Charles B. Griffith

Active - 1956 - 2008  |   Born - Sep 23, 1930   |   Died - Sep 28, 2007   |   Genres - Horror, Adventure, Science Fiction, Action, Drama

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Biography by Nathan Southern

One of the kings of American B-movies, scriptwriter Charles B. Griffith made his name under the aegis of drive-in godfather Roger Corman, authoring such low-budget classics as A Bucket of Blood (1959), Little Shop of Horrors (1960), and Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961, among several dozen others). In each of these outings, Griffith took standard, Z-grade material and elevated it to a higher sphere by injecting mordant black humor, witty dialogue, and clever characterizations.

Griffith originally began his career by moving to Hollywood in an effort to help his grandmother, an established radio star, break into television. In the process, he became acquainted with Corman through a friend and landed his first assignment -- scripting It Conquered the World. Alongside Corman, Griffith moved into biker-themed material in the late '60s by authoring such vehicles as The Wild Angels and Devil's Angels. He also penned an early draft of The Trip, Corman's LSD opus, but the producer rejected it (and hired an early Jack Nicholson to rescript) because he felt that Griffith's draft glorified drug use.

In his later years, Griffith moved into directing, on such projects as Up from the Depths (1979) and Smokey Bites the Dust (1981). Griffith died in September 2007 at age 77.

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