Author: Christian

The Story of Roger Corman’s Creepshow

The Story of Roger Corman's Creepshow

Timeline: James Gunn’s long and winding road from Troma to the top of DC Studios

If you’ve been paying attention to the big screen lately, you’ve probably heard of James Gunn, the writer/director of Guardians of the Galaxy.

The filmmaker has spent the bulk of his career at DreamWorks, directing movies like Troma, Shivers, and Shaft, a TV series and two feature films before moving to Marvel. He’s also co-written Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

Before he was director, he was a writer. You know who he wrote for? Troma, the low-budget horror comedy about monsters and the people who hunt them. And his Troma films have made quite an impression.

With Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 now in theaters, it’s fun to take a trip down memory lane on the film’s journey — from it being written by someone who used to write jokes to it having the budget of the entire planet.

The first Troma film

In 1988, horror filmmaker Roger Corman hired writer Michael Gondry to pen the first Troma movie, then known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze.

If Corman was a comic book fan, he was a horror writer. After seeing the film starring Danny Glover and Michael York and directed by Steven Spielberg, Corman got interested in horror.

His first attempt to start his own studio was to write and produce a horror movie called Creepshow. But unlike his plans for Troma, the idea for Creepshow never came to fruition.

Troma moved forward, but the money was nowhere close to Corman’s.

The second Troma movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, would be the film the studio wanted to make. But when they saw the name in the title of the movie, they were skeptical — for a while.


A few words of warning: the Corman-approved story is very scary. There was an executive at Troma who told writer Gondry and director David Michael Borne he couldn’t “do” a story like that. But he added, “If you do it, you can do both and make a lot of money.”

Borne took the idea back to Corman. Corman took it, telling Borne that “we’ll see.”

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