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In Memoriam:: Stuart Gordon 1947-2020

March 26th, 2020 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments

Tags: In Memoriam

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 SmallDarkCloudNo Gravatar // Mar 27, 2020 at 10:41 am

    This really affected me.

    Re-Animator and From Beyond are great, of course, but I’m really fond of Dolls, with its dark fairy tale of a story. Cinematic fairy tales, done well, with a dark Angela Carter-ish sensibility, are definitely in my cinematic wheelhouse.

    The movie was something of a compromise between Gordon and Brian Yuzna (who wanted more violence and gore), and it doesn’t always work, but Dolls has its own unique vision, Gordon’s, that makes the film very watchable.

    I wish I had the opportunity to see one of Gordon’s many acclaimed theater productions, but I don’t live in Chicago or Los Angeles.

    R.I.P., Stuart Gordon.

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 27, 2020 at 3:11 pm


    I thought I was the only one! DOLLS has become my favorite Stuart Gordon movie over the years! It’s so compact and satisfying and endlessly watchable. And I love the two contrasts between a classic old dark house flick and an eighties gore flick- And it’s really got its heart in the right place- a perfect dark fable about keeping your inner child alive and rejecting adult cynicism! It’s also just a great fantasy where the kind hearted prosper and the jerks meet well deserved fates (Gordon’s wife Carolyn Purdy is sooooo good as the evil stepmother). A couple years ago the guy who played Ralph died and I was so sad. There’s a great commentary on the DVD with an adult Judy. Such a great cast.

    I love all of Gordon’s work, Re-animator, Dagon, From Beyond, even Space truckers- but DOLLS is really something special. There’s no other movie like it.

  • 3 GeoffNo Gravatar // Mar 27, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Oh wow I didn’t realize Stephen “Ralph” Lee had died. He was a reliable TV guest star and I always took note of him after seeing him in Dolls.

    Back in 1987, I remember seeing the newspaper print ad for Dolls and desperately wanting to see it. I don’t even remember seeing any TV commercials for it but that poster art was so striking I needed to see it! But it only played at one theater that was across town from where we lived. My mom promised to take me but it only ran for one week and was gone by the time we were planning to go. Devastation! I finally saw it on video a year or two later and remember being a bit disappointed. I wanted it to be more serious and scary and was put off by the sometimes comedic tone. But I kept coming back to it over the years and watched it whenever it was on cable and really grew to love it. I was a teenager when it came out and I guess I didn’t appreciate those themes of retaining your childhood dreams until I was older. And I still say “aunty-cues” for antiques because of this movie.

    Other than this and Re-Animator I am not too familiar with Gordon’s work. Now is a good time to catch up since we’re all supposed to stay at home. Stay well everyone!

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 27, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    I had kind of the same experience. I was in college and thought I was a little too old for it. I was expecting something as gory and devastating as RE-ANIMATOR so I was a little disappointed with how thoughtful and comical it was. Now I’ve grown to love it more than re-animator- it’s just my speed! It was on Comet TV the other day and i watched it for the millionth time and it just gets better and better.

    check out today’s funhouse for some more great GORDON movies to check out! Stay safe!

  • 5 bastardjackyllNo Gravatar // Mar 29, 2020 at 9:24 am

    RIP Stuart Gordon…

    AND RIP Stephen Lee, I had no idea he had past. If you ever want to see a good performance of his check out The Negotiator with Sam Jackson and Kevin Spacey (yeah, I know). It’s kind of fun to pretend he’s playing the same character from DOLLS.

  • 6 bastardjackyllNo Gravatar // Mar 29, 2020 at 9:26 am

    Also “Anti cues” made my grandmother laugh out loud (but she didn’t stick around for the whole movie).

  • 7 GeoffNo Gravatar // May 15, 2020 at 10:12 pm

    FYI there’s a Stuart Gordon double feature on TCM tonight (5/15/2020): From Beyond and Dolls starting at 11pm ET

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