But What About "The Wasp Woman"?
By John Saleeby
December 1, 2007
Tell me one Movie Director who is cooler than Roger Corman - Just one! Stanley Kubrick? Why . . . (Saleeby bangs the Kubrick admirer over the head with a frying pan like Dick Miller does to a Cop in Corman's "A Bucket Of Blood") Who else? Quentin Tarentino? Oh . . . (Saleeby holds the Tarentino fan's head in a bath tub full of water like Shelley Winters does to some stupid bimbo in Corman's "Bloody Mama") Anybody else? Kevin Smith!?! Goddammit . . . (Saleeby knocks the Smith worshipping retard out of a window of a skyscraper like Ray Milland does to some jerk in "X - The Man With The X Ray Eyes) There! Anybody else? Huh? Anybody? I didn't think so.
Those of you have been too busy watching all that Kubrick, Tarentino, Smith crap to get into Corman should run right out and pick up the "Roger Corman Collection" DVD Boxed Set right now - You Smith idiots will have to ask your Mom to drive you to the store. To learn about Corman, here is an article about The Master that is so great I'm sure that if there is any justice in this World the guy who wrote it must have become really rich and famous by now (Saleeby stops writing to run up and down the street screaming "SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!" for an hour)
Side A of Disc One starts this digital shindig with one of Corman's least seen efforts "Gas-s-s-s", a Psychedelic Trip of a Counter Culture Comedy no one seemed to like when it was released in 1970 - Kind of late for such Hippy Silliness, I guess. Pre-National Lampoon "Freak" Humor is always a pretty iffy proposition, although The Firesign Theater was always . . . Oh, you've never heard of The Firesign Theater? Maybe you'd better stick with those "Leave It To Beaver" reruns on Nick At Night. But "Gas-s-s-s" is pretty funny - The US Army accidentally releases a poison gas which kills everyone above the age of twenty five so everybody is suddenly living on Planet Altamont. It's kind of like "The Stand" only it's about Hippies so I call it "The Slouch".
The B Side of Disc One keeps the Freak Out theme going with "The Trip", in which Peter Fonda drops Acid and, after much Way Out imagery and exclamations of "Wow!" realises that he doesn't want to divorce his Wife after all. What? That's it? After I dropped Acid I realised I didn't want to attack Tokyo and kill thousands of Japanese people with my radioactive breath after all, what's with that bourgeois "divorce" shit? Man, if "Gas-s-s-s" had come out in 1967 instead of "The Trip" it would have been a BLOCKBUSTER! But "The Trip" is . . . uh, groovy, mostly because of Peter Fonda and his co stars Bruce Dern and Dennis Hopper. It's a Rat Pack movie for dudes who look at a rat and hallucinate that it's six foot tall and is going to rape them with a great big rat cock. There is also an audio commentary by Corman His Own Bad Sef to "The Trip" but I never listen to those things anymore - What is this, NYU Film School? Let's go out to Washington Square Park and score a dime bag! "Careful, man, that's where I got busted!" Oh, David Lee Roth - You so crazy!
Disc Number Two takes off like Speed Racer in the powerful Mach Five with "The Young Racers", all about Friendship and Rivalry between Grand Prix drivers ("Grand Prix" is European for "Nascar" and if I'm the first one to make that joke the wise crackers are seriously slackin' off these days) Pretty mundane stuff after watching Peter Fonda stagger into a laundremat and lose his mind over a washing machine, but of considerable interest due to the presence of the always fun William Campbell as Joe, a sleazeball pig of a racing champion who somehow turns out to be One Heck Of A Nice Guy by the end of the picture. You know, like all those Bill Murray movies only Joe woulda nailed Scarlett Johanson without a moment's thought. "The Young Racers" was written by R. Wright Campbell, William's Brother, and that's R. Wright with me!
After all those hippies and race cars you're probably wondering when the Real Hard Core Roger Corman Shit is gonna show up. Be careful what you ask for, you may not be able to handle it, bitch - Side B of Disc Two is packing "The Wild Angels", Roger Corman's Masterpiece and one of the best movies you will ever see in your Life. I'm only halfway through all of the movies in this set so I don't have space to go on the way I'd like to about "The Wild Angels", so here is an article about it that is so good that if there is any justice in this world the guy who wrote it is making millions of dollars in Hollywood and going out with Lucy Liu and Rosario Dawson. SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!
Disc Number Three features "Bloody Mama" and "A Bucket Of Blood" and, with titles like that, I'm sure it's safe to leave in the DVD player next time the kids are alone in the house. "Bloody Mama" stars Shelley Winters as Ma Barker and right now somebody somewhere is pitching a remake starring Rosie O'Donnell. Not a very good movie, the best part has Don Stroud and Bruce Dern stealing Scatman Crother's pig to use as gator bait. Then Stroud shoots up an (obviously fake) alligator with a machine gun while Scatman is trying to get some fishing done so Mister Scat gets on the phone to the FBI who shows up to shoot everybody. But not Scatman - He is rewarded with a new pig and another rubber alligator. The End. Oh, and Stroud shoots himself in the (obviously fake) face with the same machine gun he killed that alligator with. That's probably Scatman's favorite part of the movie.
"A Bucket Of The Blood", the oldest film in the collection, goes all the way back to 1959 when Corman was beginning to think about making "good" movies instead of merely "profitable" ones and is also his first attempt at Comedy. "A Bucket Of Blood" succeeds as a good, funny, and certainly profitable movie despite casting Dick Miller as the lead instead of the bit part that annoying little creep plays in practically every other movie Corman ever made. I look at Miller in all those movies and imagine him following Corman around going "Hey, Mister Corman, you gonna have an annoying little creep in your next picture? Huh? You gonna have an annoying little creep in your next picture? Huh? Huh? Can I play an annoying little creep in your next picture? Huh? Can I? Huh? Can I?" Stupid Dick Miller - I bet he doesn't even have any Pulp records! But "A Bucket Of Blood" is great - Skip the opening credits, tell your snob friends it's a Jim Jarmusch movie, and they'll love it.
Disc Number Four is The Ray Milland Disc and therfore the one most likely to jump out of your hand and roll down the street to the nearest liquor store. If you've ever seen Milland as the Struggling Alcohalic in "The Lost Weekend" you know that when it comes to playing a sweaty, fidgety, miserable wreck of a human being Ray Milland was The Greatest. At least until Conan O'Brien's first two or three years on "Late Night".
Side A has "The Premature Burial", one of Corman's Edgar Allen Poe related period pieces. Of all Corman's movies stuff like "The Pit And The Pendulum", "The Fall Of The House Of Usher", "The Busiest Fog Machine In Show Biz", etc. interest me the least but at least "The Premature Burial" is kind enough to give us Ray Milland instead of that god damn Vincent Price. Why did Corman make so many movies with that douchebag when William Campbell and that nice Peter Fonda were around?
But "The Premature Burial" is a good opener for Side B's "X-The Man With The Ray Eyes" and if there was ever a movie that you will need to get ready for it's "X-The Man With The X Ray Eyes"! I said earlier that "The Wild Angels" is Corman's best movie but only because "X" is one of those Old School Sci Fi Movies that take forever to get to The Good Part. But it's just as well, if you ever saw an entire movie as intense as the climax of "X" you'd tear your eyeballs out at the end just like Milland at the end of "X". Man, if that ain't the most upsetting thing you've ever seen you must have been watching some crazy Japanese or Italian Horror DVD I haven't been able to get hold of yet. Have you been watching that fucking "Cannibal Holocaust"? I don't want to hear about it!! Get outta here, you . . . you . . . MONKEY KILLER!!! When we decided to do this article Acid Logic Editor Wil Forbis suggested I might be able to explain "X"'s final scene - Shit, I'm the guy who saw "American Beauty" and thought it was one of those crazy John Waters movies everybody was gabbing about. I can only surmise that X Ray Vision had Milland seeing more than his mind could process and it drove him insane.
And if I see just one more Roger Corman movie I'll be flippin' out myself! What? You've got a bootleg DVD of Corman's "The Intruder" with William Shatner as a Racist in the Civil Rights Era South? Put it on!! And if I pull my eyes out then I might be ready to look at "Cannibal Holocaust", maybe even "American Beaty" again.
Once I finally get to hear "Chinese Democracy" I'll puncture my eardrums and to Hell with Everything.
John Saleeby wrote for The National Lampoon while he was in high school, was a stand up comic in New York, and has contributed to the net humor zines Schmuck.com, Campaign Central, and the legendary American Jerk. He's on medication now so he's probably a little nicer now than he was when you met him earlier. Email - firstname.lastname@example.org