This review was originally published on January 23, 2011…
Director Alex Stapleton’s documentary on Roger Corman, entitled “Corman’s World,” is as fun as a doc about Roger Corman damn well better be. Film fans know Corman is responsible for some of the greatest schlock and exploitation films we’ve ever seen that along the gave us seedling performances from Jack Nicholson, Dick Miller and Pam Grier. We also know Corman gave starts to directors like Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Copploa, Joe Dante and John Sayles. All of the aforementioned are in “Corman’s World” to speak of the man, the myth and the legend who made cheap movies that never lost their money at the box office. If you’re a film fan and aren’t all that familiar with Corman, this film is a must see. If you’ve never heard of the man, then you really must see this film! That leaves the rest of us Corman lovers; what does the film mean for us?
While “Corman’s World” is a pretty straight forward biographical documentary, it’s still fun and inspiring even if you know Corman’s background. While there are some nice, touching moments from folks who relay what Corman meant to them personally, it’s all pretty much as you would expect. I will say Jack Nicholson is outstanding here and his authentic love for Corman was really cool to see. Tales of Corman’s classic cheapness and his “git er done” attitude are refreshing in this age of monster budget films. If you’ve spent any amount of time on a bigger budget Hollywood type set, you know how much money is wasted on trivialities but Corman’s way is much more effective, takes less time and yields faster results. Definitely not better results, but Corman always makes money.
I guess for the Corman fan, “Corman’s World” is a cool time capsule type of film that puts all of his films, stories and people he influenced into one big fun chunk. This is the kind of film a cineaste can show to someone with a burgeoning interest in film to inspire them and show off a guy who may not be one of the top names in Hollywood, but who’s affect is undeniable. Yes, it’s all straight-forward, no muss filmmaking, but Roger Corman wouldn’t want it any other way.