Re-Animator Director Stuart Gordon Dies at Age 72

Re-Animator Director Stuart Gordon Dies at Age 72

It is with great sadness that must report (via Variety) that beloved genre director Stuart Gordon has passed away at age 72. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, daughters Suzanna, Jillian and Margaret Gordon, four grandchildren and his brother, David George Gordon.

Gordon is perhaps best known for his 1985 debut feature Re-Animator, based on H. P. Lovecraft’s 1922 novelette “Herbert West–Reanimator.” The film starred Jeffrey Combs as a medical student who finds a way to bring the dead back to life, and also helped launch Barbara Crampton to cult stardom. Well-recieved by critics and audiences, the film spawned two sequels starring Combs as well as a 2011 stage adaptation Re-Animator: The Musical.

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The filmmaker followed up this success with two more adaptations of Lovecraft’s writing starring Combs and Crampton, with 1986’s From Beyond and 1995’s Castle Freak, the latter of which is getting a remake this year. Other Lovecraft adaptations include 2001’s Dagon and the Masters of Horror episode “Dreams In the Witch-House.”

Gordon was also instrumental in crafting the story for the 1989 blockbuster Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, which he originally intended to direct for Disney under the title “Teenie Weenies.” When Gordon fell ill he was replaced by Joe Johnston and the film became a huge hit, spawning two sequels and a forthcoming reboot featuring original star Rick Moranis. Gordon produced the 1992 sequel Honey, I Blew Up the Kid.

RELATED: Re-Animator Limited Edition Blu-ray Review

Other notable films include the 1990 sci-fi mecha beat-down flick Robot Jox (an influence on Pacific Rim among other things), 1992’s Fortress starring Christopher Lambert, 1996 sci-fi comedy Space Truckers starring Dennis Hopper, and the 2005 drama Edmond starring William H. Macy and based on the David Mamet play. Gordon and Mamet collaborated early on in their careers for the Chicago stage.

(Photo Credit: Getty Images)