3/31/10

Death of a Geek: John McGarr

This is not a symbolic death, like a comic-book geek has been reformed  or anything.  Rather, it's the actual loss of a really great guy who was killed by a drunk driver.  This is the second obituary I'm writing from Kevin Geeks Out About Werewolves; in December I'd eulogized actor-writer Paul Naschey here.   Today I'm writing about filmmaker John McGarr.

John recently produced House of the Wolfman.  He also played the creepy manservant, Barlow (pictured, right.)  The film re-creates the look and feel of a 1940's monster movie, it even boasts a connection to the original Universal Monsters by casting Ron Chaney (grandson of the original Wolf Man, Lon Chaney Jr.)

Last week John attended the HorrorHound Weekend in Indianapolis.  According to a convention organizer, John and his brother Eben were there working on a documentary.  On Thursday morning, he was walking to breakfast when a car swerved out of the traffic lane, hitting and killing John.

When we did Kevin Geeks Out About Werewolves, I'd emailed John requesting clips.  He sent us the trailer (below).  We closed the show with his footage, it played beautifully and brought the night full circle.  Afterwards a lot of people wanted to know how they could see the whole movie.

He also sent me this video, shot in the style of a 1970's MEGO commercial.  John was a guy who clearly loved what he loved and was making stuff for fans like me.


We never met in person, but I was glad to know him by phone and by email.  When I'd suggested he talk to people at the 92Y Tribeca to arrange a screening, he refused.  John said he wanted to his New York premiere to take place at a Drive-In.  He'd already started researching it, and I hope the filmmakers make it happen.  In March, House of the Wolf Man had been picked up for world-wide distribution by Taurus Entertainment.  (They're planning an October release, naturally.)  We lost a good geek, but his labor of love lives on...

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