Archive for January, 2018

Don’t Be a Donald

Posted: January 19, 2018 in Life, News, Politics

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By 1962, Roger Corman was well on his way to creating the film resume that unfortunately earned him such nicknames as “The King of Schlock.” He’d found low budget success with such films as The Wasp Woman, A Bucket of Blood, Little Shop of Horrors, It Conquered the World, Sorority Girl, and Teenage Doll among many others.

How much success had he found? It depends on what you consider successful. After being burned by the nature of the studio system, Corman struck out on his own to make the movies he wanted to make. None of them were the comparative financial successes that Star Wars, Jaws, or Avatar would be for others in later years. You certainly won’t find them regularly listed in the top ten or top twenty box office winners for the years in which his films were released. But, one thing Roger Corman could for the longest time say about his films is that they earned a profit at the box office. For decades, Roger Corman could make a claim that few others in the business could; even those who had made far less than the 400+ films Roger Corman has directed and/or produced. He could for a very long time say that he had made hundreds of films and never lost a dime on any of them.

Well, except for one film in 1962. It’s something of a shame that The Intruder was for decades the only film Roger Corman lost money on, because, in some ways, it was one of the best films he’d made at that point in his career.

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After a year of being locked in a station closet, I was finally released to sit in on the Earth Station One Podcast’s look back at 2017. Damned good thing the station closets have such great WiFi or I wouldn’t have had much to contribute.

2014 and 2015 and especially 2016 and 2017 were filled with superheroes on the big screen and the small screen. This has been the case for farther back than 2014, but the last four to five years have been seemingly extremely superhero heavy. Every major movie studio was launching a film with an eye towards starting a franchise, and channels like CW were transforming into Superhero Central. Even streaming services were getting in on the act with exclusive superhero shows in both live action and animated forms. In fandom, the age-old war between the Marvel Zombies and the loyal DC Comics fans had renewed itself and moved to a larger battlefield as Hollywood itself was at times seemingly trying to transform itself into Marvel and DC.

The tipping point was coming fast. The big failure moment was just around the corner. The collapse of the superhero film genre was about to happen with the very next bloated, over the top, four-color abomination the studios were readying to unleash on the superhero fatigued audiences of America.

Well, at least that’s how the world worked according to some of the various social critics, movie critics, and jaded fanboys of the world.

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Got a long commute? Need something to help make the daily walk seem more enjoyable? Want something other than the TV on when trying to get stuff done around the house while trapped inside during the blizzard? Check out the Grue Crew and the most recent offerings from the Gruesome Magazine family of podcasts. Also on iTunes.

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