The Cohen Case Files: Invasion of Privacy (1996)

Screenplay by Larry Cohen While watching Invasion of Privacy, I had a striking realization that in retrospect, is so obvious, I feel like an idiot for not noticing it sooner: Despite his running obsessions with religion and corporate/government abuse of power, the main theme that threads through Larry Cohen’s work—both as a writer/director and screenwriter […]

The Cohen Case Files: Return of the Seven (1966)

Screenplay by Larry Cohen Let me get an opinion out of the way that will strike many film lovers as heresy: The Magnificent Seven was not a great film. Forget your memories of it as an action-packed, Western masterpiece. It was an above-average potboiler that sticks in the mind because of a stacked cast that […]

The Cohen Case Files: Scream Baby Scream (1969)

Story and Screenplay by Larry Cohen (as Laurence Robert Cohen) I have always been suspicious of the claim that Larry Cohen is responsible for the screenplay to the regional horror flick, Scream Baby Scream. By 1969, the year of the film’s release, Cohen was already a prolific television writer and had screenplay credits for studio […]

The Cohen Case Files: It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive (1987)

Based on Characters Created by, Written, Executive Produced, and Directed by Larry Cohen Considering the fact that I regard the original It’s Alive as one of my favorite films of all time, it would be very easy for me to hate It’s Alive III: Island of the Alive. Even viewers who do not care about […]

The Cohen Case Files: Captivity (2007)

Story and Screenplay Co-written by Larry Cohen Since I’ve begun writing about films in which Larry Cohen was involved, I have largely refrained from doing any research into what went on behind the scenes of the productions. Because I have read so many interviews with Cohen, listened to his commentaries, seen question and answer sessions […]

The Cohen Case Files: It Lives Again [aka It’s Alive 2: It Lives Again] (1978)

Based on Characters Created for the Screen, Written, Produced, and Directed by Larry Cohen NOTE: This review will contain spoilers for It’s Alive, the film to which It Lives Again is a sequel. Please watch It’s Alive before reading this review. Given that It’s Alive is not only Larry Cohen’s masterpiece, but arguably also one […]

The Cohen Case Files: Perfect Strangers (1984)

Executive Produced (uncredited), Written, and Directed by Larry Cohen While watching Perfect Strangers, Larry Cohen’s train wreck of a romantic thriller, I was reminded of a snippet of Roger Ebert’s review of Death to Smoochy, which I quoted in my Movie Defender piece on that misunderstood film: “Only enormously talented people could have made Death […]

The Cohen Case Files: Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting (1969)

Story and Screenplay Co-Written by Larry Cohen Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting is a good example of how a solid script can stand up to any number of wrong-headed production decisions that would sink a lesser story. The first act moves at warp speed to lay down the ground work to cover years. First, we meet Cathy […]

The Cohen Case Files: Deadly Illusion (1987)

Written and Co-Directed by Larry Cohen It’s hard not to think of I, the Jury when watching Deadly Illusion. Both films feature a down on his luck New York City private eye. Both films feature a police detective ally/antagonist with whom the private eye has a complicated history that borders on homoerotic. Both films feature […]

The Cohen Case Files: Women of San Quentin (1983)

Story by Larry Cohen The misleadingly titled Women of San Quentin is about as inconsequential of a film as you are likely to find connected to Larry Cohen. While it sports a cast that is stacked with experienced character actors, it never rises above its TV-movie status to become an interesting—or entertaining—movie. All it aspires […]