In Memoriam: Larry Cohen

cohen4We at the House of Geekery are saddened to learn over the weekend fan favorite cult filmmaker Larry Cohen has passed away at the age of 77.  A native of New York, Cohen got his foot in the door as a writer in television working on scripts for shows like; the Fugitive, Columbo, and the Defenders. He even served as the creator for his own short lived science fiction series the Invaders.  In 1973 Larry Cohen took to the big screen with blaxpoitation icon Fred Williamson to give a modern 70’s spin on the classic gangster saga with the film Black Caesar as well as it’s sequel Hell up in Harlem.

The following year Cohen; wrote, directed, and produced possibly his most beloved film, It’s Alive. The movie followed a Los Angeles couple who give birth to a murderous cohen3mutant infant. The film proved fairly successful and set him down the path of socially conscious horror films which would become his calling card. Through the rest of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s he gave moviegoers flicks like: the Stuff, QManiac Cop, God Told Me To, Original Gangstas and the Ambulance.  Though Larry Cohen eventually drifted away from directing he remained in the film industry as a successful writer, producing scripts for critically acclaimed shows like the X-Files and movies like 2006’s Phone Booth. He would return to the director’s chair briefly for to take part in the acclaimed anthology series Masters of Horror with the episode “Pick Me Up” which introduced him to a new generation of fans.  Larry Cohen was a pioneer in the world of low budget horror and earned the adoration of genre fans for his unique style and sensibilities. His legacy is one that will not be matched and he will be missed.