It’s going to be another hard day for horror fans this year, as we’ve just learned classic horror filmmaker Larry Cohen has passed away at age 77. The iconic director has offered cult classic after cult classic throughout his career, giving us such films as It’s Alive, Q: The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, and even the first film to feature Marvel’s Stan Lee – The Ambulance.
He was also a fantastic writer, having given us the popular Maniac Cop trilogy which is due for a reboot any day now. And more recently, he wrote movies like Phone Booth and Captivity. His final horror project that he directed was back in 2006 with the Masters of Horror episode Pick Me Up – usually considered to be a highlight of the series.
So although Larry Cohen has passed away, his legacy is far from gone. In fact, there’s even a new documentary dedicated to him titled King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen. And even more recently, Cohen was interviewed for a spot in the upcoming documentary In Search of Darkness which goes over 1980’s horror cinema.
It’s no doubt that Larry Cohen had a strong place in the horror genre. One that inspired many of his viewers – myself included. Let’s hope this inspiration continues and people will carry on enjoying his library of work.
And if you’re unfamiliar with Larry Cohen, I suggest looking no further than a film he wrote, produced, and directed in 1985 titled The Stuff. It’s a science-fiction/horror film with a strong amount of satirical edge. In fact, the studio was actually very unhappy with it because the movie ended up being too sophisticated.
Cohen himself can be quoted as saying this about the film,
“My main inspiration was the consumerism and corporate greed found in our country and the damaging products that were being sold. I was constantly reading in the newspapers about various goods and materials being recalled because they were harming people. For example, you had foods being pulled off the market because they were hazardous to people’s health.”
It’s definitely interesting territory for a horror movie, and strangely enough something that hasn’t been shown often for such a major subject regarding America’s own health issues.
Thus it goes to show how creative, daring, and willing to go outside of the box that Larry Cohen really was. He truly will be missed.