Thursday 23 May 2024

Celebrity Jukebox #127: Roger Corman

Director and producer Roger Corman, who died earlier this month aged 98, was something of a Hollywood legend... if you like tacky cult films. He's the guy who gave Jack Nicholson his big break in the original version of Little Shop of Horrors, got William Shatner to play a manipulative bigot in The Intruder (also known as I Hate Your Guts) and gave Ray Milland X-Ray Eyes. In comic book circles, he's known as the man behind the original screen version of The Fantastic Four, a movie so "bad" it was never officially released. I'm guessing Roger still did OK from it - after all, his autobiography was titled How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never Lost a Dime

All that said, it should come as little surprise that The Ramones were big fans...

Vin Scelsa is on the radio
Ramones are hanging out in Kokomo
Roger Corman’s on a talk show
With Allan Arkush and Stephen King, you know

Roger's also in fine company on this kitschy classic...

Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde!
Christine is the baddest ride!
Roger Corman
Barbra Steele
Killer Tomatoes have appeal!
Hannibal Lector, sick and mean!
Eat your heart with Fava Beans!
Chuckie's just a living doll!
The Fifty Foot Woman is awfully tall!

Way back in 1981, Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys teamed up with Adrian Borland of The Sound, Morgan Fisher from Mott The Hoople and weird minimalist synth-punk Christian Lunch to form The Witch Trials. They only released on EP, which Biafra later claimed was the "most evil record I've ever been associated with".

A slimy green claw comes up through the dock
People run away and climbing through the hole
Is a protege of Roger Corman
He photographs this mutant
Says, “I’ll make you a star
Bring me all your friends
And we’ll make a movie out of you on location
Give me five minutes to get my camera, please”

You might not expect to find the Pet Shop Boys in this post, yet iffypedia informs me that their 1986 Top Ten hit Suburbia was inspired by Penelope Spheeris's movie of the same name, a Roger Corman production...

Let's close with a little Italian power pop from 2011... a fine tribute.


  1. Suburbia was an important movie for me in my early teen years... as was just about anything non-conformist. I think I had this idea of myself that I was punk even though I was anything but. Ah, youth.


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