If you ever went into a video store and picked out the horror movie with the most messed-up cover ever, it might have been directed by Stuart Gordon. With a filmography that included Re-Animator, From Beyond, Fortress, and Robot Jox, Gordon was one of the kings of cult films in the ‘80s and ‘90s. He was filled with vision and talent but, tragically, he passed away this week at the age of 72.
Gordon made his feature directing debut in 1985 with what would remain his best-known horror film: loose H.P. Lovecraft adaptation Re-Animator, the gruesomely funny tale of a medical student (Jeffrey Combs) who becomes obsessed with raising the dead. He followed that a year later with From Beyond—another Lovecraft adaptation starring Combs and his Re-Animator co-star, Barbara Crampton—sealing his place as a genre legend.
As expected with a director of Gordon’s stature (and by the way, he wasn’t just a horror-movie guy—he also co-created the Honey I Shrunk the Kids franchise and had recently returned to his theatre roots), fans have taken to social media to mourn the loss. Below, we’ve compiled tweets from several prominent horror writers, directors, actors, and others, all sharing their fond thoughts on Gordon.
At the first “Masters of Horror” dinner, Stuart said something which resonated with every horror filmmaker: "Horror films are a rehearsal for our own deaths." In eight words he answered why we make them and watch them. Stuart, you made the finest. RIP, my friend. #StuartGordon pic.twitter.com/QQAHRXCOhT
— Don Coscarelli (@DonCoscarelli) March 25, 2020
An expert in adapting paper to screen. A true Master of Horror. RIP Stuart Gordon pic.twitter.com/0bLVbkGgGt
— Arrow Video (@ArrowFilmsVideo) March 25, 2020
Director of REANIMATOR has died. #StuartGordon was a master of his (Love)craft, whose mad movies became part of my childhood currency, passed from friend to friend with an awed “You *have* to see this!” He even made it into my creative DNA: there is no @tuskthemovie without him. pic.twitter.com/mhiA8to2WE
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) March 25, 2020
To know Stuart Gordon was to love Stuart Gordon. One of the true Masters of Horror and a wonderful, wonderful man. He was brilliant, funny, and always at the top of his game. So hard to say goodbye. We love you and miss you, Stuart. pic.twitter.com/hXZNOmH9D6
— Mick Garris & The Post Mortem Podcast (@MickGarrisPM) March 25, 2020
An enormous talent, vibrant & boundary breaking, his work was in a class by itself. He created countless moments on film which were at once, funny, scary, daring & smart. He gave me my career. I lost a dear friend. I’m heartbroken. No words can do him justice. RIP Stuart Gordon
— Barbara Crampton (@barbaracrampton) March 25, 2020
Sorry to hear about the great Stuart Gordon passing. Along with his storied career in theatre and independent film, he is in the horror hall of hame forever for films like ‘From Beyond’ & the outrageous gem that is ‘Re-Animator’. Put a plaque up at Miskatonic University for him. pic.twitter.com/Uv56Bc4Isd
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon was a massive influence on so many of us, myself included.
He was a Cinema maverick, a SplatterPunk & an actor’s auteur. Stuart always brought his A game to any B flick.
Thank you for the Lovecraft and “Happy Landings” From Beyond, Maestro. #RIPStuartGordon https://t.co/oBYZoIc16T
— Joe Lynch (@TheJoeLynch) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon was not only a brilliant filmmaker but an incredibly gracious human. He attended an early screening of A Horrible Way to Die and was quite kind about it, which was the only reason Adam and I had the confidence to try to cast Barbara Crampton in You’re Next. R.I.P.
— Simon Barrett (@Simon_Barrett) March 25, 2020
RIP to a true legend. Stuart Gordon is one of the greatest to ever work in the genre, and the world is better for it. In honor of Stuart we will be live streaming Re-Animator, Castle Freak, and Stuck on ShudderTV tonight starting around 8pm EST ???? pic.twitter.com/mivlLPDhRJ
— Shudder (@Shudder) March 25, 2020
Very sad to hear that Stuart Gordon has passed. A true original, and a gift to the genre. I remember being absolutely terrified of the FROM BEYOND box cover at the video store when I was a kid... and then delighted years later when I finally saw the movie itself. Rest In Peace.
— Mike Flanagan (@flanaganfilm) March 25, 2020
RIP to a legend of theater as well as horror cinema, and a really nice guy. My impression was that no matter the situation, he always tried to take care of everyone. #StuartGordon https://t.co/XKT1bOPaCZ
— Don Mancini (@RealDonMancini) March 25, 2020
Stuart Gordon has left us. What a sweet, generous, talented man who left behind an incomparable body of work both on the screen and on the stage. Sifting through pics, I found this one I snapped at the Overlook Film Fest. All smiles with @barbaracrampton . ???? pic.twitter.com/S7Jo5EkGtd
— Ryan Turek (@_RyanTurek) March 25, 2020
Some thoughts about Stuart Gordon. Wish we had more time. He will be with us forever. pic.twitter.com/t3geWdjujw
— Jason Eisener (@jasoneisener) March 25, 2020
— Lloyd Kaufman (@lloydkaufman) March 25, 2020