Stuart Gordon, director of cult horror classic ‘Re-Animator,’ dead at 72

Stuart Gordon, director of cult horror classic ‘Re-Animator,’ dead at 72
Stuart Gordon, the cult horror filmmaker best known for “Re-Animator” and “From Beyond,” died Tuesday, his family said. He was 72. (Francois Mori/ Associated Press, File)

Film director Stuart Gordon, best known for horror cult classics as “Re-Animator” and “From Beyond,” has died, his family confirmed to Variety on Tuesday. He was 72.

Gordon’s cause of death was not revealed.

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“He was a lovely man, a dear friend, a client for nearly a decade, and will be greatly missed,” Gordon’s representative, Dominic Mancini, told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. “He was an icon in the horror genre, a loved mentor and bright light that inspired and encouraged aspiring genre filmmakers to excel at their craft. He left his fingerprints on the film industry for generations to come to enjoy.”

In addition to his work in the horror film genre, Gordon also was a co-creator of the “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” franchise, Variety reported. Gordon shared a story credit for the series and produced the film’s sequel, the magazine reported. He also directed an episode of the film’s television spin-off.

Horror films were Gordon’s specialty. In addition to “Re-Animator” and “From Beyond,” he directed “Castle Freak,” “Dagon” and an episode of “Masters of Horror.” All were based on stories by fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft.

“I don’t think it’s an accident that all H.P. Lovecraft’s stories are set in Massachusetts, the center of Puritanism,” Gordon told Rolling Stone in 1985. “Lovecraft was examining the Puritan mentality, which on the surface is very proper and straight-laced and moral, and underneath is possessed by demons.”

Gordon also directed and co-wrote the book for “Re-Animator: The Musical,” Variety reported.

Barbara Crampton, who started in “Re-Animator,” tweeted that Gordon was “An enormous talent, vibrant and boundary-breaking, his work was in a class by itself."

"He created countless moments on film which were at once funny, scary, daring and smart. He gave me my career. I lost a dear friend. I’m heartbroken. No words can do him justice,” Crampton tweeted.

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