By G. Michael Dobbs
Filmmaker and American International College faculty member Marty Langford is in a bit of state of shock – which in this case is not a bad thing.
On Jan. 13, Langford and his producing partner Mark Sikes – a former Springfield resident – released the trailer to their up-coming documentary “DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four” on YouTube.
By the morning of Jan. 15 more than 150,000 people had seen the video and the release of the trailer was covered by websites such as Bleeding Cool News, Ain’t It Cool News, IGN, Collider, IO9 and Geek League of America. Langford received eight interview requests, including Yahoo News and was scheduled for at least one radio interview.
Meredith Woerner wrote on IO9, “In 1994, monster movie maker Roger Corman made a $2 million adaptation of The Fantastic Four, was never released in theaters for obvious reasons. But now the documentary DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four will show you the lunacy that is this creation, and all the bananas behind-the-scenes goings on.”
On Collider, Matt Goldberg wrote, “I’m always a sucker for stories about production fiascos and movies that almost happened, and Roger Corman’s ‘The Fantastic Four’ is a bit of both. Corman made the low-budget flick in 1992 because German producer Bernd Eichinger wanted to retain the rights, and although filming was completed, the picture was never officially released. Naturally, this has led to all sorts of speculation and conspiracy theories as to why it was buried, and Marty Langford’s documentary ‘DOOMED! The Untold Story of Roger Corman’s The Fantastic Four’ promises to go behind-the-scenes and provide some answers to what really happened with this unreleased oddity. The trailer looks promising, especially if you’ve never seen Corman’s lost superhero picture and want to know more about it.”
The film Langford and Sikes is making details how, in 1994, a German film producer realizing that his rights were going to expire on his option on the Marvel comic book “The Fantastic Four” approached legendary independent movie maker Roger Corman about making a film.
Corman was given a budget of approximately $1 million and did produce a film, which extended the option on the property. The film, though, was never released, something that created a mystery for its director and cast.
That mystery, though, has fueled a market for the film, which has been available in pirated versions for years.
Langford attributed the wave of interest on the film “cool fan base.” Since the trailer was released, he has received emails of support, re-orders for the film and additional contributions toward the production costs.
Langford has also received invitations to screen the documentary at comic book conventions and film festivals.
The response has been heartening since Langford admitted making the film up until this point has been challenging from raising funding to getting the attention of the press.
“Every step of the way since Mark and I started, our expectations were never met,” he said.
The reaction to the trailer, though, has been “amazing.”
To learn more about the film, go to http://doomedthemovie.com