Scream Horror Magazine


Posted on: May 22nd, 2024

He was a man, a myth, and unquestionably a legend. However, we were heartbroken to learn that Roger Corman has passed away at the age of 98.

Corman began his career in Hollywood working in the mail room at 20th Century Fox, and eventually worked his way up to story reader. Dissatisfied that he remained uncredited for many of the changes he suggested on multiple pictures, Corman left Fox to strike out on his own.

A screenwriter in his spare time, Corman sold the script that would become Highway Dragnet, and used the money to finance his first feature as a producer. Monster From the Ocean Floor put Corman on the map as an independent producer, and this trend continued with 1955’s The Fast and the Furious.

That same year, Corman decided to turn his hand to directing with his third project, the western Five Guns West. This film’s limited success was enough for Corman to keep working diligently as a producer and director.

From 1955 until 1959, Corman directed all-manner of films, from Western, to teen drama, film noir and B-movie adventure flicks. He was quickly becoming a force to contend with, someone that could make pictures on a tight budget and turn a profit, without a major studio.

1959’s A Bucket of Blood kicked off a wave of horror films for which Corman is arguably best remembered today. B-movies like The Wasp Woman, The Terror, and Little Shop of Horrors remain some of his most fondly remembered.

1960 would see the beginning of a collaboration with American International Pictures, that would see Corman become a genre legend. Over the next six years, he would bring the works of Edgar Allan Poe to the screen, terrifying audiences and reaping huge rewards. The Raven, The Pit and the Pendulum, Trilogy of Terror, and Masque of the Red Death are a few of the titles that captivated audiences and made Corman unstoppable.

Though he would continue to direct, Corman would produce a prolific number of films throughout the sixties and seventies, many becoming cult classics. The so-called “Corman Factory” would start the careers of industry giants like Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Joe Dante, and Ron Howard. These directors would often pay Corman back with small roles in blockbuster films, such as The Godfather Part II and The Silence of the Lambs.

Though he stopped directing post-1990, Corman was still an active producer until 2018. He has produced over 300 features and directed 55, giving him one of the industry’s most prolific filmographies.

A devastating loss to horror cinema, Roger Corman passed away May 9th 2024. He is survived by his wife of 54 years and their four children. He was 98 years old. Rest easy, King Corman.

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