Sunday, April 5, 2009

Happy B-Movie Birthday

Today celebrates the birthday of Roger Corman, B-movie-maker extraordinaire. Under his belt are several low-budget adaptations of stories by Poe - although few of them come close to the source material and at least one shares nothing in common with Poe beyond a title.

Regardless of what you might think of Corman's Poe movies, he certainly introduced them to a new audience in the 1960s. Many, of course, never went beyond the films, but I'm sure quite a few ran to their nearest book shop to buy their own collected works of Poe. I give Corman credit for that.

My favorite of all of Corman's loose adaptations is, perhaps ironically, the only one that does not star his frequent collaborator Vincent Price. Instead, The Premature Burial stars veteran actor Ray Milland. The film, I think, captures the original spirit of the story quite well, with ample amounts of the expected campiness thrown in. The trailer alone gives you a good idea of the camp:

Happy birthday, Roger Corman!

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