Do you like to hear from different people in the film industry? From directors to composers to producers to actors, they all have insight to this crazy world that we follow. If you’re one of those that are trying to break into the film industry, what better people to get advice from than those that are already in the trenches. Filmmaker/author Danny Draven has written a book called Talk You To Death: Filmmaking Advice from the Mavericks of the Horror Genre, which consists of interviews with over 40 different people in the industry, asking for their own perspective on how to succeed in that crazy business of filmmaking.
Within these pages, you’ll hear from directors like Roger Corman, Jeff Burr, James Cullen Bressak, Mick Garris, Tibor Takacs, Mike Mendez, James Wan, Stuart Gordon, David DeCoteau, composers Charlie Clouser, John Ottman, John Debney, actors William Butler, Kane Hodder, Michael Berryman, Robert Englund, Reggie Bannister, Debbie Rochon, and many more, all giving the reader their own insight to the industry.
Even if you don’t ever plan on getting into filmmaking, I’m sure these guys are going to have some entertaining stories. I know I’ll be adding it to our library.
BearManor Media is having a huge Memorial Day sale that ends midnight on May 31st, where all of their paperback editions are 30% off. I have quite a few of BearManor titles in my collection, and have reviewed a few of them here on my site. Just do a search for BearManor Media and you’ll see which ones I’m talking about.
There are three reasons you should order a book or two (or more) from them. The first and obvious reason is because they are having a 30% off sale! Kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think?
Born Jan. 13th, 1912 – Died May 24th, 1969
This square-jawed, barrel-chested actor appeared in quite a few of Roger Corman’s early pictures, such as Beast with a Million Eyes (1955), Day the World Ended (1955), and the classic Not of this Earth (1957), not to mention several other of Corman’s movies. But it was on the latter that he had a run in with Corman, even a physical one according to some reports, and walked off the set and never came back. But none the less, he is one character actor that you can always remember. He is always entertaining to watch in these early cheesy classic films.
He appeared in countless TV series during his career, with bit parts in even bigger pictures. He was one of the first humans to discover what the newly landed visitor’s from Mars wanted in War of the Worlds (1953). He was even the very first Marlboro Man in the TV commercials.
But no matter what he is in, he is always memorable and gives a fun performance. It also probably helped that the dialog on those early pictures were so cheesy, that it just made them even more fun to watch today then there were back then.
Katzman, Nicholson, Corman: Shaping Hollywood’s Future
By Mark Thomas McGee
Published by BearManor Media, 2016. 332 pages.
Last year, I read McGee’s You Won’t Believe Your Eyes (also from BearManor) and absolutely loved it. It was such a great read, filled with some great and humorous recollections from someone who is obviously a huge fan of the same kind of movies that I enjoy. So when I seen that BearManor had just published a new book by this same author, I was excited. But when I saw that it was about three filmmakers that I admire greatly, I couldn’t wait to get my copy to dig into it. And I wasn’t disappointment.
Sometimes I am just amazed at not only some of the titles that get released on blu-ray, but in the huge special editions that they come out with. Case in point, a title that Arrow Video just announced. At the end of May, they will be releasing a special edition of the 1966 film Blood Bath. But this isn’t just any ordinary film that was made under the Roger Corman umbrella. In fact, it started as a film being made in Yugoslavia by someone named Rados Novakovic and called Operation Titan. But it didn’t really fit Corman’s approval, so he hired Jack Hill to take the film and see if he could make something out of it, which he did, and would be later called Blood Bath. But for various reasons, such as the film stock from the original footage and what Hill shot didn’t match up that too well. So because Hill went on to make Spider Baby, the film was set aside. Then Corman came back to the picture and hired Stephanie Rothman to see what she could do with it. She changed the title to Track of the Vampire and made it more of a vampire film! According to Hill, about 80 % of the film is what he shot, but I have to say that it is kind of a mess of a picture, even though it has one of the best posters from that era!
The fine folks at BearManor Media have just put out a book that I think fans of the 50s and 60s drive-in pictures are going to have to add to the library. And if that wasn’t enough, it was written by Mark Thomas McGee, who has become one of my favorite writers, who always makes his work not only informative, but damn entertaining to read.
With his latest book, Katzman, Nicholson, Corman: Shaping Hollywood’s Future, he covers three very important figures in the world of low budget filmmaking during that era. Of course, we all know who Roger Corman is and the impact he made in the industry.
Hopefully everyone out there already knows who Charles B. Griffith is. If you’ve seen any of the early works of Roger Corman, then at least you’ve seen some of his work. But if not, then this is a perfect opportunity to learn about this very talented and very underrated man. This interview was conducted at the Cinema Wasteland Movie Memorabilia show on April 1st, 2007. He passed away later that September. He will be missed.
Kitley’s Krypt: How did you meet up with Roger Corman?