Last night, at the always-awesome New Beverly Cinema, we saw, live and in person, the fantastic Mr. Roger Corman, the king of the B-Movies. He's responsible for so many truly great and awesomely lousy movies, its unbelievable -- as our friend Darren Roark (yay! A new Minneapolis transplant!) said last night, quite rightly, he's the only producer in the history of cinema that built a legend by quantity over quality. So many of his billion-odd films are terrible, but there are enough gems in his catalog that he's rightly hailed as a talent-spotter extraordinare.
And one hell of a director, too -- we saw The Secret Invasion, starring Mickey Rooney, Edd "Kookie" Burns (yup, of "Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb" fame), and William Campbell, whom Trekkies will remember as both the Squire of Gothos and Koloth from "The Trouble With Tribbles." Its a fantastic war picture, and as Joe Dante describes it, "The Dirty Dozen" years before that film was released.
His Q&A was charming and funny as hell -- nobody asked him, though, about my two favorite Corman projects:
"Battle Beyond The Stars," a Star Wars-sploitation film that was written by the legendary John Sayles, with art direction by James Cameron. Yes, THE James Cameron. Check out the hot dog scene -- its got wit and verve all through it, it might actually be a better film than actual Star Wars in several ways.
"The Fantastic Four" -- which remains unreleased to this day because of its legendary badness, but I'll tell ya -- as lousy as it is, it has 200% more heart than the version that eventually came out.
Next weekend: a midnight showing of "The Howling" which is my 2nd favorite werewolf pic of all time. The best? John Landis' amazing "American Werewolf In London," because of THIS WOMAN HERE:
Jenny Agutter, my favorite geek crush of ALL TIME, aka "who Trixi went as for Halloween last year."
I'm rambling. Go to the New Bev. The end.