In all honesty, documentaries are not one of my favorite genres. Usually they spend way too much time being informational winding up feeling like a 90 minute infomercial. Bare in mind, that’s my own opinion. Lots of people love these more than actual feature films and that’s fine. But I tend to like them more when they focus on something I really care about – the film industry. Premiering this year at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Alex Stapleton’s new documentary, Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (featured in the Park City at Midnight program), more than fits this bill.
Having grown up with a life long obsession regarding monster flicks ranging from Jaws to The Howling to the older classics such as The Wolf Man and Creature from the Black Lagoon, most of these flicks get a bad rap. Nowadays, the B-movies are of varying caliber ranging from Tremors to Eight Legged Freaks. While many of these are some of my favorites, and as much as Jaws is my all-time favorite film, there’s one little movie that I have watched countless times and never grows old, and that would be the original Roger Corman executive produced Piranha.
While having just been remade last year, I think between that, this documentary and a few new features fresh out of the water (Sharktopus, Dinoshark), supposed young film buffs of today may finally be enlightened to a man who has probably made more films than most filmmakers would ever agree to even have been associated with. Featuring everyone from Joe Dante, John Sayles, Pam Grier, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, William Shatner, Peter Fonda, Bruce Dern, David Carradine, Jonathan Demme, Peter Bogdonavich, Eli Roth, Quentin Tarantino and at one point Jack Nicholson shedding a tear, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who’s worked with such a voracious degree of writers, directors and actors. Let alone a bigger group so thankful to have worked alongside him.
Spanning from his early years working at American International Pictures to his own production company at New World Pictures, including current footage on the set of his newest feature Dinoshark, the man who’s never been afraid of blood, boobs, car chases and explosions is still as hard at work as ever at the incredible age of almost 85 years old (his birthday is this April). So sit back and relax as Corman’s World titillates and educates while making one want to rush over to their NetFlix queues to add something a little different whether it be his 1960 Little Shop of Horrors, the film no one involved with to this day can explain (The Terror), or a couple of classics (Piranha, Rock & Roll High School, Grand Theft Auto), there’s something for everyone whether you realize it or not.
Corman’s World will be screened on Thursday at midnight at the Yarrow Hotel Theater and Saturday at 9 p.m. at the Holiday Village Cinema IV, both in Park City.
Photo courtesy American Pictures International