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Buena Vista Picks Up Corman Films

8 Sep, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Roger Corman

Buena Vista Home Entertainment has taken a big plunge into cult movies.

The supplier has acquired more than 400 films from ‘B'-movie king Roger Corman, who previously distributed his catalog himself under the Concorde-New Horizons label.

Among the films to which Buena Vista gets U.S. video distribution rights: the 1956 Atomic Age of Cinema standout It Conquered the World, with Peter Graves; the 1960 cult classic The Little Shop of Horrors, one of Jack Nicholson's first movies; the 1967 counterculture film The Trip, written by Nicholson and starring Peter Fonda; 1974's Big Bad Mama, a comic actioner about traveling bank robbers that stars Angie Dickinson and William Shatner; and 1975's Death Race 2000, with Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine, about a futuristic cross-country car race in which pedestrians are run down for points.

Buena Vista president Bob Chapek said Corman's films “have undoubtedly influenced Hollywood filmmakers and cultivated generations of classic genre film fans.”

Disney will roll out the first wave of Corman titles in November. Details have not yet been finalized.

Corman, 79, began his movie career in 1953 as a producer and screenwriter. He directed his first film, Swamp Women, in 1955. He focused on genre films, chiefly sci-fi and horror, and is credited with having helped launch the careers of such high-profile stars as Nicholson, Fonda and Dennis Hopper. In the 1960s, he made several adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories starring Vincent Price.

In 1971, Corman retired from directing to focus on producing and distributing chiefly low-budget exploitation films through his company, New World Pictures. Corman eventually sold New World and in 1983 founded New Horizons. New Horizons quickly became one of the leading providers of direct-to-video genre films.

In 2002, Corman was inducted into the Video Hall of Fame.

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