Sure he made a lot of crap, but he hired Jack Nicholson man!
As of late critical opinion on Roger Corman has veered from “he sure made a lot of crap, didn’t he?” to “sure, he made a lot of crap but some of it is actually good, plus he helped people such as Martin Scorsese, Jack Nicolson, Robert De Niro, Joe Dante and James Cameron early on in their careers.”
Critical opinion on Corman has in fact so dramatically changed from the days of being called a schlockmeister” and “King of the B’s” that he recently won a lifetime accomplishment Oscar. Heady stuff for the dude who wrote and produced fare such as Attack of the Crab Monsters and The Wasp Woman.
This new documentary takes the latter critical approach of “sure, most of these movies might make you want to gauge your eyes out, but Corman’s such a swell guy and besides, he gainfully employed Jack Nicholson for 10 years when no-one else wanted to.” And sure, some of them are “cult” gems such as the original Death Race 2000 and Battle Beyond the Stars. Most however is still simply Mystery Science Theater 3000 fodder . . .
But don’t let that put you off. Corman’s World is a fun and affectionate look at the director / producer’s life and career even though it easily skips over the past few decades except for the bit about him making crap for the Syfy channel right now. Interestingly James Cameron does not figure at all in the flick. The man was probably too busy filming Avatar 2 on location in Rigel-6 or whatever.
Along the way this documentary interviews the likes of Nicholson, Ron Howard and (of course) Corman himself. Add some scarce footage and you’ve got a winner that is sure to please die-hard fans as well as newbies.