However the huge compendium of Roer Corman’s massive body of work, “Roger Corman: Metaphysics on a Shoestring” has steadily convinced me that I’ve missed out on someone of great importance. I understood Corman’s legacy, and importance, and his great influence on film since he began making films, but I was never one who followed him as a fan would. What Silver and Ursini have done is give folks like me a reason to gain interest into the body of the work of Roger Corman. Anyone who still has a stigma of him as a man who made bad films would be better off to read this book that’s an encyclopedia, an analyses of Corman’s work, and a biography all rolled into one. It’s the perfect tool for anyone seeking a new interest in Corman’s unique filmography.
Simply put, it’s this type of book that makes being a film buff so much fun. I had a blast reading this book from start to finish and at a cozy 324 pages. Silver and Ursini have both compiled a massive, and utterly entertaining page turner of Corman’s life, with amazing photos, full descriptions of Corman’s movies, and even insight from Corman himself who admits to mistakes, discusses difficulties during shootings, and many more little nuggets. Suffice it to say, “Metaphysics on a Shoe String,” now being released through Silman-James Publishing, pays perfect homage to Corman and the impact he’s had on film, period. Corman is a man that has had an odd fascination with the apocalypse and the future, and it’s shown through many of his science fiction entries that manage to stand the test of time.
He’s helped to start the careers of great directors, he’s helped produce some of the most famous and infamous films ever made, and is not without his own startling insight. And the knack is Silver and Ursini don’t just explain each and every movie, these descriptions find symbolism, and allegory, and they help accentuate what many wouldn’t be able to see with a first or even second glance, and Corman’s commentary is often incredibly engrossing. He explores the lost potential of “Teenage Caveman,” explains his affinity for depicting mobsters as monsters more as appealing role models, the folly that was “Attack of the Crab Monsters,” and even discusses teenage rebellion with a great quote: “Young People always need to rebel to some extent.
I’d distrust a young person who believed everything that society told him or her.” The book states a bit of the obvious, but nonetheless it’s a statement that needs to continuously be declared. Roger Corman was way ahead of his time. He’s still a man who is thinking twenty years before everyone else. To some he was just a director making schlock, but if you look behind every cell, paired with this fine book, you’ll see he’s actually a master of his craft, and one that takes filmmaking very seriously. “Metaphysics on a Shoestring” is an excellent companion piece for the film buff who wants to learn more about Corman, or for the Corman fanatic who wants to revel in the director’s genius.