King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen is a fantastic new documentary written and directed by Steve Mitchell that covers the life and career of maverick filmmaker Larry Cohen and it opened in NYC this week. Larry Cohen began his career writing TV noir and westerns in the late 1950s and early 1960s before building up a filmography in the 1970s, writing, directing, and producing such genre classics as Black Caesar (1973), It’s Alive (1974), Q: The Winged Serpent (1982), and The Stuff (1985). While Cohen hasn’t directed a feature film since 1996, he has written some popular genre films such as Phone Booth (2002) and Cellular (2004). His IMDb page features over 80 writing credits with over 20 in the director’s chair. I recently got to speak with Mr. Mitchell, who co-wrote the 1980s horror film Chopping Mall, about his new documentary, his goals for the project, and his relationship with the film’s subject.
King Cohen The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen
Written and Directed by Steve Mitchell
Featuring Larry Cohen, Martin Scorsese, J.J Abrams, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, John Landis, Fred Williamson
Dark Star Pictures
Release date: August 3, 2018 (NYC premiere)
Who is Larry Cohen? If you don’t recognize his name, I promise you’ll recognize his films. The now 77-year old has been working in the industry since the late 1950s and evolved from writing noir and western television to become a prolific genre filmmaker. His most prominent works include Black Caesar (1973), It’s Alive (1974), God Told Me To (1976), Q (1982), The Stuff (1985), and Phone Booth (2002). In all he has over 80 writing credits and 20+ directorial efforts. But more than his films was his renegade and rogue filmmaking style. A writer who became a director and producer, Larry Cohen was the consummate hustler and true triple threat. His life and career are now the subject of a phenomenal documentary, King Cohen: The Wild World of Filmmaker Larry Cohen, written and directed by Steve Mitchell and put out by Dark Star Pictures.