It seems that every couple of weeks we’re bringing you the sad news of somebody’s death, and now we learn that writer/director Larry Cohen has passed away at 77 this weekend. Even if you don’t recognise the name, you’re bound to have seen some of his movies since most of them have become cult favourites, notably It’s Alive and its sequels. Q The Winged Serpent, The Stuff, God Told Me Too and The Ambulance. Cohen’s work tends to be distinguished by its quirkiness, social commentary, sharp writing and full embrace of its ‘B’ movie virtues, qualities which makes many of his films a real surprise for first time viewers even today. He began his career as a scriptwriter on the likes of The Invaders and Columbo, and when his directorial career slowed down he wrote the likes of the Maniac Cop trilogy and Body Snatchers and having two commercial successes with Phone Booth and Cellular, while his entry into the TV series Master Of Horror, entitled Pick Me Up, was surely one of the best even though it was written by splatterpunk author David Schow. It reunited him with actor Michael Moriarty who’d appeared in so many of his movies and remains one of their most enjoyable aspects.
I’ll be watching this little gem again tonight.