Hollywood Legend Dead at 98

(TargetDailyNews.com) – The king of Hollywood B-movies has died. Director Roger Corman, famous for low-budget mid-century thrillers like “Attack of the Crab Monsters,” has died at age 98. His wife and daughters announced that he died May 9th at his home in Santa Monica, California.

In their statement to the press, Corman’s family said he would want to be remembered simply as “a filmmaker.”

Corman got his start in the mid-1950s acting as a producer or director for “budget-challenged” cinema shockers like “Bloody Mama,” and “Buckets of Blood.” In the early years, he hired a slew of young directors who would later become world-famous, such as James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorcese.

Many Hollywood types want to be seen as A-List and classy. But Corman knew there was fame and fortune in schlocky showmanship. In 2007, he noted there was a positive side to working on a low-budget picture: it forced one to exploit opportunities to be creative without a lot of money. Hollywood gave him an Academy Award in 2009.

Corman said working on cheap movies gave him a freedom other directors did not enjoy. “You can gamble a bit more,” he said, noting that creative problem-solving was always necessary when there wasn’t enough money to throw at a difficulty.

Some very big names got their start in Corman movies. For example, Jack Nicholson’s first role was the lead in Corman’s 1958 “The Cry Baby Killer.” Others who jump-started their careers with Corman include Ellen Burstyn and Robert DeNiro.

For a time, Corman’s name was synonymous with the American drive-in theater, as they were the only cinemas that would play his pictures in his early career. Teenagers came for the blood and gore by the thousands, which eventually convinced respectable theater chains to screen his films. One of the first that got standard theatrical release was Corman’s 1967 LSD-based story “The Trip,” which was written by Jack Nicholson and starred Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper.

“Little Shop of Horrors,” the original movie that preceded the famous 1980s musical remake, is one of Corman’s best-known classics.

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