Roger Corman was one of the first American independent filmmakers to create work entirely on his own terms and turf. Much like producer Val Lewton in the 1940s at RKO, where he created his series of sensuously atmospheric horror films in that studio's "B" unit, Corman, once the film's title and the subject matter had been approved, answered to no one but himself, with guaranteed distribution for the finished product, and immediate financing for his next project. He started out in the last days of the classic studio system, but soon broke away to make films on his own, functioning as producer and director on all his most important works. At American International Pictures, Corman worked in the depth of poverty row, but each of his films had an individual signature, in his aggressive dolly work (reminiscent of Samuel Fuller in Underworld USA ), his moody, atmospheric lighting, and his brutal, charcoal-sketch graphics. In addition, he never condescended to his audiences, or dealt with his characters at a distance. In many of his early films, Corman chose to use CinemaScope for added production value, but the end result was something much more intense than the vision offered by his contemporary big studio filmmakers. Corman's ceaselessly moving camera grabbed his audience by the scruff of their collective necks and dragged them into the action, willing or not. Alone among his '50s contemporaries, with the exceptions of Ida Lupino and Don Siegel, Corman's vision was raw, uncompromising, and defiantly unpolished. Where Douglas Sirk's immaculate melodramas were triumphs of set design and colour coordination, Corman was more interested in visceral emotion and conflict, and knew that he had no time to waste. The world he was documenting would disappear, and Corman wanted to capture as much of it on film as possible, from beatnik cafes to biker gangs, before the parade moved on.
Used availability for Ed Naha's The Films of Roger Corman
January 1984 : USA Paperback
September 1982 : USA Paperback