TCM Remembers Roger Corman With Three Nights of Cult Classics in July 2024

black and white behind-the-scenes image from the set of the 1966 movie
Courtesy Everett Collection
(L-R): Director Roger Corman, star Peter Fonda and assistant director Peter Bogdanovich set up a scene for The Wild Angels (1966)

Prolific and influential producer and director Roger Corman passed away May 9, 2024, at age 98.

To celebrate his work and impact on motion pictures, Turner Classic Movies is devoting three Wednesday evenings in July 2024 (July 3, 10 and 17) to lineups of just a few of the many low-budget B-movie features that Corman was behind in some way or another.

The first two Wednesdays (July 3 and 10) will feature movies directed by Corman. On Wednesday, July 17, the evening will be devoted to films that Corman produced and which were directed by people who would go on to be major Hollywood names (in some cases, their work for Corman marked their feature film directing debut, or maybe only their second or third one, after previously having done other behind-the-scenes work for Corman productions).

black and white behind-the-scenes image from the 1963 movie "X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes." Director Roger Corman is standing on the left with his hands up to his face to envision the blocking for a scene from the film. Lying just below him in a hospital bed is star Ray Milland, with his eyes covered with bandages.

Courtesy Everett Collection

Director Roger Corman sets up a shot for X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes



Wednesday, July 3, 2024 (Directed by Roger Corman) — Begins at 8pm

Kicking things off on this first of three Wednesday evenings devoted to Roger Corman are seven movies that he directed in the ’50s and ’60s:

8pm: X: The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963) — a sci-fi/horror film led by Ray Milland

9:30pm: A Bucket of Blood (1959) — a comedy/horror flick starring Dick Miller, a frequent face in Corman productions

10:45pm: The Wasp Woman (1959) — another sci-fi/horror flick, this one featuring Susan Cabot

12:15am: The Little Shop of Horrors (1960) — the original version of the horror comedy, led by Jonathan Haze, Jackie Joseph and Dick Miller, with a humorous small role for Jack Nicholson, who got his start in Corman films

1:45am: Creature From the Haunted Sea (1961) — a parody of creature features and spy movies

3am: Atlas (1961) — Corman’s attempt to get in on the “sword-and-sandal” film subgenre popular at the time, with a story of the titular mythical strongman

4:30am: Tower of London (1962) — a historical drama/Gothic horror film starring Vincent Price in one of his numerous collaborations with Corman.

Wednesday, July 10, 2024 (Directed by Roger Corman) — Begins at 8pm

More films directed by Corman are featured tonight and into early tomorrow morning.

Up first are four of Corman’s famed adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe works led by Vincent Price, the first three of which have screenplays by sci-fi/horror master Richard Matheson:

8pm: House of Usher (1960) — costarring Mark Damon

9:30pm: The Pit and the Pendulum (1961) — also featuring British scream queen Barbara Steele

11pm: The Raven (1963) — This one teams Price with fellow creepy movie icons Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre, and also features Jack Nicholson, who got his early exposure in this and other Corman productions, in a supporting role.

12:45am: The Masque of the Red Death (1964) — Hazel Court and Jane Asher costar with Price in not only one of Corman’s best Poe adaptations, but one of his best directed films overall, featuring terrific use of color.

scene from the 1964 movie "The Masque of the Red Death." Vincent Price, as Prince Prospero, is reaching out with open arms toward the camera, with an intense and fearful look in his eyes. He is is clad in an all-red robe and hood, and his face is painted red.

Courtesy Everett Collection

The lineup then concludes with:

2:30am: Bloody Mama (1970) — an exploitation crime film with Shelley Winters in the title role, along with supporting performances from Bruce Dern and Robert De Niro

4:15am: The Wild Angels (1966) — a film that helped inspire the outlaw biker genre of the late ’60s/early ’70s and the first film to associate star Peter Fonda with motorcycles well before his more famous role in 1969’s Easy Rider.

black and white behind the scenes image of the 1970 movie "Bloody Mama." Left to right: Star Shelley Winters as the title character, holding a gun; director Roger Corman, looking over the staging of the scene, and costar Clint Kimbrough, kneeling down and looking up at Winters' character.

Courtesy Everett Collection

(L-R): Star Shelley Winters, director Roger Corman and costar Clint Kimbrough setting up a scene for Bloody Mama


Wednesday, July 17, 2024 (Produced by Roger Corman) — Begins at 8pm

The Wednesday celebration of Roger Corman movies concludes this evening and into early tomorrow with five titles that he produced and which were each helmed by future big-name directors, just a handful of the future significant Hollywood names who got their starts working on Corman movies:

8pm: Boxcar Bertha (1972) — This Depression-set crime drama was Martin Scorsese’s second directorial feature. Barbara Hershey stars as the title character, alongside David Carradine.

9:45pm: Targets (1968) — Peter Bogdanovich made his theatrical directorial debut with this crime thriller, which he also wrote. The film stars Tim O’Kelly and horror icon Boris Karloff (pictured below discussing a scene with Bogdanovich).

black and white behind-the-scenes image from the 1968 movie "Targets." Star Boris Karloff is seated on the left, looking to his left at director Peter Bogdanovich, also seated, as they discuss a scene.

Courtesy Everett Collection

11:30pm: Dementia 13 (1963) — Francis Ford Coppola wrote and made his feature directing debut with this black-and-white slasher horror film.

As the lineup enters late-night/early tomorrow morning, it features a couple of the more exploitative and raunchy and/or violent, yet still fun, Corman productions:

1am: Caged Heat (1974) — This women-in-prison film was written and helmed by Jonathan Demme in his directorial debut.

2:30am: Piranha (1978) — Directed and co-edited by Joe Dante, this horror film is a cut above the numerous Jaws-like imitators that followed that 1975 blockbuster. With its screenplay by John Sayles, Piranha features some tongue-in-cheek humor alongside its killer-fish violence.