Re-Animator Director Stuart Gordon Dies at Age 72
It is with great sadness that ComingSoon.net 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.
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.
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)
An enormous talent, vibrant & boundary breaking, his work was in a class by itself. He created countless moments on film which were at once, funny, scary, daring & smart. He gave me my career. I lost a dear friend. I’m heartbroken. No words can do him justice. RIP Stuart Gordon
— Barbara Crampton (@barbaracrampton) March 25, 2020
At the first “Masters of Horror” dinner, Stuart said something which resonated with every horror filmmaker: “Horror films are a rehearsal for our own deaths.” In eight words he answered why we make them and watch them. Stuart, you made the finest. RIP, my friend. #StuartGordon pic.twitter.com/QQAHRXCOhT
— Don Coscarelli (@DonCoscarelli) March 25, 2020
To know Stuart Gordon was to love Stuart Gordon. One of the true Masters of Horror and a wonderful, wonderful man. He was brilliant, funny, and always at the top of his game. So hard to say goodbye. We love you and miss you, Stuart. pic.twitter.com/hXZNOmH9D6
— Mick Garris & The Post Mortem Podcast (@MickGarrisPM) March 25, 2020
Sorry to hear about the great Stuart Gordon passing. Along with his storied career in theatre and independent film, he is in the horror hall of hame forever for films like ‘From Beyond’ & the outrageous gem that is ‘Re-Animator’. Put a plaque up at Miskatonic University for him. pic.twitter.com/Uv56Bc4Isd
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon was a massive influence on so many of us, myself included.
He was a Cinema maverick, a SplatterPunk & an actor’s auteur. Stuart always brought his A game to any B flick.
Thank you for the Lovecraft and “Happy Landings” From Beyond, Maestro. #RIPStuartGordon https://t.co/oBYZoIc16T
— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) March 25, 2020
Four fantastic Stuart Gordon movies that aren’t RE-ANIMATOR. pic.twitter.com/xnllWlmygo
— C. Robert Cargill (@Massawyrm) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon was not only a brilliant filmmaker but an incredibly gracious human. He attended an early screening of A Horrible Way to Die and was quite kind about it, which was the only reason Adam and I had the confidence to try to cast Barbara Crampton in You’re Next. R.I.P.
— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) March 25, 2020
I’m so sorry to hear of Stuart Gordon’s passing. He was a great storyteller and a very kind man who went out of his way to mentor a number of younger filmmakers who absolutely adored him. https://t.co/NoTWljBGEw
— jen yamato (@jenyamato) March 25, 2020
My deep condolences to the friends, colleagues, and family of Mr. Stuart Gordon. He made some of my favorite horror movies, and I am very grateful that I got to meet him a few times. pic.twitter.com/RURx1UO39F
— Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) March 25, 2020
Very sad news to wake up to this morning. RIP Stuart Gordon. We were fortunate to work so closely with you on From Beyond, Dolls and Robot Jox. Thank you for years of entertainment. https://t.co/BFPQeHj6HP
— Scream Factory™ (@Scream_Factory) March 25, 2020