World

B-movie maker Bert I. Gordon passed away at 100

The Cyclops Bert I. Gordon

The B-movie world has lost one of its most iconic filmmakers, as The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Bert I. Gordon – often referred to as “Mr. B.I.G.” by his fans – has passed away at the age of 100. Gordon produced and directed more than twenty films over the course of a career that lasted sixty-one years, from 1954 to 2015. He also wrote most of his movies. His most popular titles include The Food of the Gods, Empire of the Ants, The Amazing Colossal Man, War of the Colossal Beast, Attack of the Puppet People, and Beginning of the End.

Born on September 24, 1922 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Gordon fell in love with filmmaking at a young age, being given his first camera when he was just 9 years old. He started making TV commercials after he graduated from college, then produced the horror adventure film Serpent Island in 1954. He was also the cinematographer on that movie, and made his feature directorial debut with King Dinosaur the following year.

In addition to the films mentioned above, Gordon directed the following: The Cyclops (pictured above), The Spider, The Boy and the Pirates, Tormented, Famous Ghost Stories, The Magic Sword, Take Me to Your Leader, Village of the Giants, Picture Mommy Dead, How to Succeed with Sex, Necromancy, The Mad Bomber, Burned at the Stake, Let’s Do It!, The Big Best, Satan’s Princess, and Secrets of a Psychopath. Although he specialized in B-movies, he could often get well-known actors to appear in his films. Some Gordon movies feature the likes of Lon Chaney Jr., Don Ameche, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Collins, Peter Graves, Basil Rathbone, Beau Bridges, Ron Howard, Chuck Connors, and even Orson Welles.

Gordon also handled the visual effects on many of his movies, and The Hollywood Reporter notes that he would enlist his then-wife Flora to help him with the effects. Their daughter Susan also got involved with the filmmaking process, acting in four of her father’s movies. The Hollywood Reporter adds that Gordon received a career achievement award from the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films in 2011. He published his autobiography, The Amazing Colossal Worlds of Mr. B.I.G., a year later.

Some of Gordon’s movies have been mocked on episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 – and unfortunately, he wasn’t amused by those episodes. He took his work very seriously.

Gordon and Flora were married for more than thirty years before they divorced in 1979. She passed away in 2016, at the age of 90. Their daughter Susan died in 2011, succumbing to cancer at age 62. Gordon is survived by his wife Eva, daughters Patricia, Christina, and Carol, six grandchildren, and nineteen great-grandchildren.

His daughter Patricia told The Hollywood Reporter that Gordon passed away in Los Angeles yesterday due complications from a fall in his Beverly Hills home.

Our sincere condolences go out to Gordon’s family, friends, and fans.

Bert I. Gordon