Known for creating such cult films as It’s Alive and Black Caesar, cult favorite director, Larry Cohen, unfortunately, died on March 23, 2019. The director died at the age of 82 in Beverly Hills. He was the older brother of Hollywood publicist, Ronni Chasen, who also helped promote a lot of his films back in the early days of her career. He started on television creating shows like Branded and The Invaders.
Cohen is most well recognized for his B-movie career, having created many low budget horror and blaxploitation films. He is best known for directing Black Caesar, It’s Alive, and The Stuff just to name a few. He is also a credited writer on many films, both ones he directed and ones with other directors at the helm. Possibly his most famous one in mainstream media is writing the Joel Schumacher film, Phone Booth. The director mentioned many times how he has been inspired by many science fiction films and it shows with so many of his films being about classic high concept science fiction themes. Many of the projects he has been a part of also inspired other series, including his show, The Invaders, being an inspiration for The X-Files.
While the films he made were more low-budget than the average film, he still utilized his techniques of making films in very creative ways. His most famous use of inexpensive filmmaking was how he would shoot films at his Spanish-style house in Beverly Hills. He was quoted about using this technique, “Almost every movie I made I ended up shooting one scene in my house just for good luck”. In 1988, he was granted the George Pal Memorial Award by the Academy of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror films for all of his creative work in the industry.
While the tragedy of his death is still there, Larry Cohen will always be remembered as a fun and innovative individual when it came to creating low budget films. He lived a long and fun life filled with so much B-movies greatness and may he rest in peace.