The Worst Superhero Movie You Never Saw
(Photo from doomedthemovie.com)
"Doomed! The Untold Story of Roger Corman's The Fantastic Four" is a documentary by Langford that aims to solve the mystery of the oft-bootlegged, but never-released comic-book movie. Its trailer went online over the weekend.
Watch the New 'Doomed' Trailer:
"I was into this project to learn new stuff. To learn everything," Langford told Yahoo Movies via email. "We found out stuff that was pretty nuts."
The backstory of Corman's "Fantastic Four," which had been assigned a 1994 release year by IMDb, even though, no, it never was released, goes something like this: In 1992, German writer-producer Bernd Eichinger was on the clock for the rights to Marvel Comics' famed hero quartet. With his dibs on the characters about to expire, Eichinger teamed with Corman, the legendary and prolific filmmaker who gave early breaks to everyone from Jack Nicholson to Ron Howard to James Cameron. Together, they made a movie.
In Corman style, the shoot was fast (just 21 days, per "Doomed"), the budget was tight (a reputed $1.5 million), and the product was a B-movie. "Something very low budget, very tacky and openly campy," Clint Morris wrote of "The Fantastic Four" for Film Threat, adding, "...The script isn't actually all that bad and some of the actors... are actually quite good." The character of the design of The Thing was another matter: "Imagine Kevin Sorbo coated in orange cement and you're halfway there," Scott Weinberg noted for eFilmCritic.com. "...On one hand, the suit and mask are a nifty little piece of effects design. On the other, it still looks ridiculous."
Such was the way things usually went for Marvel screen adaptations of the era; such was the way things usually went for Corman movies. Unlike every other Corman movie, however, "The Fantastic Four" never formally hit theaters or video. (Reviewers have relied on the ubiquitous bootlegs; Langford himself as eight VHS and DVD copies.)