Tuesday, March 26, 2019

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

Writer/Director Larry Cohen passed away three days ago on the 23rd of March.  Any dedicated cryptoscatologist should definitely be familiar with Cohen's cinematic oeuvre.  Much of Cohen's work in film and television explored such perennial Fortean phenomena as UFOs and government conspiracies run amok.  Among his most important achievements is his 1967-68 paranoid science fiction television series THE INVADERS starring Roy Thinnes as a tenacious architect trying to prevent an alien invasion that no one else on Earth knows (or cares) is underway. 

The second episode of the series, "The Experiment," seems to have been inspired by the Fortean articles of John A. Keel that were appearing quite regularly at that time in such publications as the FLYING SAUCER REVIEW, SAGA, and TRUE.

Cohen's most important films include the crytozoological monster flick Q: THE WINGED SERPENT (1982), which I saw with my older brother in the UA theater at the Del Amo Mall in Torrance, CA when I was ten years old, and his masterpiece GOD TOLD ME TO (1976), which I can say without hesitation is the best--and weirdest--Fortean-Science-Fiction-Horror-Psychotronic-Noir-Active-Shooter-UFO-Disclosure Film you will ever see.  Hands down.  No doubt about it, my friend.  Trust me on this one.  Go see it.

It's also worth noting that Cohen wrote the screenplay for Abel Ferrara's BODY SNATCHERS (1993), the third cinematic adaptation of Jack Finney's 1955 novel THE BODY SNATCHERS.

Yesterday morning, Larry Blamire, writer/director of such films as THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA (2004) and DARK AND STORMY NIGHT (2009), posted the following message on Facebook in reaction to Cohen's death:  "I am stunned at the news that Larry Cohen has passed. What a vision this guy had. Started writing for the great TV series THE DEFENDERS, going on to create CORONET BLUE, THE INVADERS, and in the '70s beginning a series of unique compelling films, which I love: IT'S ALIVE, GOD TOLD ME TO, IT LIVES AGAIN, Q, THE STUFF and so much more. RIP and thank you for thinking outside the box."

To read The Seattle Times' 3-24-19 obituary for Cohen, click HERE.

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