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      Larry Cohen

      Larry Cohen

      Highest Rated: 100% King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen (2017)

      Lowest Rated: 9% Captivity (2007)

      Birthday: Jul 15, 1941

      Birthplace: Kingston, New York, USA

      After honing his craft writing and creating series for 1950s and 60s TV and having several screenplays produced in the 60s, Cohen became a major low-rent auteur of 70s cheapie genre movies. His ambitious 1972 debut, "Bone" (aka "Dial Rat for Terror" or "Beverly Hills Nightmare") featured Yaphet Kotto as a Black intruder who has a surprising showdown with an affluent white couple (Andrew Duggan, Joyce Van Patten) in their Beverly Hills home. This bizarre black comedy was an attempt to adapt the social satirical concerns of British playwright Joe Orton and Jean-Luc Godard (circa "Weekend" 1967) into an American milieu. Cohen went on to produce, write, and direct a series of somewhat schlocky but thoughtful and thoroughly entertaining films. Cohen favored NYC locations, veteran Hollywood performers (Broderick Crawford, Dan Dailey, Celeste Holm, Jose Ferrer, June Havoc) and composers (Bernard Herrmann, Miklos Rozsa) and quirky leading men (Michael Moriarty, David Carradine). His was a morally ambiguous universe without true heroes or absolute villains. His notable 70s work includes the "blaxploitation" entry "Black Caesar" (1972) and its sequel, "Hell Up In Harlem" (1973), the cult horror film about a monstrous baby, "It's Alive" (1974)--followed by two sequels, the supernatural cop thriller, "God Told Me To/Demon" (1976) and the subversive two-bit biopic "The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover" (1977). In the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Cohen provided stories and/or screenplays for the films of others (William Richert's "The American Success Company" 1979, "I, the Jury" 1982, "Scandalous" 1984, "Best Seller" 1987) while continuing to produce, direct, and write self-conscious, low-budget pictures. These include the NYC cop vs. winged serpent thriller, "Q" (1982); "The Stuff" (1985), an unsavory horror satire about a devilish dessert; "A Return to Salem's Lot" (1987), a horror sequel/spoof featuring the inimitable filmmaker Sam Fuller as an intrepid vampire hunter; and Bette Davis's final film, "Wicked Stepmother" (1989). Cohen also wrote and produced the popular "Maniac Cop" (1988) and its two sequels. As a writer-director, Cohen's first film for the 90s was "The Ambulance"--a suspense thriller about a mysterious ambulance that abducts NYC residents--which opened abroad but never received an American theatrical release. In 1993, he kept busy as a screenwriter scripting the Sidney Lumet-directed legal/psychological thriller, "Guilty as Sin" and providing the story for Abel Ferrara's take on "Bodysnatchers." Just when the industry might be tempted to write off Cohen as a progenitor of B-grade (and sometimes C- and D-grade) material--however knowing and irony-laced--he would inevitably sell a screenplay that would involve major Hollywood talent. Meanwhile, he would continue to do journeyman work regularly writing and directing (and sometimes even providing music for) a never-ending series of TV movies, cable films and direct-to-video fare. Cohen provided the ultimate case-in-point when he sold the screenplay for the hitman thriller "Phone Booth" (2003) to Twentieth Century Fox. Although Cohen's last big-screen credit had been on the ultra-schlocky horror film "Uncle Sam," the script for "Phone Booth" managed to attract the attention of potential leading men such as Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Will Smith and Mel Gibson before the film (with uncredited rewrites by Brian Helgeland and Stephen Gaghan) was finally lensed by director Joel Schumacher with hot newcomer Colin Farrell in the leading role (The movie also garnered notorious pre-release publicity when its 2002 release date was postponed for several months after a string of similar real-life murders occurred in the Washington D.C. area just before the film was supposed to open). The result was a re-heating of Cohen's career, landing him script purchases and development deals with virtually every major studio in Hollywood. The first result of Cohen's second coming was the similarly telephonic thriller "Cellular" (2004), for which he received story credit. Cohen's next screenwriting credit came with the psychological horror "Captivity" (2007), followed by the reboot of his most famous film, "It's Alive" (2009). Cohen's final pair of screenwriting credits came later that same year, with "Messages Deleted" (2009) and "The Gambler, the Girl, and the Gunslinger" (2009). Larry Cohen quietly retired after that final burst of activity, and died on March 23, 2019 in Beverly Hills at the age of 82.

      Highest rated movies

      American Grindhouse poster
      American Grindhouse




      100% 84% King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen Self - 2017
      75% 71% American Grindhouse Unknown (Character) $4.6K 2010
      No Score Yet 50% The Gambler, the Girl and the Gunslinger Screenwriter - 2009
      No Score Yet 24% Messages Deleted Writer - 2009
      No Score Yet 6% It's Alive Screenwriter - 2008
      No Score Yet 73% Connected Screenwriter - 2008
      No Score Yet 40% Trailer Park of Terror Co-Producer - 2008
      9% 23% Captivity Writer $2.6M 2007
      56% 59% Cellular Writer $32.0M 2004
      72% 64% Phone Booth Writer $46.6M 2002
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Truth About Lying Original Music - 1998
      No Score Yet 36% When Justice Fails Original Music - 1998
      60% 30% Uncle Sam Writer - 1997
      53% 47% Original Gangstas Director $3.3M 1996
      No Score Yet 17% Virus Original Music - 1996
      No Score Yet 34% The Ex Writer - 1996
      No Score Yet No Score Yet As Good as Dead Director,
      - 1995
      No Score Yet 50% The Ambulance Director,
      - 1990
      No Score Yet 18% Wicked Stepmother Director $43.7K 1989
      53% 40% Maniac Cop Producer - 1988
      73% 55% Best Seller Screenwriter $2.9M 1987
      No Score Yet 24% A Return to Salem's Lot Director - 1987
      50% 16% It's Alive III: Island of the Alive Director - 1987
      No Score Yet 14% Deadly Illusion Director,
      - 1987
      71% 45% The Stuff Director,
      Executive Producer
      - 1985
      No Score Yet 18% Perfect Strangers Director - 1984
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Special Effects Director,
      - 1984
      73% 43% Q Director,
      - 1982
      No Score Yet 25% The Winged Serpent Director - 1982
      No Score Yet 39% Full Moon High Director,
      - 1981
      No Score Yet No Score Yet See China and Die Director - 1980
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The American Success Company Screenwriter - 1979
      No Score Yet 47% The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover Director,
      - 1978
      50% 28% It Lives Again Director - 1978
      79% 52% God Told Me To Director,
      - 1976
      70% 41% It's Alive! Director,
      - 1974
      22% 50% Hell up in Harlem Director,
      - 1973
      64% 63% Black Caesar Director,
      - 1973
      67% 75% Bone Director,
      - 1972
      No Score Yet No Score Yet B.J. Lang Presents Art Director - 1971
      No Score Yet 40% Daddy's Gone A-Hunting Writer,
      - 1969
      No Score Yet 17% Scream, Baby, Scream Screenwriter - 1969
      13% 34% Return of the Seven Writer - 1966


      No Score Yet 86% Berlin Station Writer 2017
      No Score Yet 83% Borgia Unknown (Character) 2014
      63% 90% Masters of Horror Director 2006
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Branded Writer 1965
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Fugitive Writer 1964