Horror History: Larry Buchanan

larrybuchananLarry Buchanan
Born Jan. 31st, 1923 – Died Dec. 2nd, 2004

Buchanan holds a special place in my heart. Not the greatest filmmaker out there, or even close. But there is just something special about him and his films that hold my admiration. Many people thing that Roger Corman is king of the low budget filmmaking, but they have never heard of Buchanan. He was based in Texas and was making films at a fraction of the cost Corman was getting. And while his films may not have been “good” films, they usually turned a profit, so that means he really was a successful filmmaker. One of his first films, The Naked Witch (1961) was made for only $8,000 and made $80,000 the first month it was release. Not a bad investment.

He was hired by AIP to direct some remakes of four of their movies for the growing TV market. Again, with a considerable lower budget and only one name actor, he cranked them out in no time flat. Lucky for fans like me, a good number of his films are available on DVD, and one of them usually finds its way in my annual Turkey-Day marathon. As we said, they might not be good films, but they are entertaining.

Here are some of Buchanan’s titles to seek out: The Eye Creatures (1965), Zontar: The Thing from Venus (1966), Curse of the Swamp Creature (1966), Mars Needs Women (1967), Creature of Destruction (1967), plus many more. It may take a couple of viewings to really understand this guy, but if you are a fan of low budget drive-in style films, then you might find some enjoyment out of these.

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