Stuart Gordon

Stuart Gordon

Gordon shifted to features with his directorial and screenwriting debut "Re-Animator." This absurdly bloody and sexually perverse variation on the standard "mad scientist" movie formulas was a surprising critical success. The film was a hit at Cannes (and a recipient of a critics prize) and became the first horror film ever included in the London Film Festival. Gordon's second released feature, "From Beyond" (1986), was actually his third completed film. Another irreverent take on Lovecraft, this atmospheric fever dream of a monster movie was less delirious than Gordon's debut but still had imagination to spare. His actual second feature, "Dolls" (released in 1987), was an uninspired comic horror rehash of killer doll stories. However, it has the minor distinction of being a special effects film that was shot for a modest $1.2 million budget in a mere six weeks. Gordon's subsequent credits include "Robot Jox" (1990), a good-natured tribute to Japanese monster movies, and "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1991), an impressive Poe adaptation. Along with frequent collaborator Brian Yuzna (producer of "Re-Animator," "From Beyond" and "Dolls") and film critic-turned-screenwriter Ed Naha (writer of "Dolls"), Gordon contributed the story for Disney's blockbuster fantasy "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" (1989) and served as the executive producer for the sequel "Honey, I Blew Up the Kid" (1992). He went abroad for his next directorial assignment, "Fortress" (1993), a satisfying sci-fi prison flick shot in Australia. Produced for a thrifty $14 million (more than double Gordon's previous highest budget), this solid genre film put its money up on the screen rather than in the bank account of some major star. Gordon also wrote the screenplay (from a Larry Cohen story) for Abel Ferrara's "Bodysnatchers" (1993), the third film to be derived from Jack Finney's novel, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers." As a film director, he continues to gravitate toward low-budget projects. Stuart Gordon died on March 24, 2020 at the age of 72.