Monday, 16 April 2012

dvd review: corman's world: exploits of a hollywood rebel

It seems ironic that a filmmaker famed for his zero pretence, zero budget exploitation flicks should have such starry disciples, with Jack Nicholson and Ron Howard amongst those paying tribute in the opening minutes of Alex Stapleton’s career-spanning documentary. Corman’s World nimbly traces its subject’s path from lowly script-doctor to one-man studio with hundreds of producing and directing credits – some fondly regarded (The Wild Angels), others less so (the ‘It’ of It Conquered the World takes cheap and cheerful to its limits). Lively and illuminating, Stapleton both plays up to and challenges Corman’s relatively low critical cache, fondly romanticising terrible movies (“Woman was made for man… to hunt!”) while simultaneously encouraging a re-evaluation of anomalously serious works like race-drama The Intruder. Peppering proceedings with nice anecdotal detail (a Blaxploitation Mean Streets?), Corman’s World makes a strong case for a cinematic legacy that extends far beyond drive-thru schlock and Piranhaconda-style TV fare, with rubbery tentacles infiltrating Hollywood at every level.

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