Roger Corman’s sons filed a lawsuit on Tuesday seeking to block the sale of his film library, arguing that the titles actually belong to an irrevocable trust.
The suit is part of an estate fight that has been going on for a decade. On March 15, Shout! Factory and China-based Ace Films announced they had purchased 270 titles from Roger and his wife, Julie Corman, for an undisclosed price.
The titles include “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School,” “Battle Beyond the Stars,” “Piranha,” “Galaxy of Terror,” “Bloodfist,” “Black Scorpion,” “Eat My Dust!,” “Humanoids From the Deep,” “The Slumber Party Massacre,” and “Forbidden World.”
The two Corman sons — Roger M. and Brian — allege that their mother has worked for more than 10 years to undermine their father’s estate plan, which was established to minimize tax liabilities. They contend that Roger, who is 91, and Julie have ignored their obligations to the trust set up for the children’s benefit. Last fall, the sons filed a suit alleging that their parents were paying below-market rent to live in a mansion owned by the trust.
The new lawsuit seeks to void the sale of the film library, saying many of the films belong to the Pacific Trust, which was established in 1978.
“You can’t sell what you don’t own,” said Alex Weingarten, the sons’ attorney. “It’s unfortunate that we keep having to go back over and over again to force Roger and Julie to undo what they have done.”
The suit also seeks punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. The attorney for Roger and Julie Corman did not comment.
Corman, known as the King of B-Movies, served as a mentor to filmmakers including Francis Ford Coppola, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, and James Cameron.