We’re again with our listing of historical past’s most prolific movie administrators. Let’s kick issues off with a father-son duo who’ve given us two generations of cinematic madness. Their shared DNA earned them numbers 6 and 6.5 on the listing.
- Rene Cardona – 145 movies
Rene Cardona Senior made his profession in movie the onerous means. He was initially a medical scholar in Havana however was pressured to flee the nation. Upon arriving in New York, he made ends meet by working as a film additional. By some means he managed to hustle that into directing 1929’s Havana Shadows. He relocated to Mexico and established himself as a filmmaker, directing over 100 movies between 1937 and 1986. In 1959, he directed the bizzaro household movie Santa Claus, which American exploitation impresario Okay. Gordon Murray become an annual money cow at kiddie matinees. However this isn’t your normal Santa; this one’s preventing the satan whereas preserving a world cavalcade of youngsters as prisoners in his celestial palace—it’s surreal. Cardona actually hit his stride with a string of Santo and Blue Demon wrestler/monster mash-ups. When you’ve by no means skilled a Mexican wrestling monster film, properly, you’re in for a deal with. Different highlights embrace the so dangerous it’s implausible Wrestling Lady vs. the Aztec Mummy (1964) and The Batwoman (1968)—a blatant however intoxicating rip-off of TV’s Batman. The schlock stored coming with the subsequent watershed being 1976’s torn from the headlines Survive!—the true story of a soccer staff who resort to cannibalism after a aircraft crash within the Andes. Cardona beat a number of greater producers to the punch and the movie made a fortune. Cardona sadly handed away in 1988 … however his progeny stored the household identify alive!
Signature work: Night time of the Bloody Apes (1969). It’s arduous to inform how a lot of the salacious stuff was inserted by People after the very fact, however who cares? It’s full of face ripping, woman wrestlers, ugly surgical procedure, gratuitous nudity and horrible dubbing. In different phrases, you’ll adore it!
6.5 Rene Cardona Jr. – 100 movies
Like father like son, Junior continued his household’s reign as Mexico’s hardest working movie household. What’s notably superb is that Cardona Jr. not solely directed 100 movies however wrote over sixty of them! He started directing in 1964 with Las Hijas de Elena, which was by no means launched in English. He shortly jumped onto the profitable English language market with business movies like A Colt, 5 Dollars and Carrion (1967). In 1972, he directed the unforgettable The Night time of a Thousand Cats, whereby a globetrotting millionaire seduces ladies and feeds them to his military of cats. Not impressed? Properly ,right here comes the juicy stuff. He clamped on to the success of Jaws with 1977’s Tintorera: Killer Shark that includes bloody shark assaults and Susan George having oodles of threesomes. In 1978, he jumped on the very fashionable matter The Bermuda Triangle, adopted by 1979’s really tasteless bio image Guyana: Cult of the Damned, starring Stuart Whitman (Night time of the Lepus) as Rev. Jim Jones. That very same yr he did a biography on Carlos the Jackal despite the fact that no one knew who Carlos truly was. Right here’s an odd little bit of trivia—Mexican actor Hugo Stiglitz is in virtually each Cardona Jr. film… It’s loopy! By the 1990s, Cardona’s English language releases had tapered off, however he was nonetheless going robust in Latin America with the extremely common movie collection La Risa en Vacaciones 1-Eight. Rene Cardona Jr. handed away in 2003, however by no means worry, as a result of he left us with Rene Cardona III—and he’s directed 71 films already!
Signature work: Night time of a Thousand Cats (1972). The cinematic shocker that proves regardless of how a lot pretend blood you spray on kitty cats, they’re nonetheless lovable. And sure, it has Hugo Stiglitz in it.
- Fred Olen Ray – 149 movies (and counting)
At an age when your dorm buddies have been consuming beer and bragging about how they’d make films sometime Fred Olen Ray was already on the market doing it. I’m not saying he was nice proper out of the gate, however, rattling it, he was truly making films! After his directorial function debut The Alien Lifeless (1980) Fred stored chasing his dream with out the good thing about movie faculties or household connections. He discovered quick, hustling abroad distribution offers and elevating investor cash to create a string of deliriously enjoyable B-movies. Like a utility infielder he hopped between the horror, motion and T&A genres, together with his 1988 Grand Guignol masterpiece Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. He additionally directed a string of profitable household movies like Billy Frankenstein (1998) and Invisible Mother (1996). Apart from directing Ray can also be a distributor of cult movies by way of his firm Retromedia and he’s a semi professional wrestler, grappling underneath the ring identify Freddy Valentine. How enjoyable is that? He’s survived the business’s many peaks and valleys, together with spending a number of years knocking out micro-budget skinimax movies like 2012’s The Teeny Weenie Bikini Squad. Fred’s directing higher-budget movies once more, together with a string of Christmas films and even a Steven Seagal flick—and simply keep in mind that Steven Seagal is certifiably insane. The truth that Fred’s maintained his humorousness and sanity via the many years of loopy offers and slashed budgets tells you numerous concerning the man.
Signature work: Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers. Its mixture of gore, humor, scream queen forged, title and promoting tag line “They cost an arm and a leg!” make this a doctoral thesis on the artwork of exploitation cinema.
- Godfrey Ho – 152 movies
I’m together with Ho regardless of it being virtually unimaginable to inform how a lot of his movie work is unique and the way a lot is recycled from movies he purchased, recut or discovered beneath his sofa cushions. A mean Godfrey Ho film consists of about fifteen minutes of fabric directed by Ho with the rest being footage from unfinished or unsold Asian movies, all precariously stitched along with a dubbing monitor that fails to attach the dots. The incoherent however shoddily entertaining Robo Vampire (1988) is an ideal instance. Oh, and each movie ought to have the phrase Ninja within the title. Allegedly, actor Richard Harrison was so embarrassed by Ho’s movies that he gave up appearing altogether after finishing his contract. Twenty minutes of any Godfrey Ho movie may have you in hysterics … however ninety minutes will grind you into emotional submission.
Signature work: Ninja Terminator (1985). There are infinite again flipping ninjas, toy robots capturing poison fuel and a forged which are clearly not showing in the identical film. In a nutshell … that’s My Man Godfrey!
- Astride Massaccesi – aka Joe D’Amato – 195 movies
D’Amato started as a cinematographer, lending visible type to Italian movies like What Have You Achieved to Solange? (1972) and The Antichrist (1974). He made his directorial debut with 1973’s grisly Giallo Demise Smiles on a Assassin, nevertheless it was 1975’s Emmanuelle’s Revenge that set the trajectory for his continuous exploitation profession. Between infinite Emmanuelle movies he dabbled in each style, aping Max Max with 2020, Texas Gladiators (1980), directing a semi sequel to Caligula entitled Caligula- The Untold Story (1982), and leaping on the Conan bandwagon with Ator, the Preventing Eagle (1982) and its sequels. He first dabbled in hardcore pornography with Porno Holocaust and Erotic Nights of the Dwelling Lifeless (each 1979) earlier than returning to the extra acceptable softcore and horror genres. He scored huge with the video nasty Antropophagus (1980) and the erotically charged 11 Days, 11 Nights (1987). Oh, did I point out nuns? Massive Joe beloved nunspoitation, knocking out a batch of cinema’s steamiest Catholic guilt fests. By means of the ’80s D’Amato was capturing exploitation movies as quick as Kodak might manufacture the movie inventory. However sadly the marketplace for Italian movies was shrinking, so in 1993 he returned to directing hardcore porn movies. In contrast to his American counterparts, D’Amato eschewed cheesy video productions and continued capturing in superb 35MM movie. He used precise scripts whereas including as a lot interval costuming and set ornament as he might borrow from greater movies. He did no less than fifteen of those lushly-produced crotch operas like Tarzan X and Marco Polo (each 1994) and Hamlet (1995) however sadly died throughout pre-production on a movie in 1999. Those that knew him say that Joe was a gifted craftsman and in addition a genuinely good man.
Signature work: Blue Omega aka Past the Darkness (1979). Necrophilia, human taxidermy and incest make unusual bedfellows on this lushly-shot gore fest. It’s actually disturbing.
- Jesus Franco – 203 movies
The phrases auteur, hack, artist and degenerate have all been used to explain legendary low-budget filmmaker Jesus (Jess) Franco. Amazingly, they’re all applicable descriptions of a director so prolific that even his pseudonyms are unimaginable to rely. Franco started as an assistant director, co-writer and occasional composer within the Spanish movie business earlier than directing his first movie—1961’s The Terrible Physician Orloff. It was a hit, igniting a frenzied directorial profession spanning each style together with horror, espionage, ladies in jail, ladies in convents, mushy erotica and hardcore intercourse. He typically shot a number of movies on the similar time shortchanging the forged whereas bamboozling his financiers. Thankfully for Franco, he was such an enthralling rogue that folks often forgave his occasional embezzlement. Christopher Lee was shocked to find that Franco had slipped acres of nudity into the movie Eugenie (1970) after he’d left the set. Apparently Lee didn’t maintain a grudge and returned to star in Franco’s greatest remembered movie Rely Dracula (1970). It’s virtually unattainable to tally Franco’s filmography as so lots of his movies have been retitled, reedited (typically with hardcore intercourse) or cannibalized into different productions by the director himself. Franco was additionally a gifted musician who infused his movies with an improvised jazz mindset, combining flowing handheld camerawork with eccentric visuals and seemingly erratic, however weirdly rhythmic, modifying. Some name his work poetic whereas others name it rubbish however each Jesus Franco movie shows the artist’s private brushstrokes.
Signature work: both Vampyros Lesbos or She Killed in Ecstasy—each supply the director’s signature flowing visuals and perverse plotlines. Simply don’t watch Citadel of Fu Manchu (1969) until it’s the MST3K model—life is just too brief.
And the winner is…
- William Beaudine – 350 function movies!
And eventually it’s the person, the legend Invoice Beaudine! A man who, it’s stated, by no means met a take he didn’t like. Beaudine directed dozens of memorable low-budget style movies like Billy the Child vs. Dracula and Jesse James meets Frankenstein’s Daughter (each 1966). He started as an assistant to the venerable D.W. Griffith and had directed over thirty movies earlier than the sound period. He began the sound period robust, directing W.C. Fields in 1934’s The Previous Customary Approach. However after an extended working journey to the UK Beaudine had hassle getting again on Hollywood’s A-Listing. This led to his fascinating—although in all probability humiliating—trek by means of each side of the low-budget movie world. Beaudine directed “race pictures” like Professor Creeps and Fortunate Ghost (each 1942), dozens of horror movies, Bowery Boys comedies and even the infamous Kroger Babb street present basic Mother and Dad, which was allegedly one of many highest grossing movies in historical past! How prolific was Beaudine? Properly, in 1944, he directed ten movies—and that was simply a mean yr! He directed Bela Lugosi in a number of movies together with The Ape Man (1943), Voodoo Man (1944) and the execrable Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla (1952).
Beaudine was unfairly given the nickname “One-Shot” by the authors of the e-book The Golden Turkey Awards. In fact, he all the time shot sufficient takes to fulfill his editors and producers … perhaps that’s why he received employed 350 occasions! As if directing 350 movies wasn’t sufficient for one lifetime Beaudine additionally directed tons of tv together with 79 episodes of the beloved collection Lassie (1954-1974). He even directed episodes of The Inexperienced Hornet (1974) making him one of many first administrators to work with the legendary Bruce Lee.
Signature work: 1966’s prepared made double invoice Billy the Child Versus Dracula and Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. Sadly, these back-to-back movies have been the director’s swan track.
APPENDIX – An apology to feminine readers
I’m type of ashamed that this record has been such a sausage fest. It wasn’t intentional, I used to be merely judging by the variety of movies directed so long as a sure quantity have been style movies. However, in closing, I’d like to offer feminine filmmakers the respect they deserve by spotlighting two prolific pioneers. Although only a few of their works have been style movies they’ve nonetheless earned a spot on this listing and within the hearts of any movie lover.
Alice Man-Blaché – Between 443 and 1000 movies, principally shorts
Alice Man-Blaché was not solely a movie director however has been credited as the primary filmmaker to work in narrative fiction. She was initially a secretary for France’s fledgling Gaumont et Cie—a producer of cameras. She discovered the corporate’s preliminary cinematic efforts, often consisting of photographing their very own staff, tiresome and requested for an opportunity to direct. Her first movie was the 1896 brief topic The Fairy of the Cabbages. She continued her pioneering work, together with the 1906 movie The Lifetime of Christ, which utilized over 300 extras. Someplace between 1907 and 1910 she relocated to New Jersey the place she opened Solax Studios, turning into the primary lady to personal a movement image firm. Through the years she experimented with experimental sound and shade in addition to being one of many first filmmakers to forged minorities whereas different administrators have been utilizing white actors in blackface. Sadly, society is never type to feminine pioneers and a nasty divorce mixed with good old style American misogyny led to her eventual chapter. She returned to France in 1922, by no means directing one other movie. Fortunately, over 300 of Alice Man-Blaché’s movies nonetheless exist.
Lois Weber – 138 movies
Lois Weber was a author, director and general artistic pressure within the silent movie business. She was additionally one of many first filmmakers to acknowledge the medium’s energy, telling Photoplay Journal she aspired to supply work, “that will have an influence for good on the public mind.” Starting in 1911, she labored at the side of her husband, together with her writing and appearing as co-director. Ultimately they divorced and she or he opened her personal 12,000-square-foot movie studio in Los Angeles. Her work was each revered and worthwhile and by 1916 she was America’s highest paid movie director, incomes greater than Cecil B. DeMille! She wasn’t afraid to ruffle the censors by displaying full frontal nudity in 1915 and brazenly that includes abortion and contraception in a movie the next yr. Between 1911 and 1929 she directed 137 movies together with the 1913 house invasion chiller Suspense, that includes Lon Chaney (Phantom of the Opera) in a small position. The 1920s turned a tough time for unbiased studios, doubly so for one run by an upstart lady. Consequently, Weber’s profession slowly declined. After a seven-year hiatus she directed her solely talkie, White Warmth (1934), which was additionally her final movie. She died of a bleeding ulcer in 1939. The male-dominated business wasn’t sort to this feminine pioneer. For 20 years Lois Weber had been repeatedly featured on the duvet of Selection journal; when she died, they ran an obituary that was lower than two paragraphs.
Did anybody discover that historical past’s most prolific feminine administrators each labored within the silent period? We nonetheless have an extended strategy to go when it comes to parity.
Love ’em or hate ’em these have been the world’s hardest working film administrators. When you assume I missed any or have some info so as to add, simply hit the feedback button.
Make sure that and take a look at 12 Hardest Working Directors – Part 1