Unfortunate news came out this morning, as acclaimed independent filmmaker Larry Cohen has passed away at the age of 77. He was best known for his work in the horror genre, writing and directing cult films such as It's Alive and The Stuff.
Cohen's career started in in the 1950s and 1960s, writing for television series such as Kraft Theatre, Espionage, The Fugitive, and The Defenders. Cohen would go on to create his legacy in Hollywood during the 1970s, starting with the 1974 cult classic It's Alive. Cohen was a versatile director, able to cross over into a variety of genres and work on a variety of films, such as Black Caesar, the 1973 blaxploitation crime drama. His style of writing and directing blended together horror, comedy and social commentary, just like contemporaries Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street, The Hills Have Eyes), and John Carpenter (The Thing, Halloween). In 2006, he was deservedly invited to direct an episode of the anthology series Masters of Horror, "Pick Me Up," which starred frequent collaborator Michael Moriarty.
Cohen's death was first reported by Bloody Disgusting, and as they mention, those interested in learning more about Cohen's career can check out the 2017 feature-length documentary King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen. Other notable films he either wrote, directed, or did both on were Maniac Cop, Phone Booth, and Q, which stands to show the uniqueness of Cohen's filmography. The slasher film Maniac Cop showcased his writing efforts in a story about two policemen and a policewoman searching for a killer wearing an officer's uniform who should be dead. Phone Booth is a 2002 thriller starring Colin Farrell and Katie Holmes about a PR man answering a ringing phone in New York only to find a killer on the line. Q might've been the most interesting of his films, as it deals with a giant man-eating flying serpent in New York.
Just before his passing, Cohen was interviewed for the 1980s horror movie documentary In Search of Darkness. In Search of Darkness is an upcoming feature examining the "golden age" of 1980s horror through the eyes of the actors, directors, and crew working on some of Hollywood's biggest horror hits during that pivotal decade. This interview is now even more special with the knowledge that it's perhaps the final time fans will get to hear from him.
Horror fans everywhere have felt the impact of Cohen's work, even if they haven't seen anything he made, due in part to all the later filmmakers he influenced. Due to his versatility as a writer and director, he was able to work with a litany of the industry's best for almost 50 years. His impact on the filmmaking community will be felt for years to come, and his creations should be studied by all those looking to make a dent in the world of movies.
R.I.P. Larry Cohen: July 15, 1941 – March 23, 2019
Source: Bloody Disgusting