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Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers: 3rd edition Paperback – August 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: AZ Ferris Publications; 3rd edition edition (August 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988579820
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988579828
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...an absorbing peek into a unique era in motion picture history . . . a must for anyone who loves movies." -- Mel Welles, actor in several Corman films

"Beverly Gray nails both sides of the complex Corman, the tame and the wild, the cheap and the generous..." -- Chuck Griffith, screenwriter for Little Shop of Horrors

"Gray's sensitive combination of scholarly detachment and firsthand observation have made [Corman] come alive in all his wily brilliance." -- L.A. Weekly

"Kudos to Gray for her exhaustive work on the pop-culture icon who's given us all years of guilty cinematic pleasure" -- Total Movie

"[Corman's] supreme talent is a rare ability to liberate talent in others. He liberated an excellent film historian in Gray." -- L.A. Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Roger Corman, director/producer of hundreds of low-budget, popular and influential genre films and cult classics, appears in all his tawdry splendor in Beverly Gray’s deftly told unauthorized biography.” --Carl Rollyson, Wall Street Journal


"For a more thoughtful account of the tensions in Corman's career - he was, it turns out, as committed to hiring women in positions of power as he was to filming them nude - check out Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers, a recently updated insider's account by Beverly Gray, who worked for him." -- Jason Zinoman, New York Times Sunday Book Review

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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I recommend it to any Corman fan, any "B" movie fan, anyone getting into the film biz.
Amazon Customer
The interview quotes are enlightening, the anecdotes are revealing and the writing style is engrossing.
The Yid Kid
You'll learn far more about Roger Corman from her book than the one he wrote about himself.
Lee Goldberg

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lee Goldberg VINE VOICE on June 20, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Usually, these unauthorized bios of entertainment industry figures are either slick, superficial rehashes of newspaper articles cobbled together by pseudo-writers or vicious hack-jobs by bitter ex-employees out for blood. Not this one. Beverly Gray's book is a wonderfully written, methodically researched, indepth look at a movie-making legend, written by an ex-employee who manages to portray her former boss with warmth, wit and surprising objectivity. Gray's background in academia really comes through, not in the dry, textbook writing usually associated with scholars, but in the intelligence and smoothness of her prose. This book is as educational as it is entertaining, marked by exceptional reporting and insightful anecdotes from her first-hand experience as Corman's right-hand woman. You'll learn far more about Roger Corman from her book than the one he wrote about himself. Highly recommended for anyone interested in movie-making...and the business behind the business.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Roger Corman is a Hollywood movie making legend in his own lifetime. What is sometimes overlooked is that he was also responsible for launching the film making careers of such luminaries as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, John Sayles, James Cameron, Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, and Sylvester Stallone. Roger Corman: An Unauthorized Biography Of The Godfather Of Indie Filmmaking is the thorough, informative, illuminating, at times inspiring life of a unique, one-of-a-kind film directors who has fifty low-budget movies to his credit, and who has producers almost five hundred more! This is one well-written, meticulously researched Hollywood biography that is a "must read" for all movie fans, film buffs, and show business historians.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Perry Harovas on May 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
On a recent vacation (after much searching for a good book to bring) I read Beverly Gray's excellent book about Roger Corman, the best known, and (as I learned) least understood Producer in Hollywood. I brought a unique perspective as a reader, as I have worked for Roger many times as a visual effects artist and have met with him in person quite often in the mid 90's. Ms. Gray's book is the best collection of knowledge about the inner workings of all of Roger's companies, and his private life I have ever seen. I found myself yelling out loud during parts that talked about the films I worked on saying "My God, THAT's why that happened!" or "I should've known...".
I can hear Roger speaking the quotes that Ms. Gray attributes to him (as do the interviewees), and she is dead-on if memory serves. Roger IS an amazing man, but very few people seem to really know him. He is as frustrating as he is kind, as generous as he is cheap. Ms. Gray has laid out for the reader an image of the complex web that makes up the life and businesses of this screen legend, and has done so in a way that made me want to turn the page, even with clear blue oceans just feet from my chair waiting for me to jump in.
She starts on his early years, giving you insight into his family life, then methodically lays out the path that led him from company to company. She has sectioned the book into his early life, his AIP (American International Pictures) years,
his New World years, and his (present) company: Concorde-New Horizons. It was well written, VERY well researched, entertaining, precisely footnoted and should not be overlooked by any serious Corman student.
Finally, as an author myself, I have to say that Ms. Gray has a great style of writing, and a wonderful way of making (what could be) a boring biography, into a can't-put-it-down page turner.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Marisa D'vari on September 3, 2005
Format: Paperback
This fascinating "biography" is really a savvy "how to" book that belongs on the shelf of every screenwriter, aspiring producer, director, and development executive -- and everyone else who loves films and craves to know the secrets of Hollywood's most colorful mogul.

I found it fun to read as a realistic "behind the scenes" glimpse of what it takes to be a profitable mogul, such as the way Corman hired young cheap "promising" talent instead of going for experience. Directors fresh out of film school reading this book, for example, can get a good feel for the mindset and financial situation of producers they interview with. Screenwriters will learn how Corman and team (Gray had been his development executive) managed to write and produce so many successful films quickly.

Few books reveal the inner machinations of a successful producer so intimately. Gray, a screenwriting teacher at UCLA, has done a spectacular job of showcasing the life story of an intruiging man through more than eighty interviews and via her own experience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Some Dude In L.A. on March 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to agree with the other five-star reviews. "Roger Corman: Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers" is the best book on the subject, the subject being the most unique American studio head in film history.

Beverly Gray really paints a nuanced picture of Corman and never panders to the fans, the haters, or her old boss Corman himself. Though it's impossible to pull back the curtains entirely and see into a man's soul, Gray seems to have at least pulled back one side, giving us as much a glimpse as is possible without telepathy.

Storywise, Corman is, as always, fascinating, and Gray's perfectly detailed retelling of his story is the best yet written.
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