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RIP: Dan O'Bannon

12.18.2009

A genre great has left us. Dan O'Bannon has died at the age of 63.

O'Bannon might not be a household name like Cameron or Spielberg, but he's one of the minds behind material that any self-respecting fanboy or fangirl should know intimately.

While his early career was marked by writing and appearing in John Carpenter's DARK STAR (that's him chasing the alien balloon around the ship) and working on STAR WARS special effects, O'Bannon then essentially launched the ALIEN franchise (with a script once known as STAR BEAST).

He went on to pen drafts of TOTAL RECALL, BLUE THUNDER, segments of HEAVY METAL, and underappreciated horror gems like DEAD & BURIED, Tobe Hooper's alien-vampire epic LIFEFORCE, and INVADERS FROM MARS.

But I'll probably always love O'Bannon for writing and directing what may well be my all-time favorite zombie flick: RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD, which skewed from Romero's serious social-statement shamblers and introduced splatstick, punk, fast-movers and brainlust into the zombie genre. Not to mention Linnea Quigley's unforgettable nakedness.

Thank you, Dan. You will be missed.

Extra Tidbit: AICN received word that O'Bannon's wife plans to release some of his unpublished and unproduced work, so there's still more to come.
Source: AICN

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