December 18th, 2009


R.I.P. Dan O'Bannon

Screenwriter and director Dan O'Bannon has died. He was 63.

This is sad news. O'Bannon was best known as the screenwriter of Alien, which is impressive enough in its own right, but to me he'll always be remembered the guy who wrote and directed The Return of the Living Dead, a zombie spoof that gave the world the iconic tarman (above), coined the funniest line in a zombie movie ever ("Send...more...paramedics"), and introduced me as a sixteen-year-old adolescent to the inimitable Linnea Quigley.

He was also responsible for the screenplay to Total Recall, coining another immortal movie line: "Get your ass to Mars"; the screenplay to Lifeforce, an interesting but not always successful film that is probably best known for introducing the American audience to voluptuous French actress Mathilda May, who was, to my great joy at the time, stark naked through most of the film; and the screenplay to Dead & Buried, a very weird semi-zombie movie that only barely holds up today but still occupies a fond place in my heart, and which also featured Robert Englund three years before he became Freddy Krueger.

He was an extremely talented screenwriter with a fantastic imagination, and he will be missed.