Auteur of Mutant Monster Movies Bert I. Gordon Dead at 100
Master of mutant monster movies Bert Gordon passed away at the age of 100 Wednesday (March 8, 2023) in Los Angeles. His daughter Patricia Gordon confirmed the heartbreaking news.
Bert Ira Gordon was born on September 24, 1922, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and began making home movies in 16mm after his aunt gave him a camera for his 13th birthday.
Bert dropped out of college to join the Army Air Forces in World War II. He married and he and his wife began making TV commercials.
The filmmaker is best known for writing and directing science fiction and horror B-movies such as King Dinosaur, The Amazing Colossal Man, Earth vs. the Spider, Village of the Giants, and Empire of the Ants.
Most of his work is in the idiom of giant monster films, for which he used rear projection to create unique effects. Gordon was nicknamed “Mr. B.I.G.” by Forrest J Ackerman, a reference to his initials and his films’ tendency to feature super-sized creatures.
He edited British feature films to fit half-hour time slots and served as a production assistant on Racket Squad and a cameraman on Serpent Island (1954).
In 1955, he made his first feature, King Dinosaur, followed by The Cyclops in 1957, which co-starred Gloria Talbot and Lon Chaney Jr.
“Bert has never given much thought to social message. He just wants to tell stories on film,” Beverly Gray wrote on the Beverly in Movieland blog in 2014.
In 1957, Patricia began his prolific association with American International Pictures, starting with The Amazing Colossal Man and its 1958 sequel, War of the Colossal Beast.
AIP distributed some of Gordon’s other late-50s opuses, such as Earth vs the Spider, Beginning of the End, and Attack of the Puppet People.
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Filmmaker Bert Gordon Passed Away at 100
Patricia Gordon confirmed that Bert Gordon passed away in Los Angeles of complications from a fall in his Beverly Hills home. May he rest in peace.
After filming Tormented (1960), Gordon wrote, produced, and directed The Boy and the Pirates, starring popular child star of the time Charles Herbert, and Gordon’s own daughter, Susan Gordon (who sadly died in 2011 from thyroid cancer).
He held a degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In 2012, Gordon hosted and moderated a screening of The Amazing Colossal Man in Dallas, Texas.
Gordon was married from 1945 to 1979 to Flora Gordon (1925–2016), known as Flora Lang in the latter part of her professional career.
The pair divorced in 1979. They had three daughters: Susan, Carol, and Patricia. Bert had a fourth daughter, Christina, in 1988, with his second wife, Eva Marie Marklstorfer.
Scott Edelman wrote: “Farewell, Bert Gordon, and thanks for The Amazing Colossal Man, War of the Colossal Beast, Village of the Giants, and all the other B movies which ignited my childhood dreams.”
“The first cover story I ever landed in my career was a retrospective on Bert Gordon for @RueMorgue. At 92 he was as sharp as a tack and fun as hell to talk to and his memories of the 50s as vivid as if they were yesterday. It was a career highlight and privilege. RIP BIG guy,” Preston Fassel tweeted.
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