Legendary Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond Dead at 85

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Oscar winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond got his start working with exploitation filmmakers Al Adamson and Ray Dennis Steckler.

SHOCK has just learned that iconic, Oscar-winning cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond passed away on New Years Day, January 1st 2016. The Hungarian born Director of Photography was 85.

Though Zsigmond would go on to work for Robert Altman (McCABE AND MRS. MILLER), John Boorman (DELIVERANCE) Steven Spielberg (winning the 1977 Oscar for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND), Brian De Palma (BLOW OUT, OBSESSION, THE BLACK DAHLIA) and Woody Allen (CASSANDRA’S DREAM), he got his start in independent American exploitation cinema; under the name William Zsigmond, the artist shot the edgy 1963 Arch Hall Jr. thriller THE SADIST, the 1964 Ib Melchior sci-fi shocker THE TIME TRAVELERS and, for notorious cult filmmaker Al Adamson, the films PSYCHO-A-GO-GO, BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR (also called PSYCHO-A-GO-GO), cornball western FIVE BLOODY GRAVES, awesome biker blow-out SATAN’S SADISTS and the stock-footage heavy and weirdly color-tinted HORROR OF THE BLOOD MONSTERS. He was also the camera operator on Ray Dennis Steckler’s utterly deranged 1965 slab of oddball cinema, THE INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES WHO STOPPED LIVING AND BECAME MIXED-UP ZOMBIES.

Zsigmond will be remembered by all lovers of cinema and was famous for the fact that no matter what director he worked for or what genre he toiled in, no two pictures of his looked alike, something the visionary DP was very proud of.

Here’s to the memory of one of the greatest visualists in film history.

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