R.I.P. Roger Corman (1926-2024) | In the Dark

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I was saddened to hear of the death at the age of 98 of prolific film  producer and director Roger Corman. He is best known, at least to me, as the director of a string of cult low-budget B-movies. They were of variable quality in terms of acting – Corman couldn’t often afford to pay for top-quality actors – but some of the films were outstanding. Roger Corman’s death gives me an excuse to rehash an old post about one of his films.

The first film I remember seeing that really terrified me was House of Usher starring the great Vincent Price, a regular in a series of films by Roger Corman inspired by Edgar Allan Poe, who gives most of his performance in a creepy stage whisper, a film based Poe’s short story The Fall of the House of Usher. When I was around 8 or 9 I was once left home alone on a Friday night by my parents. In those days the BBC used to show horror films late at night on Fridays and, against parental guidance, I decided to watch this one. It scared me witless and when my parents got home they found me a gibbering wreck. I don’t really know why I found it so scary – younger people reared on a diet of slasher movies probably find it very tame, as you don’t actually see anything particularly shocking – but the whole atmosphere of it really got to me. Here’s an example clip.

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