Roger Corman, “King of the B’s” and perhaps the greatest independent filmmaker and producer of all time, is being honored at the inaugural Overlook Film Festival with a newly created Master of Horror Award. The festival, which takes place at the Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, OR, that was used in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, is a four-day celebration of horror cinema that features the premieres of a number of new independent horror films—very much in the vein of what Corman has produced throughout his long, illustrious career.
The now 91-year-old Corman began his career as a director in the early 1950s, and has rarely been idle ever since. In the ‘50s, he directed classic sci-fi cheapies for American International Pictures, including MST3k episodes It Conquered the World and Gunslinger. In the ‘60s, he did perhaps his best work as a director, working with a larger budget to create his plush “Edgar Allen Poe cycle” of films starring Vincent Price, including Masque of the Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, and the H.P. Lovecraft adaptation of The Haunted Palace. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Corman moved more toward the production side of the business, where he has remained ever since—this year he produced Death Race 2050, a direct sequel to his classic 1975 satire Death Race.
To call Corman an institution is an understatement. Few men have ever had such a huge impact on the entire industry, whether they’re working as directors or producers. Corman has been especially influential for the fact that he gave first chances to so many actors and directors who went on to become Hollywood luminaries. This “Corman Film School,” as it’s often called, includes the likes of Martin Scorsese, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Jack Nicholson, Jonathan Demme and countless others.
Fellow director and friend Mick Garris will interview Corman onstage at the event. The Overlook Film Festival runs April 27-30 at Timberline Lodge in Mt. Hood, OR, which stood in for the Overlook Hotel in Kubrick’s adaptation of The Shining.
Four features will also have their world premiere at the festival: Capture, Blood Drive, Still/Born and Primal Screen, which was directed by Rodney Ascher of horror documentaries Room 237 and The Nightmare, which we’ve praised on Netflix. Other films at the festival include William Oldroyd’s Lady Macbeth, Alex de la Iglesia’s The Bar, Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch and Joe Lynch’s Mayhem, which stars Steven Yeun of The Walking Dead.
Our sincere congratulations to Roger Corman, who is an American film treasure. May he continue to produce films past age 100.