Writer/director Larry Brand died suddenly on Feb. 9 at his home in Hollywood. He was 69.
Brand’s first job in the film industry was as a driver and production assistant for Orson Welles. Following his debut feature film, psychological thriller “Backfire” (co-written with frequent collaborator Rebecca Reynolds), he went on to write, direct, and co-star in “The Drifter,” “Masque of the Red Death” and “Overexposed” for indie producer Roger Corman.
Over the past two-and-a-half decades, his films as writer and/or director, ranging in budget from 15,000 to $15 million, have included award-winning indies “Paranoia” (1998) and “Christina” (2010), and studio productions “Hard Luck” (starring Wesley Snipes, 2006) and “Halloween: Resurrection” (starring Jamie Lee Curtis, 2002).
“Resurrection” went on to become the second-most-profitable sequel in the franchise’s history.
In 2008 Brand formed 8180 Films with partners Reynolds (with whom he co-produced HBO’s “Assume the Position With Mr. Wuhl”) and James Carpenter. Their first feature, “Christina,” went on to win awards at film fests, including for best film, best director (Brand), best actress (Nicki Aycox) and best actor (Stephen Lang).
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Brand was born and grew up in New York and attended City College there before moving to Los Angeles in 1974.
At Forest Hills High School in 1966, just as the hippie movement was starting, he achieved some notoriety when the New York Times covered the refusal by Brand and his classmate Michael Bandler to cut their hair. The story was featured on the paper’s front page. Brand and Bandler were represented by the ACLU in the dispute and they prevailed.
Brand’s survivors include his brothers Tim Roth and Nick Roth, his sister-in-law Amanda Roth, his nephew Chris Roth, and his writing partner of 39 years Rebecca Reynolds.