By KEVIN HOOVER
To label Roger Corman’s career as prolific would be an understatement. While most directors hope upon hope to create one or two career-defining films, Corman has lensed several hundred over the last seven decades. His influence perpetual, the elder statesman of indie cinema behind such classics as Death Race 2000 and The Little Shop of Horrors has lived a life most filmmakers could only dream of, and at 97 years young, he shows no signs of slowing down.
“The King of Cult” has been celebrated by nearly every major film institute in existence. Yet a collective whose tastes are just as discerning – the Mutant Family – will shower the pioneer with adulation once again at the Joe Bob Briggs World Drive-In Movie Festival and Jamboree this October. The three-day extravaganza will be themed “Roger Corman’s First Seventy Years” and will include an on-stage celebration for both Corman and his wife. Julie, a visionary in her own right.
From the press release:
Roger Corman, the legendary director, producer, distributor, writer and mentor to dozens of Hollywood stars, will be the guest of honor at the third annual World Drive-In Movie Festival and Jamboree October 6-8 at the West Wind Las Vegas Drive-In.
“Roger Corman’s First Seventy Years” will be the theme of the three-day event, which will include an onstage appearance by Corman and his producer wife, Julie Corman, during the Saturday night double feature, which will also be an episode of Shudder’s hit show “The Last Drive-In.”
Joe Bob Briggs, host of “The Last Drive-In” and founder of the Jamboree, said, “I don’t know of any other filmmaker who has worked 70 years straight in Hollywood. A few actors have done it because they started as children, but Roger wrote ‘Highway Dragnet’ in 1953, when he was 27 years old, and then proceeded to produce, direct and distribute more movies than most people even watch, much less make, in one lifetime. Roger has contributed so much to cinema history that we’re not even sure of the precise number, but it’s probably 700 films at this point. Forty years ago, at the Gemini Drive-In in Dallas, I gave Roger a Lifetime Achievement Award engraved on a Chevy hubcap, but he was only 57 at the time and now he’s lived a second lifetime, so I’m not sure what we’re gonna give him this time.”
Diana Prince, Executive Director of the Jamboree who also plays “Darcy the Mail Girl” on “The Last Drive-In,” announced the special event as “the drive-in faithful paying back the man who premiered more movies at drive-ins than any other filmmaker … He’s already been honored by the Motion Picture Academy, the American Film Institute, the Cinematheque Francaise, the British Film Institute, and the Museum of Modern Art, but this is the people’s award. He’s never been honored the drive-in way. We have quite a few surprises planned.”
Julie Corman will also be honored the same night for her half-century as a producer of such drive-in classics as “Chopping Mall,” “The Student Teachers,” “Sorority House Massacre II,” “Crazy Mama,” “The Nest,” “The Lady in Red,” and “Brain Dead.”
“If I had my druthers, we would show ten Roger and Julie films that night,” said Briggs, “but unfortunately, Vegas has only 12 hours, 25 minutes of darkness at that time of year. We’ll probably settle for a quintuple feature.”
Marking the third annual outing of “the Woodstock of genre films,” the World Drive-In Movie Festival and Jamboree has become a destination vacation for fans of the legendary film critic. Already planned for this year’s outing are a barbecue, horror-themed vendors, Sleepaway Camp 40th reunition and a walking tour of Vegas, led by Briggs himself. Additional celebrity guests will be announced in the coming months.
For more information on Joe Bob’s World Drive-in Movie Festival and Jamboree, head over to joebobsjamboree.com.