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Someone has capitulated. An executive decision was made on the titling of this book: hell, we’ll just pick three favorite movie titles and run with it. To fully capture the exuberance of the movies that are its subject — the oeuvre of the director and producer Roger Corman — would, admittedly, be a tall-order. Others have failed before: Beverley Gray’s unofficial biography of Corman used Blood-Sucking Vampires, Flesh-Eating Cockroaches, and Driller Killers. The shame for each is that they had to hold it there, strung by practicalities of inventory listing and marketing collateral.

As I don’t have any such restrictions I shall continue where they could not: Ski Troop Attack, War of the Satellites, Hot Car Girl, The Saga of the Viking Women and their Voyage to the Waters of the Great Sea Serpent, Highway Dragnet, The Last Woman on Earth, Beast From Haunted-Cave, She Gods of Shark Reef, The Brain Eaters, A Bucket of Blood, Blood Bath, Queen of Blood, The Terror, Creature from the Haunted Sea, Battle Beyond the Sun, X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes. These titles are everything and nothing, concrete but impossible images which act as guarantors of excitement — as Martin Scorsese remarks in one passage from the book: “I mean, come on, with a title like that, how can you not want to go?” Each travels beyond the beyond and then a little further, but that’s the only place you’re likely find a man of Corman’s ambition.


Peter Maxwell

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