If you look up the term “Living Legend” you’ll find all sorts of names, and one of them is Larry Cohen. He is a auteur in the likes of filmmakers like Roger Corman and Lloyd Kaufman in that they are unhinged and uninhibited. Also, the term criminally underrated comes to mind.
In this documentary directed expertly and lovingly crafted by Steve Mitchell and released through La-La Land Entertainment, the legend that is Cohen is explored in every minute detail. From his early EARLY days starting in live TV work where he sold his first story at the age of 17 until classics that he will be forever remembered for such as IT’S ALIVE, ORIGINAL GANGSTAS, THE AMBULANCE, MANIAC COP, Q: THE WINGED SERPENT and more. No detail is really left untouched.
The film is laden with interviews that range from directors such as J.J. Abrams, Mick Garris, Joe Dante, John Landis and Martin Scorsese. Including interviews with actors that range from Fred ‘The Hammer’ Williamson and Eric Roberts, to Tara Reid and Michael Moriarity.
Every aspect of Larry’ The Kind’ Cohen’s career is explored from early days on television writing the likes of BRANDED with Chuck Connors, NYPD and the 1967 series INVADERS. Following his first dive into directing on the film BONE. This reviewer really started salivating when they dug into personal favorites like the exploitation hits BLACK CAESAR and HELL IN HARLEM which were filmed back to back with Fred Williamson. And horror ventures including his first IT’S ALIVE , followed by others classics like GOD TOLD ME TOO, THE STUFF, and A RETURN TO SALEM’S LOT.
You really get a sense that Larry is part of a dying breed of filmmaker. A true guerilla in the sense that he rarely got or used permits, let alone had even the vaguest of permissions to shoot some of the crazy footage he managed to get. Cohen did things his way, regardless of the consequences. And his cast and crew, more often than not, they loved him for it. He is, to quote Martin Scorsese, “A Renegade Spirit.”
Check out KING COHEN at all costs if you even consider yourself a somewhat lover of Grindhouse and Exploitation fare. You owe it to yourself to do so.
A solid 9 out of 10!