He was the director of the Sci-Fi Cult Classics 100 – The Hollywood Reporter
Matt Burt I. Gordon, the sci-fi director who aimed to terrorize car-dwellers in the 1950s and 1960s with low-budget films featuring colossal creatures, shrinking humans and radioactive monsters. He was 100 years old.
Gordon died Wednesday in Los Angeles of complications from a fall at his Beverly Hills home, his daughter, Patricia Gordon, said. Hollywood Reporter.
Highlights (highlights?) in his B-movie resume include the giant (1957), The amazing massive man (1957), Beginning of the End (1957), Earth vs. Spider (1958), Puppet people attack (1958), tortured (1960), Boy and pirate (1960) and My dead mom’s photo (1966).
In the 1970s, Gordon directed Vince Edwards and Chuck Connors Police call (1973), written and directed How to succeed in sex (1970), necromancy (1972), ambrosia (1976) and starring Joan Collins in Slime, Ant Empire (1977).
Perhaps as a way to cut costs, Gordon’s films were often about family: his late wife, Flora, assisted him with low-grade special effects, and their late daughter, Susan, starred in four of his features.
His film budgets were tight, yet Gordon was nicknamed “Mister BIG” (also his initials) and was able to get high-profile actors to work with him. Some have been on the downside of their careers, others on the upswing.
Don Ameche, Martha Haire, and Zsa Zsa Gabor played with minds My dead mom’s photo (Hedy Lamarr had walked out after being arrested for shoplifting); Peter Graves fought giant grasshoppers Beginning of the End; Basil Rathbone practiced magic in 1962 magic sword; And young Beau Bridges and Ron Howard tackled the mysterious Goo in 1965 Giants Villagewhich featured a performance by The Beau Brummels.
Gordon’s most noteworthy casting was certainly Orson Welles, who has a penchant for the occult in the horror flick necromancy.
Cautioned by Wells’ habit of thumbing his nose at directors and insisting on only working from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Gordon said he provided the legend with a personal chef, a dressing room on the patio, and a refrigerator stocked with Chicago ribs.
It was easy to tell he wanted his ego [stroked] … everything was that he was an important man, and he is He was “I treated him like that, and there was no problem with the rest of it,” Gordon recalled in 2003.
Gordon has also been told to never ask Wells about it Citizen Kane. “Don’t say it’s your favorite movie. Don’t ask him how it was with…just don’t mention it.”
The amazing massive man I manipulated the fear of nuclear proliferation. It featured Glenn Langan as Colonel Glenn Manning, who tries to rescue a downed pilot near a plutonium bomb test site when an explosion occurs. Exposure to radiation turns him into a 70-foot-tall bald freak out in Las Vegas.
Gordon made a sequel, Huge monster war, the following year. Manning somehow survives the fall from the Hoover Dam at the end of the first Comeback movie, where he now portrays the giant the giant Star Duncan “Dean” Parkin.
All of this was fodder for the hosts of the sitcom Mystery Science Theater 3000, which brought Gordon’s Law to a new audience. “I watched it once, and I didn’t like it being made fun of [his work],” he said. “I take my films very seriously.”
Bert Ira Gordon was born on September 24, 1922 in Wells’ hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin. His love of special effects can be traced back to his first action camera when he was nine years old.
He explained, “I’d do some tricks with it, like have someone stand in the scene and then stop the camera and have it come out until it explodes. Or I’d do ‘ghost’ things, where I’d put the film back in a dark room.”
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Gordon then did television commercials before producing and filming 1954’s Adventure. Snake Islandstarring Sonny Tufts as the treasure hunter.
He followed that up with dinosaur king (1955), which he wrote and directed, on a budget of $18,000. His special effects combined stock shots with a rear projection and an iguana—presumably the dinosaur in the title—that wouldn’t budge, no matter what Gordon did.
“Finally, I went to the Beverly Hills bookstore and looked for Gila monsters and lizards,” he recalled in 2014, “and she said they live in the desert, and they don’t move unless it gets over 110.”
The next day, he brought heavy heat lamps into the group, and brought those lamps back to life.
Gordon’s flicks were always accompanied by shrieking slogans: “Fifty tons of creeping black terror!” was how Earth vs. Spider promoted. The film included a scene about a giant tarantula being awakened by rock and roll music.
in Puppet people attack (“Puppet dwarves vs. giant, crushing monsters!”), John Hoyt plays a lonely puppet master who shrinks people down to a sixth of their original size. Character played by John Kinney (also in Earth vs. Spider) applies for a job at his factory after his former secretary mysteriously disappears (you can guess what happened to her).
Hoyt has over 250 credits listed on IMDb — incl the black ForestAnd Spartacus And Cleopatra – So far for him, nothing can top Puppet people attack“because he felt a sensitivity, an emotion he could identify with,” Gordon remarked.
In 2011, Gordon received a Career Achievement Award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. publish his autobiography, The amazing huge worlds of Mr. Big., After one year.
And at the age of 93, he showed he wasn’t done yet with a release Psychopath Secrets (2015), his first film in 26 years.
He was married to Flora for over 30 years until their divorce in 1979. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 90. Susan Gordon, who also appeared in the 1959 Danny Kaye movie The fivepence and on loops Twilight Zone And My three sonsShe was 62 years old when she died of cancer in 2011.
In addition to his daughter Patricia, he is survived by his wife Eva; two other daughters, Christina and Carol; Six grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.