I’ve been fascinated by the career of writer/director Larry Cohen, for many years. His filmography is wild, full of B-movies that started with exploitation classics like Black Caesar (1973), It’s Alive (1974), and The Stuff (1985), and then continued with recent genre films like Joel Schumacher’s Phone Booth (2002) and the Kim Basinger thriller Cellular (2004). Between these films, he created Maniac Cop and directed Bette Davis in her last performance (Wicked Stepmother in 1989). I’ve seen all of these films, and more, by Larry Cohen.
In an odd way, he’s someone that I feel has made a very sincere stamp on the legacy of American genre cinema. So much so, I entertained the notion of hosting a retrospective of his work at SXSW, when I worked there. He deserves some props, because I can’t help but feel like his legacy is one that has gone under-appreciated. The man is 70 years old, so there’s still time to give him so deserved love. I say it’s about time.