Roger Corman: Hollywood’s Wild Angel (1978)

ROGER CORMAN: HOLLYWOOD’S WILD ANGEL (1978)
Article 5084 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 2-19-2016
Directed by Christian Blackwood
Featuring Allan Arkush, Paul Bartel, David Carradine
Country: UK / USA
What it is: Documentary

This is an appreciation of Roger Corman and his facility for finding and introducing major new talent into Hollywood.

I was posed with a dilemma today; I could either spend forty dollars on an old VHS copy of this hour-long documentary, or I could watch in for free on YouTube with the catch being that the YouTube presentation featured additional voices translating the narration and interviews into Spanish. Hmmm, decisions, decisions….

Well, I just finished watching this documentary with the equivalent of someone yelling Spanish into my ear the whole time, Did this interfere with me fully appreciating the movie? I’d be lying if I didn’t say that, yes, it did interfere. However, I was able to catch some of what was said, and fortunately, when trailers were used, the change to less-intrusive subtitles was less problematic. Still, at only an hour’s length, one wonders just how much depth the movie could have gone into, and I figure I’d probably get a lot more from a good book or article about Corman anyway. The first half of the movie concentrates on his work as a producer during the seventies, and we get interviews from several directors and actors he worked with. Most of the movies in this half are action/exploitation pictures, with HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD and DEATH RACE 2000 being the ones with the most fantastic content; we see clips from both films. The second half features footage from the sixties where he was still primarily working as a director, and we get footage from A BUCKET OF BLOOD, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, THE TOMB OF LIGEIA, THE RAVEN, DEMENTIA 13, THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and GASSSS! It gives him a chance to highlight some of the discoveries who weren’t interviewed for the film (Jack Nicholson and Francis Ford Coppola in particular). All in all, it looks mildly interesting, but I doubt it would have been worth the forty dollars I would have had to fork out to see it without the Spanish. And, looking over at Amazon.com, I see several books that would not only tell me more, but would much more affordable.

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