Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) - Dread Central
Connect with us
cormansworld.jpg cormansworld.jpg


Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011)



Cover art:


Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood RebelFeaturing Roger Corman, Julie Corman, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Demme, Bruce Dern, Peter Fonda, William Shatner, David Carradine, Dick Miller, Eli Roth, Paul W.S Anderson, Joe Dante, Pam Grier

Directed by Alex Stapleton

“The difference between the image you present to the world and what is going on inside in your subconscious mind is significant. I’ve been told that my image is somewhat of a clean-cut kind of guy; clearly my subconscious mind is something of a boiling inferno.”– Roger Corman

Dismissed as a schlockmeister and purveyor of B-movie trash by some film snobs, Roger Corman is the subject of Alex Stapleton’s affectionate and engaging documentary entitled Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, which examines the legendary producer’s astonishing six-decade long career while also underlining his importance in the formation of modern Hollywood – both for independent cinema and the studio blockbuster system alike.

On the surface it’s easy to see how the industry wrote off Corman as an exploitative hack of Z-grade movies who has no artistic integrity of his own to speak of over the years, but then that wouldn’t justify the deep-seated admiration the iconic producer and director has acquired by some of the most renowned talents in Hollywood throughout his impressive career.

In Stapleton’s brilliantly entertaining and insightful documentary, the filmmaker reaffirms Corman’s legacy in the industry by somehow managing to summon such sought after interviewees as Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Ron Howard, Robert De Niro, Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Demme, Bruce Dern, Peter Fonda, William Shatner, John Sayles, Gale Anne Hurd, Dick Miller, Eli Roth, Paul W.S Anderson, Joe Dante, Pam Grier and the late David Carradine – most of whose careers took off as a result of Corman’s films. Simply put, without Corman their careers may never have happened. There’s a contagious admiration throughout everyone’s interviews regarding Corman’s involvement in their early beginnings in Hollywood, and it was nice to see even some Hollywood heavyweights pay their due to the master.

As a long-time fan of Corman’s Poe films, it was great to see Corman’s World explore that as a storyteller Corman was really beginning to master his craft around the time he was helming films like House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Tomb of Ligeia, which also turns out to be Scorsese’s favorite Corman flick of all time. There wasn’t much time overall spent on dissecting these films but rather demonstrating how they impacted cinema as a whole, and while I would have loved to hear more about these movies in particular, Stapleton smartly keeps everything moving forward in her doc, never lingering too long on any one aspect of Corman’s legacy in cinema.

That being said, the lesser known and surprising facts revealed during Corman’s World ended up being the most telling and entertaining about the iconic independent filmmaking pioneer. From tidbits about his involvement with distributing foreign films by directors like Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa to how movies like The Wild Angels and The Trip were inspirations for the classic 1969 flick Easy Rider, Corman’s World digs deep into why Corman still remains influential today without taking the easy route and just offering up a lot of empty praise for the filmmaker- Stapleton clearly did her homework on every aspect of Corman’s career and influence, and it definitely shows here.

While Corman’s World celebrates all the positives to the filmmaker’s career, it certainly doesn’t shy away from the tough lessons Corman learned in the industry throughout his decades-spanning career either. Stapleton spends a sizable amount of time in the doc dissecting Corman’s highly controversial 1962 film The Intruder that boldly explored segregation in the South during a time of civil unrest in the country (The Intruder is also noteworthy for being Shatner’s first film role ever) and ended up being the only movie that never made a dime for Corman.

Then when Jaws arrived in theaters in 1975, it forever changed creature features within the genre world with fans now wanting more serious fare than films like Attack of the Crab Monsters or Creature from the Haunted Sea, making Corman’s way of producing horror movies a thing of the past. A few years later when Star Wars debuted in 1977 and changed the entire entertainment industry, all while boasting Corman-esque concepts and lavish budgets, the filmmaker found himself left completely in the dust. We see Corman calling George Lucas’ $30+ million budget “obscene” in response during an interview segment from that time as well as the palpable pain on the filmmaker’s face as he defends his way of filmmaking.

Corman’s World ends on a high note with the “schlockmeister” collecting his honorary Academy Award surrounded by many of the movie industry’s finest during the Governors Awards ceremony in November 2009, further demonstrating that Corman’s influence on Hollywood is far bigger than just the sum of the over 400 movies he directed or produced during his 60+-year career. It’s a great moment to watch Corman, the man who never got the respect he deserved for valiantly (and successfully) bucking against the Hollywood system, finally getting his due and humbly sharing his moment with those whose careers he launched.

As a lifelong genre fan, it’s nothing short of absolute bliss to finally see a doc like Corman’s World do justice to the legacy of this indie movie maverick (Bucket of Blood being one of my earliest horror movie watching memories). And surprisingly, Nicholson (who’s first film was Corman’s The Cry Baby Killer in 1958) ends up being the biggest admirer out of “The Corman School of Film” with entertaining anecdotes ranging from tongue-in-cheek put-downs (“By mistake, Roger would actually make a good picture every once in a while…but I was never in it”) to deep admiration that leaves the legendary actor choked up and teary-eyed when expressing his gratitude for Corman’s influence on his career.

It’s no surprise that Corman’s World will delight genre fans everywhere who are familiar with the iconic filmmaker’s work, but what’s even more remarkable is that this documentary is surprisingly accessible to mainstream audiences as well- there’s a lot for everyone to enjoy even if you’re only a casual filmgoer at best. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more intelligent, entertaining, thought-provoking and inspiring documentary this year than Stapleton’s Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, which opens in New York and Los Angeles on December 16th.

4 1/2 out of 5

Discuss Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel in the comments section below!

Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


AHS: Cult Review: Clowns, Cults, Politics, and Peters



Starring Evan Peters, Sarah Paulson, Billie Lourd, Cheyenne Jackson, Frances Conroy, Mare Winningham, and Allison Pill

Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk


It’s here. We’ve reached the end. The newest season of “American Horror Story” has ended and now we are here to provide you guys with our season review of AHS: Cult.

Spoiler free.

To start things off let me say I’m not the world’s biggest fan of “American Horror Story”. It breaks down like this: I enjoyed the absolute hell out of the first season of the series (“Murder House”), couldn’t get through “Asylum” (I know, I know, I’ve tried), dug “Coven” for what it was, really enjoyed “Freak Show”, and again I couldn’t get into “Hotel” or “Roanoke”.

That’s the story of me and “American Horror Story”. Plain And simple. But what did I think of the new seventh season of the notorious horror anthology series? Let’s find out.

Back when the seventh season of AHS was first announced (then going by the title “AHS: Election”) I was immediately intrigued by the new season because I heard it would not include any supernatural elements. Like the fourth season, “Freak Show”.

Now I’m a fan of ghosts and weird creature-men with drills for d*cks, don’t get me wrong. But the series has thus far relied almost exclusively on horrors of the supernatural variety (other than “Freak Show”) so this major change of pace was again welcomed by this guy.

Instead of vampires, aliens, and witches this season relied on terrors of the mind. Psychological fears and anxieties. The horrors man does to man. Deep issues.

Oh, and clowns. Like a lot of clowns.

But just because this new season didn’t include anything supernatural, that doesn’t mean the 11-episode season wasn’t filled with twisted visuals and horrifically disturbing acts. No, sir. This season boasted some showstoppers including S&M, gimps, and a house of horrors that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rob Zombie flick. It was all good.

But let’s backtrack a bit here.

Allow me to rundown the season’s plot for those who may be unaware. “AHS: Cult” tells the tale of a world post-election night. The literal dawn of Trump’s America. In one corner we have Sarah Paulson’s soccer mom, trying to fight through life with a series of crippling phobias (including clowns, holes, blood, and being a good person).

And in the other corner, we have Evan Peter’s angry, white (blue-haired) male, looking to seize Trump’s new position of power to bring about the end of… Actually, I want this to be a spoiler-free season review, so I’m just going to say the dude’s got big plans.

Like Manson-size plans. Let’s leave it at that.

With these two characters established, the new season then proceeds to send them spiraling into a collision course of political sabotage, intrigue, and clown-based nope, nope, nope-ing that can only end with one – or both – of them dead as Dillinger.

Overall “AHS: Cult” belonged end-to-end to Mr. Evan Peters. The young actor has continued to show his striking range from season to season of Ryan Murphy’s horror show and this season was no different. Peters’ turn as not only Kai, the blue-haired leader of the titular cult, but as infamous leaders such as David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Charles Manson – to name a few – owed this season.

I can only hope he doesn’t pull a Jessica Lange and opt-out of more AHS next year.

Speaking of top performances, “AHS: Cult ” showcases some other chilling and memorable turns with Alison Pill’s strangely vulnerable, put-upon wife character being the best next to Peters in my eyes. This actress needs to be in more films/TV!

Along with Pill, actress Billie Lourd killed it time and time again. The “Scream Queens” breakout star and Carrie Fisher spawn was yet again a highlight in her second Ryan Murphy series. Bet she has the starring role in next season. Mark my words.

Add to that, the season also boasts a handful of fun cameos, including John Carroll Lynch’s return as Twisty the Clown, Emma Roberts as a bitchy reporter that will do anything to end up on top, and Lena Dunham as SCUM Manifesto writer Valerie Solanas. The cameo cast killed it and I wish they would have been present for more episodes. What are you gonna do?

On the sour side of the season, I didn’t dig Sarah Paulson’s character. At all. But I’m sure that was the point. Right? I’m still not sure. But, boy, I wouldn’t even want to be stuck in line behind her at a Starbucks for three minutes, let alone spend the better part of this season’s 11-hours with her and her whiny bullshite. Urgh.

That said, she pulled it out by the finale. That’s all I’ll say.

In the end, I enjoyed this season as much as – if not more – than any other of the series. “Murder House” will still no doubt go on as my favorite season of the series, but “AHS: Cult” will rank third after season one and “Freak Show”.

While I was on the fence about the season after three episodes, the show ended up ditching Paulson’s character (and/or shifting her arch) after a lull so the episodes picked up quickly. Whenever the season turned its focus back towards Peters (in whichever incarnation he was playing at the time) the show got better and better. Every time.

Not a bad way to spend my Tuesday night for the past 11 weeks.

Bring on season 12.

  • American Horror Story: Cult (2018)


The seventh season of Ryan Murphy’s American Horror Story was Evan Peters’ show all the way through. The young actor pulled out all the stops time and time again to make what may have been a lackluster supernatural-free season a winner.

User Rating 3 (1 vote)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


The Axiom Review – A Stylish and Clever Slice of Independent Horror




Starring Hattie Smith, Zac Titus, Nicole Dambro

Directed by Nicholas Woods

The Axiom is an ambitious, well directed, impressively acted and stunningly shot independent horror film that has just a few, teensy little flaws holding it back from greatness (and therefore will have to settle for just being really, really good, instead).

The first thing you realize when watching The Axiom is that this is a beautiful film. Everything is framed and shot in a lush and stylish manner, but one which is always tonally appropriate for the scene.

The second thing you’ll notice, and keep noticing as the film plays out, is that the movie really struck gold with this cast. Not only is there a total lack of the sort of stilted and unnatural acting seen in countless other microbudget horror affairs, but the performances are genuinely fantastic across the board. The main characters are believably chill and relatably normal in the early scenes, and the acting remains just as impressive once things start getting a bit more… intense. It’s not often that an independent horror film has so many good performances that it makes it hard to pick the movie’s acting VIP, but that is undeniably the case here. Taylor Flowers delivers what is probably the showiest performance (and does it very well, indeed), but the entire cast really is quite good.

The central premise of the film is both interesting and original, and touches upon the real life fact (given some recent attention in the ‘Missing 411’ books and documentary) that a lot more people sure seem to go missing out in the woods than seems reasonable, while simultaneously weaving all sorts of folklore, fairy tales and urban legends into the mix. It’s also clever in the way that it very naturally reveals aspects to the relationships between characters that serve to later – or sometimes retroactively – explain some of the more questionable decisions they make or attitudes they display. While that may sound like screenwriting 101, it’s surprising how many films fail to do this. The Axiom rewards the viewer’s attention in other ways as well, with many aspects of the movie that initially feel odd or unnatural receiving reasonable explanations (within the context of the movie) by the end. It’s not quite as challenging (or as rewarding) in this regard as, say, something like Session 9, but it does add a nice layer of complexity to the storytelling.

The film’s score, by Leo Kaliski, is also quite good. There may be a moment here or there where the music hits an overly familiar beat, but overall it not only fits the movie’s tone, but does quite a bit to help set that tone as well.

The only thing that I don’t feel the movie quite pulls off – and I’m trying to be vague here, because I feel like the less you know going into this film, the better – is some of the makeup effects work. The gore stuff is very well executed, but some of the other stuff feels like it was crafted with the intention of shooting it in a more… stylized manner. Instead, filmed as it is here, the result is sometimes less than impressive and can fail to make the impact that the movie seems to be implying that it should. And while some of what the makeup effects lack in execution is made up for with the ingenuity and creativity of their design, it’s still a bit of a shame when they don’t quite pull them off because, aside from a few niggles that I have with the writing, the effects are the only aspect of the film that occasionally fails to live up to the high level of technical proficiency that The Axiom otherwise demonstrates.


  • Man, the acting in this movie is really good. The dialogue may stumble once or twice, but these actors always sell it anyway.
  • Give back Mia Sara’s DNA, Hattie Smith!
  • If you’re going to put your female lead in shorts this small, I hope you’re not sensitive to viewers unleashing a nonstop parade of “Has anyone seen my pants / OH GOD WHERE ARE MY PANTS!” jokes.
  • “You just pop this here ‘Blair Witch Stick Person / Anarchy sign’ sticker up on that there windshield of yours, and them park rangers? Well – heh heh – they won’t bother you none, no sir.” Hmmmmm…
  • The film really is shot amazingly well – better than a lot of mainstream releases. Cinematographer Sten Olson has a real future ahead of him.
  • As does writer / director Nicholas Woods, for that matter. Any director who can get this level of quality out of their cast and crew on their first ever film is someone to keep an eye on.
  • “I’ll make a run for it and get help,” says the female lead, and I’m like “Yeah, let her go – she has no pants to weigh her down.”
  • The gore effects in the movie are both realized and utilized very well.
  • Welcome back to horror movies, “I’ll be right back” dialogue spoken unironically by and/or to ill-fated characters.
  • The Axiom


In the end, The Axiom is a solid and entertaining flick that manages to wring a level of quality and originality out of the somewhat tired “Don’t Go in the Woods” horror subgenre not seen since 2012’s Cabin in the Woods. The cinematography and acting are hugely impressive, it features a nice, unnerving score, the premise is original and captivating, and the whole thing moves at a nice pace that helps keep the film’s flaws from dragging it down.

User Rating 5 (2 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading


The Dollmaker Short Film Review – Welcome to Heebie Jeebie City!



Starring Perri Lauren, Sean Meehan, Dan Berkey

Directed by Alan Lougher

The loss of a young child drives a mother to take a set of unusual measures to preserve his memory, and all it takes is one call to The Dollmaker.

When the short film by Alan Lougher opens up, we see a rather disturbing image of a little boy inside a casket, and the sound of a grieving mom speaking with an unidentified man in the background – he’s requesting something personal of the child to help “finish” his product, and it’s not before long that mom has her little boy back…well, kind of. What remains of the child is the representation of his former self, although it’s contained within the frame of a not-so-attractive doll, and the boy’s father isn’t a believer in this type of hocus-pocus (or the price to have this constructed, either). The doll comes with a specific set of instructions, but most importantly, you cannot spend more than one hour a day with the doll, or else you’ll go mad thinking that the soul inside of it is actually the person that you lost – sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well this is just too good to be true for Mommy, and as the short film progresses, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens to her mind – it’s ultimately a depressing scenario, but Lougher gives it that creepy feel, almost like visiting a relative’s home and seeing their dearly departed pet stuffed and staring at you over the fireplace – HEEBIE-JEEBIE CITY, if you ask me. All in all, the quickie is gloomy, but ultimately chilling in nature, and is most definitely worth a watch, and if I might use a quote from one of my favorite films to apply to this subject matter: “Sometimes…dead is better.”

  • Film


Ultimately chilling in nature!

User Rating 3.5 (8 votes)
Get this site 100% Ad Free Support Us on Patreon!
Continue Reading

Go Ad Free!

Support Dread Central on Patreon!

Join the Box of Dread Mailing List

* indicates required

From Around the Web