Sad news today:
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) — Film director Bob Clark, best known for the holiday classic “A Christmas Story,” was killed with his son Wednesday in a head-on crash with a vehicle that a drunken driver steered into the wrong lane, police and the filmmaker’s assistant said. Clark, 67, and son Ariel Hanrath-Clark, 22, were killed in the accident in Pacific Palisades, said Lyne Leavy, Clark’s personal assistant.
In Clark’s most famous film, all 9-year-old Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle. His mother, teacher and Santa Claus all warn: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” A school bully named Scut Farkus, a leg lamp, a freezing flagpole mishap and some four-letter defiance helped the movie become a seasonal fixture with “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Clark specialized in horror movies and thrillers early in his career, directing such 1970s flicks as “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things,” “Murder by Decree,” “Breaking Point” and “Black Christmas,” which was remade last year.
His breakout success came with 1981’s sex farce “Porky’s,” a coming-of-age romp that he followed two years later with “Porky’s II: The Next Day.”
Among Clark’s other movies were Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton’s “Rhinestone,” Timothy Hutton’s “Turk 182!”, and Gene Hackman and Dan Aykroyd’s “Loose Cannons.”
1974’s Black Christmas is an extremely influential film and one of the best horror movies of the 70s. How funny that he would later make A Christmas Story, that movie’s polar opposite (and a film I loved as a kid). I also look upon the Porkys movies quite fondly. May Bob Clark and his son Ariel rest in peace.