R.I.P. KAREN BLACK 1939 – 2013

Karen Black.JPG

 

From Deadline.com:

The Five Easy Pieces Oscar nominee also known for such films Nashville, [Easy Rider, The Great Gatsby], and Alfred Hitchcock’s final [film] Family Plot has died at [age] 74. Karen Black recently had turned to crowdfunding to help with her long battle against cancer. Her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, confirmed Black’s death in a Facebook post: “It is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend, Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago,” he wrote. “Thank you all for all your prayers and love, they meant so much to her as they did to me.”

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Perhaps best known to horror fans for her roles in fright films such as Trilogy Of Terror wherein she memorably faced off against a demonic Tiki Doll, Dan Curtis’s Burnt Offerings, The Last Horror Film, and with a recent revival of her horror status as Mother Firefly in Rob Zombie’s House Of 1000 Corpses, Karen Black (born Karen Blanche Ziegler) had a long and varied film and television career beginning in 1959, working consistently with two films currently in post production (coming out this year (2013). She was an amazing actress who put herself entirely into any role she took on. She will be missed.

“Goodbye, sweetie. We could’ve been great.” – Karen Black as Mother Firefly

R.I.P. RICHARD MATHESON 1926 – 2013

From Wikipedia:

Richard Burton Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013) was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. He may be known best as the author of I Am Legend, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen three times, although five more of his novels have been adapted as major motion pictures: The Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, Bid Time Return (filmed as Somewhere in Time), and A Stir of Echoes. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of The Twilight Zone for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the TV movie of the same name.

Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey,[5] the son of Norwegian immigrants Fanny (née Mathieson) and Bertolf Matheson, a tile floor installer. Matheson was raised in Brooklyn and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1943. He then entered the military and spent World War II as an infantry soldier. In 1949 he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and moved to California in 1951. He married Ruth Ann Woodson on July 1, 1952 and had four children, three of whom (Chris, Richard Christian, and Ali Matheson) became writers of fiction and screenplays. He died at his home on June 23, 2013, at the age of 87

 

R.I.P. JESS FRANCO, ROGER EBERT, & RICHARD BROOKER

Death, it would seem, always seem to happen in threes. Recently 2 figures in the horror/exploitation community: Jess Franco and Richard Brooker (the first actor to ever wear the quintessential Jason Hockey Mask), and a great critic who would, at times, wage war against the genre, but always knew art when he saw it: Roger Ebert.

After the break, you’ll find obituaries celebrating the lives of these men who entertained and, at times, enraged us, but all the same, had our respect.

KEEP READING FOR INDIVIDUAL REMEMBRANCES OF MR. EBERT, MR. FRANCO, AND MR. BROOKER…

A BEHIND THE SCENES VIDEO ON THE MAKING OF THE WALKING DEAD EPISODE 3×15 “THIS SORROWFUL LIFE”

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

For those of you who didn’t watch Sunday, March 24th Episode of THE WALKING DEAD: This Sorrowful Life, I’d suggest you quit reading. I will tell you THIS much, however…a major character dies horribly. But that’s it, so for those of you saving it to watch a little later on your TiVo or something, don’t keep reading after the break…

READ ON FOR AN EXCLUSIVE BEHIND-THE-SCENES LOOK COVERING THE HEAVIEST SCENE IN THE WALKING DEAD EPISODE 3×15!

FRIDAY THE 13th PART V DIRECTOR DANNY STEINMANN PASSES AWAY (1942–2012)

Source: JoBlo

We’re saddened to hear reports emerging of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING director Danny Steinmann’s passing. Aside from his entry in the iconic slasher series, Steinmann can also be credited as the man behind THE UNSEEN (directing as Peter Foleg) and the Linda Blair exploitation classic SAVAGE STREETS.

Steinmann was a director who will be remembered for embracing exploitation elements like no other. Before becoming a legitimate horror filmmaker, the director cut his teeth in the world of low-budget pornorgraphy. If you’ve ever watched any of the man’s films, it’s easy to tell. Steinmann knew sex sold and packed it into his films regardless of gratuitousness. He would match his gloriously staged sex scenes only with the raw brutality of his onscreen violence. While his FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V is often derided for not having Jason as it’s real killer, the film more than makes up for it through Steinmann’s over-the-top, pulpy sensibilities. A NEW BEGINNING has more of the series trademarks– brutal kills, copious gore, and graphic sex– than any other entry. Giving credit where it’s due, it may be the ultimate FRIDAY THE 13th film for these reasons alone.

Unfortunately, it would also be Steinmann’s last directorial effort. After becoming injured in a bicycling accident, the filmmaker retired into relative obscurity. Thankfully, he re-emerged in the last decade to participate in the special features and documentaries for the DVD releases of SAVAGE STREETS, CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES and A NEW BEGINNING. He also made a major resurgence on the horror convention scene, as evidenced by the pic with Shavar Ross (Reggie The Reckless!) above. If nothing else, we can take comfort in the fact Steinmann got to see his films become cult classics before his untimely passing.

We salute Danny Steinmann for his contributions to FRIDAY THE 13TH and the horror genre at large. May he rest in peace…

ITALIAN SPECIAL EFFECTS MASTER CARLO RAMBALDI DEAD AT 86

MILAN — Carlo Rambaldi, a special effects master and three-time Oscar winner known as the father of E.T.: THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, died Friday in southern Italy after a long illness, Italian news media reported. He was 86.

Rambaldi, a wizard of a discipline known as mechatronics — which combines disciplines including mechanical, electronic and system design engineering — did not hide a disdain for computerized effects.

“Digital costs around eight times as much as mechatronics,” Rambaldi was quoted by the Rome daily La Repubblica as having once said. “E.T. cost a million dollars and we created it in three months. If we wanted to do the same thing with computers, it would take at least 200 people a minimum of five months.”

Rambaldi won visual effects Oscars for Steven Spielberg’s 1982 blockbuster E.T., Ridley Scott’s film ALIEN in 1979, and John Guillermin’s KING KONG in 1976. Rambaldi was born in 1925 in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna and graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Bologna in 1951. While he dreamed of becoming an artist, he was drawn into the world of cinema when he was asked to create a dragon for a low-budget science fiction movie in 1956.

He’ll be forever known to the entire world as the man who fathered the alien in Steven Spielberg’s E.T., but we horror fans will also remember him for creating the Alien head in ALIEN, creating the werewolf suit in Stephen King’s SILVER BULLET, the gooey demon from 1982’s POSSESSION, the aliens from CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, the gore effects for Argento’s DEEP RED, the hand from THE HAND. His credits are many and varied, and he will be missed…

R.I.P. R.G. ARMSTRONG 1917 – 2012

Famous character actor R.G. Armstrong has died. Born April 7th, 1917 in Pleasant Grove, Alabama, Mr. Armstrong was known to readers of this site for his work in such horror genre titles as CHILDREN OF THE CORN, PREDATOR, THE BEAST WITHIN (a personal favorite), EVIL SPEAK, THE WAKING aka KEEPER OF SOULSDEVIL DOG: THE HOUND OF HELL, THE CAR, RACE WITH THE DEVIL, & a continuing role on FRIDAY THE 13th: THE SERIES. He was also known for having a role in the Spaghetti Western MY NAME IS NOBODY, and such southern fried, Dirty South (click the link to White Lightning for a definition of that term) favorites as WHITE LIGHTNING (another personal favorite…I LOVE that movie), WHITE LINE FEVER (one of the better trucker sub-genre movies out there), & DIXIE DYNAMITE. He also had a few roles on one of my favorite television shows growing up, THE DUKES OF HAZZARD.

He was 95 years old. Whether good or evil, he always played an interesting character, and he will be missed.

R.I.P. SAGE STALLONE 1976 – 2012

Source: Bloody Disgusting

People Magazine is reporting some incredibly sad news as Sylvester Stallone’s 36-year-old son Sage Moonblood Stallone, who appeared with his father in Rocky V, was found dead in his Los Angeles home Friday, July 13th 2012.

Police officers were called to the house at 2:17 p.m. and discovered the body. There were no signs of foul play or forced entry.

LAPD Commander Andrew Smith tells People that reports that Sage died from a prescription overdose are premature. “It could have been a heart attack or a stroke,” he says, adding the coroner’s office will likely spend several weeks on a toxicology report before it can reach any such conclusion.

Sage’s attorney George Braunstein tells the mag that Sage’s housekeeper initially found him dead.

The contribution Sage made to the genre was large as he was the owner of Grindhouse Releasing, the company responsible for re-releasing new prints of The Evil Dead in theaters, while also bringing classics to home video such as Cannibal Holocaust, Cannibal Ferox, The Beyond and many more.

R.I.P. RICHARD LYNCH

Sad news hit yesterday morning (June 20th, 2012) that genre and character actor Richard Lynch had passed away at the age of 72. Details have yet to come in as to cause of death, but the NY Times has stated that Mr. Lynch’s representative, Mike Baronas, said that a friend found Mr. Lynch on the kitchen floor, and that “from what I currently understand, no investigation into the cause of his death will be made.”

His last film role was in Rob Zombie’s forthcoming LORDS OF SALEM. Rob Zombie had this to say about Mr. Lynch on his facebook page when he broke the news yesterday morning: “I woke up this morning to the news that our friend Richard Lynch has passed away. Richard was great to work with and really gave it his all. I will never forget the way he scared the crap out of the kid actors in ‘Halloween’. As soon as I said action! He dove in his role of Principle Chambers at top volume. He will be missed.

His work was prolific to say the least. This is his bio from his official IMDB page:

Richard Lynch was born on the 12th of February 1940 in Brooklyn, NY. He is one of seven children. Before starting a career as an actor, he joined the Marine Corps in 1958. He served for 4 years where he made Corporal, and did a tour of the Mid-East with the Sixth Fleet. Mr. Lynch began his training with Herbert Berghof and Uta Hagen at H.B. Studios in New York’s Greenwich Village, and later went on to train extensively with Lee Strasberg at Carnegie Hall. In 1970, he became a lifetime member of the Actors Studio and spent years in the NY theater community playing in dozens of on- and off-Broadway productions. The more notable plays were: “The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel”, “The Lion in Winter”, “The Devils”, “The Lady from the Sea”, “Action”, “Live Like Pigs”, “Richard III”, “Offi on a Tangerine”, “A View from the Bridge”, “The Man with the Flower In His Mouth” and Shelley Winters‘ “One Night Stands of a Noisy Passenger”. He made his film debut in the 1973 film classic Scarecrow (1973), winner of the Grand Prix Award at the Cannes Film Festival. His performance in Scarecrow (1973) launched his film career and brought him to Hollywood, where he has worked in film and television for over twenty years. His more prominent film work has been in: Scarecrow (1973), The Seven-Ups (1973), Open Season (1974), The Formula (1980), Little Nikita (1988), Invasion U.S.A. (1985), Bad Dreams (1988), Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment (2002) and William Peter Blatty‘s The Ninth Configuration (1980). His performance as the evil “King Cromwell”, in the successful fantasy film The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982), won him the Saturn Award for Best Actor from the Academy of Science Fiction and Fantasy. He also starred in numerous T.V. shows and Movies of the Week, such as Alcatraz: The Whole Shocking Story (1980) (TV), Sizzle (1981) (TV), Vampire (1979) (TV) and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987)’s two-part episode “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Gambit: Part 1 (#7.4)” (1993) / “Star Trek: The Next Generation: Gambit: Part 2 (#7.5)” (1993). His work in a variety of indy films has won him a high profile internationally. He has also worked in China, where he played in the first joint production between the Screen Actors’ Guild and the People’s Republic of China, The Korean Project. In his spare time, Richard enjoys fishing, the arts, architecture, music and poetry. He is also fluent in several languages including German and Italian.

R.I.P. RAY BRADBURY (1920-2012)

Sad news to all of us here in the October Country as reports came in this morning that legendary writer Ray Bradbury had died at the age of 91 after a long battle with an unreported illness. Fans may know him for such works as Something Wicked This Way Comes,Fahrenheit 451The Halloween TreeThe Martian Chronicles and countless short story collections.  His tale, The Fog Horn, was adapted into the creature feature The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. He adapted sixty-five of his stories for television’s The Ray Bradbury Theater, and won an Emmy for his teleplay of The Halloween Tree, which I feel should run every year at Halloween.

From the L.A. Times:

Ray Bradbury, the writer whose expansive flights of fantasy and vividly rendered space-scapes have provided the world with one of the most enduring speculative blueprints for the future, has died. He was 91… he was author of more than 27 novels and story collections and more than 600 short stories. Some say he singlehandedly helped to move the genre [of science fiction] into the realm of literature… Ray Douglas Bradbury was born Aug. 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Ill., to Leonard Spaulding Bradbury and the former Esther Marie Moberg. As a child he soaked up the ambiance of small-town life — wraparound porches, fireflies and the soft, golden light of late afternoon — that would later become a hallmark of much of his fiction.

Throughout his life, Bradbury liked to recount the story of meeting a carnival magician, Mr. Electrico, in 1932. At the end of his performance Electrico reached out to the twelve-year-old Bradbury, touched the boy with his sword, and commanded, Live forever! Bradbury later said, “I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. I started writing every day. I never stopped.”

He will be missed…