Friday, 18 December 2009

Dan O'Bannon 1946-2009

To film geeks of a certain age (and I include myself in this) the name Dan O'Bannon has special resonance. He co-wrote (with John Carpenter) and starred in Dark Star. His character's name was Pinback which led to Alex Garland naming Pinbacker in Sunshine after him. He co-wrote a script called Star Beast that became Alien, as well as the screenplays for Blue Thunder, Lifeforce and Total Recall.

He worked with Alejandro Jodorowsky on his aborted adaptation of Dune, and wrote and directed the trippy Return Of The Living Dead which is one of my all-time favourite zombie films and was, I believe, the first to identify brains as being zombie food stuff rather than simply human flesh.

Growing up, reading about him the pages of Starburst and Starlog and Fangoria, Dan O'Bannon was something of a legend. He will, as they say, be missed. RIP.

4 comments:

J.D. said...

Yeah, I have fond memories of reading interviews/articles about him in the pages of STARLOG and CINEFANTASTIQUE. What a terrible loss. He certainly cemented his place in cinema, esp. genre cinema as you pointed out.

Mark Salisbury said...

Ah yes, forgot about CFQ. When that mag was good, it was really good. Still got all my old copies and still read them. The double issues they did were fabulous.

J.D. said...

Oh yeah! Love those double issues. They really cranked out some great, definitive looks at certain genre films. I just re-read this fantastic, indepth interview they did with John Carpenter 'round the time THE FOG came out. Good stuff.

Mark Salisbury said...

Yep, got that one. I also remember fondly the Cronenberg and Creepshow issues (although they were both singles I think). I loved the The Thing double issue... the Psycho/Texas Chainsaw double issue... the Blade Runner/Star Trek double issue which I bought both covers for...

Ooh my, this is taking me back. Early in the New Year, when I have a bit of time, I do believe I'm going to sit down with a bunch of old CFQs and just take a trip back down memory lane...