movie producer Richard Gordon has died, aged 85.
Alongside his brother Alex, Gordon was a life-long
fan, becoming friends of the likes of Ed Wood
and Bela Lugosi after moving from England the
US in 1947, and later branching out into film
production and distribution. In 1952, he came
up wiuth the story for Lugosi’s Old
Mother Riley Meets the Vampire.
After working on several forgettable films in
the 1950s, Gordon went on to produce a number
of films, mostly in the UK and often uncredited
– in 1958 he was behind the classic Fiend
without a Face and Grip of the
Strangler (the latter starring Boris
Karloff), and would follow these with a stream
of low budget, independent horror movies that
remain admired today – Corridors
of Blood, First Man Into Space,
Devil Doll, Curse of
the Voodoo, The Projected Man,
Naked Evil and the magnificent
Island of Terror. These films,
generally dismissed at the time, all have a unique
feel to them, worlds away from the Hammer movies
of the era, and are ripe for rediscovery.
At the end of the Sixties, he was behind Anthony
Balch’s astonishing Secrets of Sex
(aka Bizarre), a remarkable collision
of soft porn, gory horror and weirdness. The pair
would later team again for hysterical shocker
Horror Hospital. Gordon also
produced the sleazy Tower of Evil,
Radley Metzger’s sedate The Cat
and the Canary and Norman J. Warren’s
After retiring, Gordon remained a visible figure
on the cult movie scene, appearing at conventions
and always happy to share his memories of making
movies with magazines and on DVD commentaries.
A fan to the end, he will be missed.