Stuart Gordon, Cult Classic Horror Director, Dies at 72

By Jenelle Riley

Stuart Gordon, best known as the filmmaker behind such cult classics as “Re-Animator” and “From Beyond,” has died of multiple organ failure, his family confirmed to Variety Tuesday night. He was 72.

Although best known for his seminal work in independent horror, Gordon had a varied career that included founding the Organic Theater Company with his wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon. The Organic premiered such prominent works as David Mamet’s “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” and “Bleacher Bums,” which starred Dennis Franz and Joe Mantegna. He was a co-creator of the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” franchise, for which he shared a story credit, and produced the film’s sequel and directed an episode of the TV spin-off. In 2005, he directed a film adaptation of Mamet’s “Edmond,” starring William H. Macy. Other films include “Fortress,” “Castle Freak” and “King of the Ants.”

In recent years, Gordon was active in L.A. theater, finding success directing the solo show “Nevermore…An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” starring his “Re-Animator” star Jeffrey Combs. He also directed and co-wrote the book for “Re-Animator: The Musical,” which won several awards and was praised by a Variety critic, who wrote, “not since ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ has a screamfest tuner so deftly balanced seriousness and camp.”

Gordon also won a Stage Raw Award for directing “Taste,” a two-person drama that premiered in 2014, based on a true story where one man agrees to be eaten by another.

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He is survived by his wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon; daughters Suzanna, Jillian and Margaret Gordon; four grandchildren; and his brother, David George Gordon.