Roger Corman Retrospective, Vol. 1 [DVD]

This release offers three films made by producer/director Roger Corman. Attack of the Giant Leeches, The Wasp Woman, and A Bucket of Blood are each presented in standard full-frame transfers. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital Mono. There are neither subtitles nor closed-captions on this release. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but fans of Corman's work will not be disappointed by this Slingshot title.
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Overview

Synopsis


A Bucket of Blood
A fine example -- perhaps the best available -- of "B"-movie overlord Roger Corman's "Weekend Wonders" from the producer/director's early career (see also the original Little Shop of Horrors), this horror-comedy was also the first of beloved actor Dick Miller's dozen-odd portrayals of the character Walter Paisley. A geeky waiter and busboy at a happening Beatnik café, Walter is intensely jealous of the swinging social lives of the artistic types who hang there. A bizarre twist of fate changes everything; when Paisley accidentally kills his landlady's cat, his frantic attempts to hide the body lead him to encase it in a layer of clay, creating a morbid sculpture -- which is eventually discovered and hailed as an artistic triumph by the unwitting Bohemian art crowd. (When asked what he's named the piece, the befuddled Walter stammers, "Uhh... Dead Cat?") Beset by numerous requests for similar "truthful" works, the moronic Paisley is forced to find inspiration -- a matter which is readily solved when a nosy undercover cop tries to slap a heroin-possession charge on him and finds himself on the business end of a cast-iron skillet. Before long, the creative urge prods Walter to narrow the competition by whacking his peers with various blunt or sharp implements, and the demand for more sculptures just keeps growing. Miller's tour-de-force performance, writer Charles B. Griffith's hilarious "Daddy-O" dialogue, and Corman's emphasis on the story's more lurid aspects raise this bargain-basement production (ultra-cheap even by Corman's standards) to classic status. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Attack of the Giant Leeches
This hysterical drive-in favorite pits a community of swamp-dwelling yokels against the silliest-looking monsters since the shag-rug aliens of The Creeping Terror. Despite the strange sucker-marks found on a dead trapper's blood-drained body, and a man's story of seeing his unfaithful wife and her lover dragged into the swamp by the creatures, the police refuse to acknowledge that something freaky is going on. Only after more trappers disappear does the local game warden decide to take action, which he does with a vengeance. When the leech lair is discovered in a cave beneath the swamp, explosives are employed to blow them to little rubber bits. It's hard to be too critical of this early film from prolific TV-director Bernard L. Kowalski (Night of the Blood Beast), since executive producer Roger Corman allocated a budget for this production that would hardly cover the catering bill on a major studio film -- even in 1960! Look carefully to spot the scuba tanks beneath the leech costumes. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

The Wasp Woman
This goofy but entertaining horror cheapie from producer-director Roger Corman and company involves the efforts of a questionable scientist working for cosmetics magnate Susan Cabot, who is developing a new rejuvenating beauty cream derived from an enzyme secreted by wasps, intended to make women look eternally youthful. A vain woman obsessed with restoring her lost beauty, Cabot insists on being the first test subject. The solution proves remarkably effective at first, transforming her into a sultry raven-haired vixen...until she begins to take on the predatory traits of a giant female wasp, setting out on a nocturnal killing spree. Originally double-billed with The Beast from Haunted Cave, this cheesy monster mash inspired the less-amusing Leech Woman and was later remade for 1980s audiences (i.e., with a higher sex-and-gore quotient) as Evil Spawn. ~ Cavett Binion, Rovi

Cast & Crew


  • Dick Miller
    Dick Miller - Walter Paisley
  • Image coming soon
    Barboura Morris - Carla
  • Image coming soon
    Anthony Carbone - Leonard De Santis
  • Image coming soon
    Julian Burton - Maxwell Brock
  • Ed Nelson
    Ed Nelson - Art Lacroix



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