King Of The Indies


When you think of B/exploitation films, certain words may not immediately leap to mind, such as: quality, production value, acting talent, great storylines, etc… but all these words and more describe the films produced and/or directed by Roger Corman…and all for a budget less than what the majors probably spend on catering. Corman began as a hired gun for American International Pictures, the heavyweight champ of B-movies from the 50’s to the early 70’s, cranking out classics like X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes, Not Of This Earth, A Bucket Of Blood, Little Shop Of Horrors…before striking out on his own to form New World Pictures, which brought us Death Race 2000, Caged Heat and Piranha…


These films all feature great (usually intentional) humor, intelligence, and thought-provoking morals and political themes. What other exploitation studio could have discovered and trained the likes of Johnathan Demme, Joe Dante, John Sayles, Paul Bartel, Francis Ford Coppolla and Martin Scorsese? Independent films went legit and respectable in the 90’s, winning Oscars…but most of these “indie” companies were actually tax-shelter projects funded by major studios. (Miramax was owned by Disney, fercrissakes.) Hollywood these days is virtually creatively bankrupt, stuck in a rut of remaking their classics and rebooting successful franchises…and, most odiously, making high-budget remakes of cult classic B-movies. All the while, under the radar, true independents like Corman keep restoring my faith in cinema…



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