Larry Cohen, Writer-Director of Cult Horror Films ‘It’s Alive’ and ‘The Stuff,’ Dies at 77

Cohen also wrote the Colin Farrell film “Phone Booth” and the Chris Evans crime thriller “Cellular”

Last Updated: March 24, 2019 @ 12:28 PM

Writer-director Larry Cohen, the man behind cult horror film classics like “It’s Alive,” “It Lives Again,” “Special Effects,” “The Stuff” and “A Return to Salem’s Lot,” has died. He was 77.

The announcement was made on his Facebook page: “The entire #KingCohen team mourns the loss of its star, hero and King, #LarryCohen. His unparalleled talents were surpassed only by his giant heart. The impact he made on television and cinema will be felt forever, and our deepest condolences go out to his family, friends and fans.”

Cohen’s career in television and film began as a writer on procedural crime shows of the ’60s and ’70s, like “The Fugitive,” “The Invaders,” “Columbo” and “The Defenders,” along with the latter’s spinoff, “Coronet Blue,” which he created.

In 1974, he wrote and directed the horror film “It’s Alive,” about a mutant and murderous baby monster. The film became a cult hit and spawned two sequels, “It’s Alive II: It Lives Again”and “It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive.”

He went on to write, direct and/or produce several low-budget horror films, including “Q: The Winged Serpent,” “The Stuff,” “A Return to Salem’s Lot,” “God Told Me To” and “Wicked Stepmother” with Bette Davis.

Cohen briefly returned to directing for an episode of “Masters of Horror,” but continued with his writing of such films as “Phone Booth” starring Colin Farrell and Katie Holmes, and “Cellular” starring Chris Evans and Kim Basinger. He also served as producer on the John Candy comedy “Delirious.”

Cohen is survived by five children — Pam, Victoria Jill, Melissa, Bobby and Louis — and his second wife, psychotherapist Cynthia Costas Cohen, all of whom have appeared in his films.