Roger Corman Recieves Lifetime Achievement at Fantastic Fest 2010!

Corman is the producer of almost 400 films and director of 50 or more “low budget” classics.

With just two weeks until the 2010 Fantastic Fest kicks off, the announcements are flying fast and furious.  There is still one more batch of films yet to be announced and every day sees another guest confirmation (at least) or some other mind-blowing statement of why this is the hottest film festival in the United States.  Today I awoke to the news that famed director/producer Roger Corman and wife Julie will also be honored with the “SYFY IMAGINE GREATER” Lifetime Achievement Award on September 24th at the Paramount here in Austin, Tx. while debuting his new film Sharktopus and a documentary on the Philippine exploitation movement of the 1970s/80s called Machete Maidens Unleashed.  Also, at his request, one of my favorite films of his, X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) starring Ray Milland will play on September 25th.

Corman, for those not in the know, is the producer of almost 400 films and director of 50 or more “low budget” classics.  Now, low budget films are considered by a majority of the film-going public as kind of a ghetto but I disagree wholeheartedly.  Not everyone has access to huge studios and tons of financial backing but the idea is the key and getting that idea on film sometimes involves utilizing less than a multi-million dollar budget and big name stars to carry it through.  Clerks (1994), Re-Animator (1985), Evil Dead (1981) and Night of the Living Dead (1968), just to name a few, were groundbreaking pieces of cinema with fresh ideas and approaches that were filmed on modest (or no) budgets and contained more entertainment than a bushel of bigger-budget Hollywood opus’.  The Undisputed King of Low-Budget Independent Features is definitely Roger Corman.  Attack of the Giant Leeches (1959), House of Usher (1960), Dementia 13 (1963), The Dunwich Horror (1970), Big Bad Mama (1974) [Shatner!!], Death Race 2000 (1975), Piranha (1978), Battle Beyond the Stars (1980), Galaxy of Terror (1981), Suburbia (1983),  House (1986), Chopping Mall (1986), Sorority House Massacre (1986), Slumber Party Massacre II (1987),  The Unborn (1991),  Carnosaur (1993), Haunting of Hell House (1999) and many, many more films have benefited from the vision and deft hand of Roger Corman.  As Fantastic Fest founder Tim League quoted in the press release, Corman’s goal has been “to accentuate the theatrical experience and trying to make sure audiences have a blast at the cinema every time.”  Take a quick walk-through of the selected titles above or IMDB Roger Corman and go through the list and see how many of those films you’ve seen and enjoyed.  I did for this article and it’s amazing how many times you go “that was awesome.”  That, my friends, is the genius of Roger Corman.

The last few years, Corman has been working in close conjunction with the Syfy Channel on developing new content and discovering new talent, of which Sharktopus is a result, airing on September 25th so it is only natural that Syfy is exclusively sponsoring this night of celebration for one of the most legendary figures in cult cinema.  Individual tickets for this double-header go on sale tomorrow, September 8th at noon, Central time and, as always, Fantastic Fest tickets are still available at www.fantasticfest.com.  Do not hesitate to come on down and join us in honoring Roger and Julie Corman for their amazing contributions to the history of cinema.

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