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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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*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.
Top customer reviews
This book starts at the beginning of Corman's career and continues all the way up to his academy award for lifetime achievement. It progresses through commentary by Corman himself but mostly by 'graduates of the Corman school.' (People that got their start in movies by working for Roger).
There are plenty of entertaining stories on the way Roger went about business. It seems like anybody who ever spent time with him has a hundred stories to tell about him, especially about his legendary thriftiness. There are stories from many legendary people in holllywood such as Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorcese, Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Peter Fonda, etc. along with his wife, brother and the people that worked as his assistants form many years.
There are lots of great full color pictures from Corman's career. Just about every page has some sort of movie still, poster, etc.
Highly Recommended for all Roger Corman fans and independent filmmakers and students of film.
The dry facts of the man's life are extraordinary enough. Having it told by the people who were actually there (folks you might have heard of like Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola, Jonathon Kaplan, John Sayles, James Cameron...I could keep going but...) takes it to a whole new level, though. In addition to the behind the scenes stuff I only knew partially, there was plenty of other tidbits that caught me off-guard like Curtis Hanson beginning his career writing "The Dunwich Horror" two decades before "L.A. Confidential", New World being behind the distribution of one of my childhood favorites "The Private Eyes" and Corman being the maestro who gave the directors of photography Januz Kasminski and Wally Pfister (who went on to work for Steven Spielburg and Christopher Nolan respectively) their first shots. Add a few spotlights on certain films out of the 500+ that Corman made and you owe it to yourself to AT LEAST give this book a peak.
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.
Just to say that this book brought back such memories.I was around 14 then and do i ever remember the Crabs,the Caveman and those crazy bikers(never did care for the Nurse).Thank you Mr.Roger Corman.But than i know the price would have more so still a great book just the same