Roger Corman made his Hollywood debut in 1955, and he's enjoyed a career as a one-man B-movie mill ever since. As a director, he's been responsible for dozens of low-budget flicks; and as a producer, executive producer, writer, or actor, he's had his hand in several hundred others. Roger Corman: Metaphysics On a Shoestring is a compendium that addresses some of these films, annotating the works of Roger's directorial canon with photographs, fond reminiscing, and commentary from the man himself.
Corman used to brag that he'd never lost a dime making movies, and upon taking a good look at his productions, this isn't hard to believe. On the one hand, they couldn't possibly have earned much money; but on the other, they couldn't have cost more than California pocket change to produce.
So when this director needed to make movies in bulk, on a deadline, and without any real capital, he turned to genre films. In short, he discovered a handful of formulas and he stuck to them—turning out spaghetti westerns, teen tragedies, wiseguy dramas, femme fatale scorchers, and of course his infamous science fiction flicks. At best, these films were cheesy Edgar Allan Poe adaptations and speculative post-apocalyptic tales; at worst, they were trashy exploitation reels.
The titles alone tell you pretty much all you need to know. On the high end, you've got Not of This Earth, War of the Satellites, and half a dozen Poe stories. On the low end, there's She Gods of Shark Reef, Attack of the Crab Monsters, Naked Paradise, Teenage Caveman . . . need I go on? Well, all right. Just one more. One of these days I simply must get my hands on a copy of The Saga of the Viking Women and Their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent. I think my husband will...