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Larry Cohen R.I.P. (1941-2019)


LawrenceA
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Larry Cohen (July 15, 1941 - March 23, 2019) has died. He was a writer and director who often worked on the fringes of cinema, delivering up some of the more memorable genre films of the 1970's and 80's. He got his start writing for numerous television shows of the 1960's before making his directing debut with 1972's Bone. Other films he helmed included Black Caesar (1973), Hell Up in Harlem (1973), It's Alive (1974), God Told Me To (1976), The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977), Q the Winged Serpent (1982), The Stuff (1985), and The Ambulance (1990), among others. A feature length documentary on Cohen, titled King Cohen, was recently released on home video formats.

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Despite marketing that was boneheadedly sabotaged by the studios, if we have to remember Cohen for one film, some remember "It's Alive", some remember "Q", but true Cohen fans remember The Stuff (1985), one of the cleverest horror spoofs this side of John Sayles, and perfect for the 80's.  Probably the definitive example of Cohen's confessed ability to take something "harmless" and make savvy B-horror out of it.

Cohen also wrote a few B-movie scripts he didn't direct, and James Woods and Brian Dennehy in Best Seller (1987) is a tidy little cop-thriller from James Woods' Sleazy Golden Age.  

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8 hours ago, NipkowDisc said:

didn't he create THE INVADERS?

Yep--And "Branded".  (Which Cohen intended to be a "Blacklist" metaphor, back when TV wouldn't touch it, and Chuck Connors was reportedly furious when he found out.)

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Good interview with Cohen from last August's Village Voice, which captures his style:

https://www.villagevoice.com/2018/08/02/im-only-interested-in-making-movies-my-way-an-interview-with-larry-cohen/

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