corman’s Cult Classics Triple Feature. The other two pictures are Attack Of The Crab Monsters (1957) and War Of The Satellites (1958). We get crisp anamorphic transfers for Earth and Attack, while Satellites is full-frame — but nice and sharp. You’ll never pull these movies out to show off your spiffy new TV, but Shout Factory has ’em looking better than you ever thought they would.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 3.48.38 PM

Allied Artists sent out Attack Of The Crab Monsters and Not Of This Earth as a double feature. Watch them back to back — it’s only a little over two hours. Recommended.

Leave a comment

Filed under 1957, Beverly Garland, Dick Miller, Monogram/Allied Artists, Roger Corman

Blu-ray News #40: Panic In Year Zero! (1962).

panic_in_year_zero_poster_02

Directed by Ray Milland
Starring Ray Milland, Jean Hagan, Frankie Avalon, Willis Bouchey

Ray Milland directed this AIP picture about a family that’s on a camping trip when an atomic bomb is dropped on L.A. They end up having to take on all sorts of human vermin as society begins to fall apart. If there’s a moral to the story, it might be to be sure to take a shotgun along on a camping trip.

Panic In Year Zero! (1962) is in black and white ‘Scope, features a score by Les Baxter and was shot at the Iverson Ranch — no wonder I’ve always had a soft spot for it. It was sometimes paired with Roger Corman’s Tales Of Terror (1962).

Kino Lorber has announced it for Blu-ray release in early 2016 — if mankind lasts that long!

2bd506df-eaf6-414f-9151-e07d168bc70c

3 Comments

Filed under 1962, AIP, DVD/Blu-ray News, Frankie Avalon, Kino Lorber, Les Baxter, Ray Milland, Roger Corman, Vincent Price

Blu-ray News #17: The Secret Invasion (1964).

Secret Invasion HS

Directed by Roger Corman
Starring Stewart Granger, Raf Vallone, Mickey Rooney, Edd Byrnes, Henry Silva, Mia Massini, William Campbell

Roger Corman fans have plenty to be excited about these days, with some of his key 60s pictures (The Price/Poe Cycle, The Wild Angels, The Trip) making their way to Blu-ray. Now Kino Lorber has announced The Secret Invasion (1964).

Secret Invasion still 1

Coming before The Dirty Dozen (1967) with its prisoners-released-for-a-deadly-mission plot, Corman seems to have spent much of his larger budget on an excellent cast — and a truckload of bullets. There’s a lot of shooting in this thing, which is why, as a kid, I loved to see it show up on TV. Of course, in those days, Corman’s great use of Panavision was completely lost on our Zenith.

1 Comment

Filed under 1964, DVD/Blu-ray News, Kino Lorber, Mickey Rooney, Roger Corman