Directed by: Marty Langford
Starring: Carl Ciarfalio, Roger Corman, Joseph Culp
A documentary that tells the history of the ill-fated movie version of the Fantastic Four that was executive produced by Roger Corman.
It’s 1993, Jurassic Park has become a mega phenomenon and the entire world is dazzled by its special effects.
Roger Corman has made his own low budget dinosaur movie, Carnosaur, and is brought on as Producer to make a big screen version of The Fantastic Four.
There are a few stipulations however:
1. The filming has to start in December 1993.
2. The movie has to be finished shooting in a little over a month.
3. Oh, and there is no budget except from the $750K put up from Constantine Studios which Roger will match (it’s worth noting that Batman in 1989 had a budget of $35million, The Fantastic Four had a budget “expected” to be $1.5million).
Could there be a reason for this to be rushed or perhaps not look as professional as possible????
The Fantastic Four aka The movie that was made but was never released, is probably one of the most well known comic book film stories and is brought up by fans at almost every convention. Why was the film never released? Did the actors or filmmakers really know what was going on? And, in typical conspiracy fashion, who really knew the truth?
Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s the Fantastic Four delves deep into the archives and vaults to bring little snippets of film that were shot, effects that would never pass even for a film student and the key actors, director, producers – including Roger Corman himself – along with the editor and even the movie’s composer to make this documentary an essential watch.
For it brings to light how a group of highly talented and dedicated individuals were making a film that they really thought was going to lead to something massive. Up until 1993/94, the Marvel Cinematic Universe consisted of screening mostly tv movies, the most recent (then) being the TV Hulk Movies and let’s face it, they were just ok.
But a cinematic release of The Fantastic Four… the Costumes… the Effects on the silver screen… classic quotes such as “It’s Clobbering time” and “Flame On”… how could anyone NOT be willing to make this the best movie possible?!
From the actors detailing how they were cast, the costumes (or lack of in most cases), the script and constant pressure to make The Fantastic Four something to be proud of, this documentary really comes across as a labour of love. The truly sad tale that is told is that the Hollywood machine never gave them a chance for they were all duped into making a movie just to keep the rights with the studio!
And yet, for all of disappointment and anger that these talented people who worked both in front and behind the camera must have felt at the time, the stories and descriptions they go through as they reminisce are not as bitter you would think. Indeed from each of the persons’ perspectives, you still feel a warmth that the movie “could” still make careers, even if released today.
For a story that literally came out of Hollywood, this documentary is filled with laughs, disappointments and cheesy dialogue and effects (the cheesy dialogue and effects though are the clips of the original movie) and is something that any comic book fan, or indeed student of cinema, should watch.
A brilliantly made documentary that will certainly make more money than its subject film (and that alone is the strangest element of this documentary)!
4 0ut of 5 Nerds