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Crab Monsters, Teenage Cavemen, and Candy Stripe Nurses: Roger Corman: King of the B Movie Hardcover – September 10, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* This delightful book makes a strong case that Roger Corman, King of the B Movie, was the single most influential figure in the world of movies in the last half of the twentieth century. Over a career spanning the decades since 1954’s Monster from the Ocean Floor, Corman has produced or directed nearly 500 movies. Gifted with an almost psychic ability to read the minds of the moviegoing public, from the days of the drive-in and the teenage double-bill through the biker movies of the ’60s, the women-in-prison movies of the ’70s, the direct-to-video action-exploitation salad days of the ’80s and ’90s, and the sf cult sensation Dinocroc vs. Supergator, he’s anticipated numerous trends as well as launched a few. In the process, he’s nurtured or boosted the careers of countless luminaries such as Ron Howard, Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Sylvester Stallone, and Pam Grier. Nashawaty interweaves interviews from these and other graduates of the Roger Corman School of Filmmaking to create an engrossing oral history. Copious movie posters and film stills accompany the book’s many priceless anecdotes. As an enthusiastic ode to colorful, seat-of-your-pants filmmaking, this one’s hard to beat. --Rob Christopher

About the Author

Chris Nashawaty is a senior writer at Entertainment Weekly. Nashawaty has also written for Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and WIRED. He lives in Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (September 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419706691
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419706691
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #385,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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A great read and a MUST for Roger Corman fans or fans of his films.
MonsterZeroNJ
This is a great approach as it makes for very entertaining reading with lots of 'inside' stories and a variety of view-points.
Ramm
It features a lot of great pictures, mostly of movie posters and scenes from movies.
Johnny Heering

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By MonsterZeroNJ on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover
For fans of the films of B movie auteur Roger Corman, this book is a real treat and a blast to read. Tracing his career and a good number of his most famous... and infamous... films from his beginnings as a messenger in the 20th Century Fox mailroom to one of the most prolific producer/directors in film history, author Nashawaty wisely lets the stories come from the mouths of Corman himself and the talented people whose careers he gave start to. We get quotes and anecdotes about this legend of filmmaking from legends in their own right like Jack Nicholson, Joe Dante, John Landis, Sylvester Stallone and Peter Fonda to name a scant few. Obviously we also hear from Corman himself, his wife Julie... who once went into labor on the set of a film she was producing for her husband... and brother Gene. Some of the stories are downright hilarious as we read first hand accounts of Corman thriftiness in action. We get fascinating tales of the making of some of Roger Corman's most famous and successful productions from the low budget horror Attack Of The Crab Monsters to his Star Wars inspired Battle Beyond The Stars. Among some of the delightfully fun stories is one from Titanic's James Cameron. The future director of The Terminator tells about his method of having all his workers go on break when Corman arrived at the studio for the production of Battle Beyond The Stars because, if Roger didn't see anyone working on the sets, he assumed they were done and didn't get angry that they were actually running behind schedule. But, whether it's stories of the relationships between Corman and the future stars that worked for him or of Corman thriftiness and inventiveness, this fun book is a very entertaining look at the amazing career of an amazing man who beat the Hollywood system again and again.Read more ›
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Linda Dalton VINE VOICE on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Eye-rolling title - but nothing eye-rolling about this book. Just about everybody who is anybody of value in the film industry over the past gazillion years has either worked for, with, or in the general direction of this amazing man. And they all have stories to tell. But I'm not gonna bother with excerpts or examples, cause you really need to buy and read this for yourself, if you are a true fan of the movies.

What I will say is that this book is visually stunning. I guess it qualifies as a "coffee table book" because of its size. However, those books are mostly just photos and nothing more. This presentation is the absolute exception. The stories are wonderful, entertaining, insightful, and often hilarious. But it's the ton of photos, posters, movie stills and recreations that are the gifts onto themselves. It is a joy to relish the shock of colors and graphics that simply jump off of the pages wherever you turn. The dust-jacket is fabulous, but even the book-cover underneath pays a colorful homage to its subject. It is obvious that the folks who put this book together really loved their job and the man who inspired it.

Obviously I have been, and continue to be, a fan who's enjoyed Mr. Corman's work for many years. That being said, it is a testament to his contributions to the industry that the professionals who have admired, admonished and accompanied him through his journey, honor him in such a cool and entertaining way. Well done!

P.S. Thanks to Entertainment Weekly for their heads-up about this publication cause otherwise I might've never known it existed.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jon Abbott on February 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
It's hard to believe there's anything left to say about Corman, and to a certain degree the text reflects this, so this is presumably the reason the author has chosen to produce a coffee table book. But what a coffee table you will have. The choice of illustrations and quality of the design and art cannot be faulted, and this is an indispensable addition to the bookcase of any serious fan of trashy films.

Amazon claims that many of the images are rare and new, and the promised behind the scenes photos are certainly there, but nothing special. A fair number of the illustrations are frame grabs, and I have to say that many of the posters reproduced a very familiar.

This honestly doesn't matter.

This is hardly the first book about the man, and there have been good, bad, and indifferent. While the interview comments are interesting and bite-size readable, those already familiar with his work will learn little that is new. There are no surprises, and no serious critical or negative comments, although to be fair, this sort of book isn't the place for them. Those with an axe to grind--and there are some--will find no wheel here, and while the cynics might have something to say about that, I'm inclined to agree with the quote that suggests that those who grasped the brass ring, rather than those who complained that it wasn't silver or gold, are the ones who went furthest in their careers. However, I can't help pointing out that once more, the massive contribution of Paul Blaisdell has been neglected, if not completely airbrushed out of existence yet again.

What this book has going for it is that firstly the images that have been chosen represent his entire output, and not just the sci-fi stuff, so there's as much about the bikers and nurses etc.
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