The Roger Corman Collection (4-discs/8 films)


A Bucket of Blood (1959)       Premature Burial (1962)     The Young Racers (1963)

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963)       The Wild Angels (1966)

The Trip (1967)       Bloody Mama (1970)       Gas-s-s-s (1971)

 

Roger Corman attempted to break into films by the tried and trusted method of working as a messenger for 20th-Century Fox, eventually rising to the position of story analyst. He started direct involvement in films in 1953 as a producer and screenwriter, making his debut as director in 1955. Between then and his official retirement in 1971 he directed dozens of films, often as many as six or seven per year, typically shot extremely quickly on leftover sets from other, larger, productions. His probably unbeatable record for a professional 35mm feature film was two days and a night to shoot the original version of The Little Shop of Horrors (1960), though several other films were made in less than a week. In the early 1960s, his budgets got bigger (though never big), when he made a series of adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories starring Vincent Price. Apart from Frankenstein Unbound (1990), he retired from directing in 1971 to concentrate on production and distribution through his company New World (and later Concorde), making low-budget exploitation films and using the profits to distribute distinguished art films. Apart from making dozens of enormously entertaining films (there are amazingly few duds in his output), Corman's place in film history is assured simply through his unrivalled eye for talent - among many world-class names who were employed by him at a very early stage in their careers are Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Jonathan Demme, James Cameron, Peter Bogdanovich, Joe Dante and many others - which means that his influence on modern American cinema is almost incalculable.

Excerpt from Michael Brooke's Bio comment at IMdb located HERE


Titles

 

 


 

A Bucket of Blood
Stars Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone, Julian Burton, Ed Nelson
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: October 21, 1959
Synopsis Walter Paisley, nerdy busboy at a Bohemian caf , is jealous of the talent (and popularity) of its various artistic regulars. But after accidentally killing his landlady's cat and covering the body in plaster to hide the evidence, he is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor - but his new-found friends want to see more of his work. Lacking any artistic talent whatsoever, Walter has to resort to similar methods to produce new work, and soon people start mysteriously disappearing...

Premature Burial
Stars Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney, Heather Angel, Alan Napier
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: March 7, 1962
Synopsis Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament.

The Young Racers
Stars Mark Damon, William Campbell, Luana Anders, Patrick Magee, John McLaren
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: January 1963

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes
Stars Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: September 18, 1963
Synopsis Ray Milland plays Dr. James Xavier, a world renowned scientist experimenting with human eyesight. He devises a drug, that when applied to the eyes, enables the user to see beyond the normal realm of our sight (ultraviolet rays etc.) it also gives the user the power to see through objects. Xavier tests this drug on himself, when his funding is cut off. As he continues to test the drug on himself, Xavier begins to see, not only through walls and clothes, but through the very fabric of reality!

The Wild Angels
Stars Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Buck Taylor
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: July 20, 1966
Synopsis Peter Fonda plays 'Heavenly Blues', the leader of Hell's Angels chapter from Venice, California while Bruce Dern plays 'Loser', his best pal. When they both botch their attempt to retrieve Loser's stolen bike, Loser ends up in the hospital. When the Angels bust him out, he dies, and they bury him. Nancy Sinatra plays Mike, Blues' "old lady" and Diane Ladd plays Loser's wife (Dern's real-life wife at the time). The plot is basically a buildup to the last half-hour of the film in which Loser's funeral becomes another wild party.

The Trip
Stars Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Salli Sachse
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: August 23, 1967
Synopsis Paul Groves (Peter Fonda), a television commercial director, is in the midst of a personality crisis. His wife Sally (Susan Strasberg) has left him and he seeks the help of his friend John (Bruce Dern), a self-styled guru who's an advocate of LSD. Paul asks John to be the guide on his first "trip". John takes Paul to a "freak-out" at his friend Max's (Dennis Hopper) pad. Splitting the scene, they score some acid from Max and return to John's split-level pad with an indoor pool. Paul experiences visions of sex, death, strobe lights, flowers, dancing girls, witches, hooded riders, a torture chamber, and a dwarf. He panics but John tells him to "go with it, man." Would you trust John?

Bloody Mama
Stars Shelley Winters, Pat Hingle, Don Stroud, Diane Varsi, Bruce Dern
Directors: Roger Corman
Theatrical Release Date: March 24, 1970
Synopsis Roger Corman produced and directed this psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker (Shelley Winters) lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era. Her loyal brood have every perversion imaginable. The sadistic Herman (Don Stroud) sleeps with his Ma. When Fred Barker (Robert Walden) is released from prison, he brings home his cell mate/lover Kevin Dirkman (Bruce Dern), who also sleeps with Ma, much to Fred's chagrin. Lloyd Barker (Robert De Niro) is a spaced-out drug addict who sniffs glue if nothing better is around. Ma kidnaps happy-go-lucky millionaire Sam Adams Pendlebury (Pat Hingle) and holds him for ransom. Clint Kimbrough plays Arthur Barker, Ma's wallflower son and Diane Varsi plays Herman's hooker lady friend Mona Gibson. The bloody finale is virtually choreographed and a visual stunner. Filmed in the Ozarks.

Gas! -Or- It Became Necessary to Destroy the World in Order to Save It.
Stars Bob Corff, Elaine Giftos, Talia Shire, Ben Vereen, Cindy Williams
Directors: Roger Corman
Plot Outline A gas is let loose upon the world that kills anyone over 25 years old. 

Posters

Theatrical Releases: Various from 1959 - 71

  DVD Reviews

DVD Review: MGM Home Video (4-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC
Time: over 11 hrs. total on 4 dual-sided discs
Audio English (original) - see comments below
Subtitles See comments below
Features

Release Information:
Studio: MGM Home Video

Aspect Ratio:
All Original Aspect Ratios

NOTE: All original widescreen - but A Bucket of Blood is oar 1.33:1

All widescreen features are anamorphic except The Young Racers - letterboxed

Edition Details: Aside from scattered trailers...


On Premature Burial
• Featurette - Roger Corman Unearths Premature Burial

 

On The Trip
• Commentary by Corman

• Featurette - Trip In, Trip Out

• Featurette on The Psychedelic Effects

• Magazine text excerpt

 

On X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes
• Commentary by Corman

• Prologue + trailer


DVD Release Date: September 18th, 200
7
4 Slim cases inside a cardboard box
Chapters:
various (most have 16 per film)

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The 8 feature films of this package are shared, 2 features per opposite sides of one disc, in 4 individual slim keep cases (see images above and below) - some have been sold separately before but the price for buying MGM's entire The Roger Corman Collection, as opposed to individually, can be an immense savings (the entire set is just over $27.99 at the time of this review - less than $4 a film).

Technical specifications of the discs: All appear coded for regions 1 (only) in the NTSC standard. All 4 disc are DVD10's (single-layered - double sided). Each have original English audio and some, but not all, have options for French or Spanish DUBs.  Some anomalies of the individual discs are:

A Bucket of Blood, X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes and The Wild Angels have only French and Spanish subtitle options (no English) and the others have English as well as Spanish and French (on most). The Young Racers is widescreen, but non-anamorphic letterboxed. The Trip is interlaced but the rest are all progressive.

Image: I have no strong complaints - all are adequate although rather unremarkable. Gas-s-s-s probably looks the best (sharpness and detail) and skin tones in The Wild Angels look decidedly red. Greytones and contrast in A Bucket of Blood look fairly good but the transfer has some digital noise and a few speckles.  Colors in X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes look quite bright but in Bloody Mama they are a bit dull and washed out. Considering the price I have no strong complaints although it would be nice to see The Trip (written by Jack Nicholson - yes that 'Jack') in a progressive form. I suspect the interlacing is simply an oversight. 

NOTE: We feel the selected screen captures below give a fair representation of the image quality as most transfers are quite consistent. 

Audio - All pretty standard - The Young Racers has options for English mono or Stereo (and two mono DUBs - French and Spanish). Dialogue was always clear and relatively consistent. I noted no excessive gaps, pops or hisses but the general volume level is on the low end on a few discs. 

 

Extras - I don't think any of these are new and only three of the films have anything at all (beyond a trailer). On Premature Burial there is a decent featurette - Roger Corman Unearths Premature Burial dealing mainly with the production. On The Trip there is an interesting commentary by Corman and two featurettes - Trip In, Trip Out and another on the special effects of the psychedelic sequences. There is also a magazine text excerpt. On X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes - there is the original (from 2000 I think) commentary by Corman. It is informative and he is always interesting. Plus a cool prologue + the film's trailer.

Overall impression: It's hard to knock this package. I admittedly haven't done my due-diligence by comparing some of the past releases but strongly suspect that they are the exact same.  The films rank from the lower end of the 'B' scale but have their own frugal charm. This package makes for an interesting keepsake and at the opposite end of the spectrum from serious arthouse cinema. Much of Corman's work brings back memories of stuff I watched as a child on Sunday afternoons or late Friday nights the years I was in High School. Certainly the price is right for the, over 11 hours of, simplistic and often baser entertainment that reflects generic taste of their era. Thumbs up Rog!      

Gary W. Tooze

 



DVD Menus


 

Extras:

 


 

Slim Keep Case Case Cover

 

Bloody Mama / Bucket of Blood

 

 

 

Screen Captures

Bloody Mama

Stars Shelley Winters, Pat Hingle, Don Stroud, Diane Varsi, Bruce Dern


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: March 24, 1970


Synopsis - Roger Corman produced and directed this psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker (Shelley Winters) lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era. Her loyal brood have every perversion imaginable. The sadistic Herman (Don Stroud) sleeps with his Ma. When Fred Barker (Robert Walden) is released from prison, he brings home his cell mate/lover Kevin Dirkman (Bruce Dern), who also sleeps with Ma, much to Fred's chagrin. Lloyd Barker (Robert De Niro) is a spaced-out drug addict who sniffs glue if nothing better is around. Ma kidnaps happy-go-lucky millionaire Sam Adams Pendlebury (Pat Hingle) and holds him for ransom. Clint Kimbrough plays Arthur Barker, Ma's wallflower son and Diane Varsi plays Herman's hooker lady friend Mona Gibson. The bloody finale is virtually choreographed and a visual stunner. Filmed in the Ozarks.

 

Bucket of Blood

SStars Dick Miller, Barboura Morris, Antony Carbone, Julian Burton, Ed Nelson


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: October 21, 1959


Synopsis - Walter Paisley, nerdy busboy at a Bohemian caf , is jealous of the talent (and popularity) of its various artistic regulars. But after accidentally killing his landlady's cat and covering the body in plaster to hide the evidence, he is acclaimed as a brilliant sculptor - but his new-found friends want to see more of his work. Lacking any artistic talent whatsoever, Walter has to resort to similar methods to produce new work, and soon people start mysteriously disappearing...

 

 


 

Slim Keep Case Case Cover

 

Gas-s-s-s    The Trip

 

 

 

Screen Captures

 

Gas-s-s-s

 

Stars Bob Corff, Elaine Giftos, Talia Shire, Ben Vereen, Cindy Williams
Directors: Roger Corman
Plot Outline A gas is let loose upon the world that kills anyone over 25 years old.

 

 

The Trip

 

Stars Peter Fonda, Susan Strasberg, Bruce Dern, Dennis Hopper, Salli Sachse


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: August 23, 1967


Synopsis - Paul Groves (Peter Fonda), a television commercial director, is in the midst of a personality crisis. His wife Sally (Susan Strasberg) has left him and he seeks the help of his friend John (Bruce Dern), a self-styled guru who's an advocate of LSD. Paul asks John to be the guide on his first "trip". John takes Paul to a "freak-out" at his friend Max's (Dennis Hopper) pad. Splitting the scene, they score some acid from Max and return to John's split-level pad with an indoor pool. Paul experiences visions of sex, death, strobe lights, flowers, dancing girls, witches, hooded riders, a torture chamber, and a dwarf. He panics but John tells him to "go with it, man." Would you trust John?

 

 


 

Slim Keep Case Case Cover

 

The Premature Burial        X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes

 

 

Screen Captures

 

The Premature Burial

 

Stars Ray Milland, Hazel Court, Richard Ney, Heather Angel, Alan Napier


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: March 7, 1962


Synopsis - Emily Gault arrives at the Carrell mansion determined to rekindle an old relationship with Guy Carrell, despite the disapproval of his sister, Kate. Guy overcomes his all-consuming fear of being buried alive long enough to marry Emily but soon becomes obsessed again, building a crypt designed to guarantee that he will not fall prey to his most dreaded nightmare. Trying to prove that he has been cured of his phobia, he opens his father's tomb and is shocked into a catatonic state. His worst fears are realized as he is lowered into a grave and covered over, apparently never to learn that the treachery of someone very dear to him was directly responsible for his predicament.

 

 

X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes

 

Stars Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: September 18, 1963


Synopsis - Ray Milland plays Dr. James Xavier, a world renowned scientist experimenting with human eyesight. He devises a drug, that when applied to the eyes, enables the user to see beyond the normal realm of our sight (ultraviolet rays etc.) it also gives the user the power to see through objects. Xavier tests this drug on himself, when his funding is cut off. As he continues to test the drug on himself, Xavier begins to see, not only through walls and clothes, but through the very fabric of reality! .

 

 


Slim Keep Case Case Cover

 

The Young Racers     The Wild Angels

 

 

Screen Captures

 

The Young Racers

 

Stars Mark Damon, William Campbell, Luana Anders, Patrick Magee, John McLaren


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: January 1963

 

 

 

 

The Wild Angels

 

SStars Peter Fonda, Nancy Sinatra, Bruce Dern, Diane Ladd, Buck Taylor


Directors: Roger Corman


Theatrical Release Date: July 20, 1966


Synopsis - Peter Fonda plays 'Heavenly Blues', the leader of Hell's Angels chapter from Venice, California while Bruce Dern plays 'Loser', his best pal. When they both botch their attempt to retrieve Loser's stolen bike, Loser ends up in the hospital. When the Angels bust him out, he dies, and they bury him. Nancy Sinatra plays Mike, Blues' "old lady" and Diane Ladd plays Loser's wife (Dern's real-life wife at the time). The plot is basically a buildup to the last half-hour of the film in which Loser's funeral becomes another wild party.
.

 

 



 

DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution MGM Home Video - Region 1 - NTSC

 

 





 

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