Friday, April 06, 2007

Remakes and Recollections

Being a big fan of director-producer Bob Clark’s pre-Porky’s horror movies, I was dismayed to read of his death and that of his son in a head-on collision early Wednesday morning.

It has been reported that Clark was in pre-production on a remake of his 1972 horror film, Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things. And according to one source, he was set to meet with director-screenwriter Quentin Tarantino, another of his fans, who had expressed interest in working on the new Children. (The two had crossed paths at recent events promoting Tarantino’s Grindhouse.) The future of that remake, though, is now uncertain.

When I had lunch a few months ago with crime novelist and film producer Peter James, we spoke briefly about Clark, as James had worked with him early in his moviemaking career. Remembering that, I e-mailed James last night--only to discover that he hadn’t yet heard about Bob Clark’s tragic demise. Later, James sent me this note about the enigmatic American-born Canadian resident:
I was immensely saddened to learn today of the tragic death of Bob Clark, the film director who gave me my first break as a producer, and a man who became a very close friend for many years back in the 1970s. Bob and I worked together on the late stages of Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things, but it was really the wonderful screenplay of Death Dream (originally titled The Veteran and then The Night Andy Came Home) that I read and fell in love with as a young film school graduate back in 1971. We raised the money and made the film, which became immensely successful, after a slow start, and then went on to collaborate on many other films together, including in the incredibly horrific Deranged (Necromania), based on the true life story of Ed Gein, the [basis for the] skinner in The Silence of the Lambs.
To read more of Peter James’ recollections of working with Bob Clark, click here.

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