27 April 2010

Brian Yuzna

Brian Yuzna's career is a jack-of-all-trades affair. His work as a producer, actor, screenwriter, film editor, perhaps as a result of this, has been a strange mixture of hit and miss. A clear fan of hardcore horror, much of his output is focused on HP Lovecraft's work: the classic film Re-Animator was a memorable success for Yuzna, though its spawning of a myriad forgettable sequels is less notable. Other-Lovecraft related projects include From Beyond, Dagon and Necronomicon; while never truly unsuccessful, such films never truly achieved widespread success.

Yuzna was born in the Philippines in 1951, though he was educated in Central America and the United States. His love of horror fiction was obvious from an early age, and his family's involvement in cinema is equally obvious: Brian's four children have all gone on to become actors and actresses, with varying levels of success.

Intriguingly, amongst Yuzna's filmography is the rather bizarre inclusion of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids, which he worked on in 1989 with director Joe Johnston. This family comedy was, however, a mere blip in Yuzna's career - it was swiftly followed up with Bride Of Re-Animator, the first of those dreadful sequels. The Honey, I Shrunk The Kids Disney project did mark the beginning of a collaboration with Stuart Gordon, however, who would work with Yuzna on Dagon.

Those wishing to investigate Yuzna's work for themselves would be wise to begin with Society, a subtle, psychological horror that only spills over into out-and-out gore at the very end of the film. Re-Animator, too, is well worth the time.

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