Roger Corman Horror Collection [2 Discs] [DVD]

This collection brings together horror films from B-movie legend Roger Corman. Among the films on display are Little Shop of Horrors and The Terror, both starring future superstar Jack Nicholson, and an early work from future Godfather director Francis Ford Coppola, Dementia 13.
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Overview

Synopsis

Swamp Women
Swamp Diamonds is the family-trade title for the sweaty Roger Corman crime melodrama Swamp Women. Policewoman Carole Mathews dons her torpedo bra and tight jeans to infiltrate a dangerous all-female criminal gang, currently serving time in a Louisiana Prison. The ladies escape and head to the swamp, where they've hidden a fortune in diamonds. Along the way, they kidnap geologist Touch Connors (later known as Mike Connors). For a while, it looks as though the girls will get away with their perfidy and Connors will end up as alligator bait, but Mathews saves the day. The supporting cast of Swamp Diamonds is a roll-call of 1950s "tough broads": Marie Windsor, Beverly Garland, Susan Cummings, Jil Jarmyn. Watch for Jonathan Haze, future star of Little Shop of Horrors, and Ed Nelson, future talk-show host and politician, in minor roles. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

She-Gods of Shark Reef
In this fantasy adventure, an escaped convict and his brother find themselves shipwrecked on a paradisiacal island filled with luscious native women who spend their days enacting bizarre rituals and diving for pearls. One of the women is selected by the others to be a sacrifice to the sharks, but the convict's brother has fallen in love and saves her. The lovers then flee to civilization. Meanwhile the brother's greedy brother tries to steal some of the women's pearls and ends up becoming shark bait. The story was filmed on location in Hawaii. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi

Little Shop of Horrors
Perhaps the greatest movie ever shot in two days, Little Shop of Horrors was originally conceived as a followup to Roger Corman's black comedy A Bucket of Blood (1959). Jonathan Haze plays Seymour Krelboin, a schlemiel's schlemiel who works at the Skid Row flower shop of Mr. Mushnick (Mel Welles). Experimenting in his spare time, Seymour develops a new plant species that he hopes will lead him to fame and fortune. Unfortunately, the mutated plant -- named Audrey Junior, in honor of Seymour's girlfriend Audrey (Jackie Joseph) -- subsists on blood and human flesh. It also talks, or rather, commands: "Feed Me! FEEEEED ME!" Before long, the luckless Seymour has fed his plant the bodies of a railroad detective, a sadistic dentist, and a flashy trollop. Meanwhile, Mr. Mushnik, who has stumbled onto Seymour's secret, has inadvertently offered up a burglar (played by Charles Griffith, who also wrote the script and supplied the plant's voice) as a midnight snack for the voracious, ever-growing Audrey Junior. (When the plant blooms, the faces of its various victims are reproduced in its flowers.) Ignored on its initial release, Little Shop of Horrors began building up a cult following via repeated TV exposure in the 1960s. By the mid-1970s, it had attained classic status, spawning a big-budget Broadway musical (and followup feature film) in the 1980s and a Saturday morning cartoon series in the 1990s. Enhancing the original Little Shop's reputation was the brief appearance by star-in-the-making Jack Nicholson as a masochistic dental patient (Nicholson is often incorrectly referred to as the star of the film, though in fact he barely receives billing). Much as we love Nicholson, our vote for the most memorable Little Shop cast member goes to the ubiquitous Dick Miller ("No thanks, I'll eat it here"). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

The Terror
In this horror chiller, an intriguing, beautiful woman (Sandra Knight) keeps re-appearing to early 19th-century Lt. Duvalier (Jack Nicholson), and he is led to a castle where he finds an imposter of Baron Von Leppe (Boris Karloff). He becomes trapped in the ancient castle and tries to make sense of the eerie situation. Director Roger Corman (with the help of a few other directors, including Francis Ford Coppola) shot most of this within a few days after finishing The Raven--utilizing the same set. ~ Kristie Hassen, Rovi

Dementia 13
A young Francis Coppola was given the job of directing this moody low-budget chiller after begging producer Roger Corman for the opportunity to reuse the sets for another film which Corman was shooting in Ireland. The story centers on the dysfunctional Haloran family, who live in a state of perpetual sorrow in a spooky Irish castle. Still mourning the death of her young daughter Kathleen -- who drowned in the lake seven years ago -- Lady Haloran (Ethne Dunn) tortures herself regularly by visiting the girl's grave (when she's not shrieking and collapsing in anguish every five minutes). When daughter-in-law Louise Haloran (Luana Anders) loses her husband to a heart attack, she manages to conceal the body for fear of being cut out of Lady Haloran's will. To further complicate matters, a mysterious interloper begins prowling the grounds with an axe to grind... a very big axe. This enjoyable, quirky psycho-thriller is enlivened by Coppola's inventive camera setups, atmospheric locations and Patrick Magee's over-the-top performance as the leering family doctor. Despite some ragged editing (probably not Coppola's doing), this has relatively high production values for a spare-change Corman project. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Marie Windsor
    Marie Windsor - Josie
  • Carole Mathews
    Carole Mathews - Lee
  • Beverly Garland
    Beverly Garland - Vera
  • Image coming soon
    Jill Jarmyn - Billie
  • Susan Cummings
    Susan Cummings - Matie
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