Photo: Mark Mainz (Getty Images)

Roger Corman is the patron saint of American B-movies. Not only did he launch the careers of A-list directors like Francis Ford Coppola, James Cameron, Jonathan Demme, and Martin Scorsese by taking a chance on them very early in their careers, he’s also an independent innovator who perfected the blockbuster formula before Jaws and Star Wars brought it to the Hollywood mainstream. He claims to only have lost money on one of the 56 movies he’s directed over the years—1962's The Intruder, starring William Shatner as a white supremacist who stirs up chaos in a small Southern town. But he doesn’t mind, because he feels that the movie’s serious social message was worth losing money on.

But Corman is 91 years old, and won’t be with us forever. That may be part of Corman’s motivation for selling his New Horizons Pictures library—a collection that includes 270 films and a sci-fi TV series—to Shout! Factory and China-based Ace Film. (Corman, ever looking forward, has been involved in a couple of American-Chinese co-productions in recent years.) The deal gives Shout! Factory the rights to the New Horizons library in North America, Europe, Australia and Russia, with Ace covering the rest of the world.

Advertisement

And, in a perfectly Corman move—this is the man who produced both Death Race 2000 in 1975 and its sequel, Death Race 2050, in 2017—plans are already in the works to produce remakes of New Horizons titles, a list that could potentially include Rock‘N’Roll High School, Piranha, Bloodfist, Black Scorpion, Eat My Dust! and Humanoids From The Deep. Shout! will be in charge of English-language remakes, and Ace in charge of Chinese ones. They’ll also develop new content and license existing titles for syndication and digital media, ensuring that—to crib a catchphrase from another Shout! Factory property—the tapes stay in circulation for many years to come.