Krishna Shah, Director of ‘Hard Rock Zombies,’ Dies at 75

Filmmaker was a familiar figure at AFM

Indian filmmaker Krishna Shah, a familiar figure at the American Film Market who wrote, directed and produced genre films such as “Hard Rock Zombies,” died Oct. 13 in Mumbai, India. He was 75 and had been ill since suffering a stroke last year.

Besides 1985’s “Hard Rock Zombies,” other horror or comedy films he produced were “Evil Laugh” (1986) and 1991’s “Ted & Venus.” He also directed the comedy “American Drive-In.”

Shah started his career directing Cicely Tyson, James Earl Jones and Lou Gossett Jr. in an adaptation of the play “The River Niger” in 1976. He wrote, directed and produced Bollywood pic “Shalimar,” starring Dharmendra and Zeenat Aman, in 1978 and a documentary on Indian movies, “Cinema Cinema” in 1979.

A graduate of UCLA and Yale, the Indian-born Shah co-wrote with Alan Paton and directed the short-lived South African play “Sponano” on Broadway in 1964.  Off Broadway he adapted Rabindranath Tagore’s “The King of the Dark Chamber,” which won two Obies and ran almost a year. Other legit credits include directing Athol Fugard’s “Bloodknot” as well as Milton Hood Ward’s “Kindly Monies” in London.

In TV he wrote episodes of “The Flying Nun,” “Six Million Dollar Man” and “The Man From UNCLE,” among other shows.

After making an animated version of Hindu epic “Ramayana” in 1992 he started producing other Indian films including Nagesh Kukunoor’s debut “Hyderabad Blues.” He was working on “Sleepaway Camp IV: The Survivor” in 2012.

Shah ran his own production company Double Helix Films, a production, distribution and foreign sales company called MRI and later was a topper at Carnegie Film Group.

A member of the Writers Guild, he was assistant secretary in the Directors Guild and a member of the Academy.

Survivors include his wife, Diane, and a son.

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