follow us in feedly
William Shatner leads a racist reign of terror in Roger Corman’s ‘The Intruder,’ 1962
09.10.2014
04:14 pm

Topics:
Movies
Race

Tags:
William Shatner
Roger Corman


 
You may remember a post we did a while back on the all-Esperanto art house horror, Incubus, starring the immortal William Shatner. Although the film is beautiful in its ambition, fascinating in its inscrutability and kind of hilarious in its absolute weirdness, it is not my favorite Shatner deep cut. No, that great honor belongs to The Intruder,  a weird little anti-racist morality play directed by Roger Corman, the brilliant mind behind the 1960 Little Shop of Horrors, and producer of such classics as Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Death Race 2000. Oh, and more recently, Sharktopus.

While The Intruder definitely exhibits Corman’s trademark outrageousness, itt does so in an earnest effort to engage the audience’s humanity. Shatner plays a sneaky white supremacist that rolls into a southern town with the covert mission of sowing racial unrest into the recently integrated community. At the time he was a young Canadian theater actor looking to break in to Hollywood, and the role was pretty juicy and subversive—Shatner later said “I’d have paid him to play that role.”
 

 
As far as drama and social analysis of bigotry goes, yeah—it’s pretty heavy-handed and ham-fisted to the modern eye (I mean it’s Roger Corman and William Shatner), but Shatner’s performance is uncharacteristically understated. He’s sleazy and sly and generally threatening as all hell. The picture follows him charming the previously peaceful citizens of Caxton into a a paranoid frenzy, even going so far as to seduce a teenage girl before pressuring her to frame a black man for rape.

The mob violence and virulent hatred is tidied up quite neatly by a level-headed salesman who eventually (basically) just gives Shatner’s character bus fare to leave town. It’s a pretty rosy Hollywood resolution to an obviously complicated and dire subject—racism is treated as an “intruder,” not a part of civic and political fabric. The movie fails to really indict the white citizens of Caxton for their own horrific crimes, nor does it really seek restitution for its black victims.

But you’re not watching The Intruder for critical race theory… you’re watching it for an evil Bill Shatner in a convertible with the KKK.
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Dangerous Minds at Fantastic Fest: Roger Corman discusses his wild wild career
09.26.2010
07:27 pm

Topics:
Movies
Pop Culture

Tags:
Fantastic Fest
Roger Corman

image
 
This past Friday night, Roger Corman was presented with a lifetime achievement award at Fantastic Fest and Dangerous Minds was there to film it.

After a screening of Machete Maidens Unleashed, Mark Hartley’s funny and informative documentary on exploitation films shot in the Philippines during the seventies, Corman took to the stage of Austin’s Paramount Theater to be honored for his unique cinematic legacy. Appropriately, Corman had produced many of the films featured in Machete Maidens. As a packed house enthusiastically applauded and cheered, film critic Elvis Mitchell (NY Times, At The Movies) presented Corman with his award: an impressive looking samurai sword. Standing with his wife and collaborator Julie at his side, Roger seemed to thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to talk about his extraordinary career.

In the following video, Roger discusses his past accomplishments and his latest project Sharktopus.
 

 
Watch the trailer for Machete Maidens Unleashed and Sharktopus after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment