03-10-2005, 06:37 PM
A newsflash at Fangoria says that HALLOWEEN producer and frequent Carpenter co-worker (and former girlfriend) died a couple days ago. She still looked and sounded pretty young on all the DVDs she was on, what a sad loss.
03-15-2005, 04:49 AM
and at such a young age, and she sure appeared healthjy the last time I saw her.
Scott W. Davis
03-15-2005, 06:06 AM
Yes, this was very sad news. I wrote an obituary for her at
Horror Express (http://www.horrorexpress.com/news.php?newsid=603) last week. Using various articles from AP and whatnot, here's what I said:
Debra Hill, one of the pioneers of the 1970s horror movement, has passed away at the young age of 54.
Hill was a longtime collaborator with director John Carpenter. She co-wrote and produced the quintessential slasher film, HALLOWEEN in 1979. I don't think I need to mention what an impact that film had on the industry. As Carpenter is known for throwing around biographical references in his films, the ficticious town of Haddonfield, Illinois is named after Hill's birthplace of Haddonfield, New Jersey. She continued to work with Carpenter through the early Carpenter classics, THE FOG and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. She also produced the sequels HALLOWEEN II and HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH with Carpenter before the group left the franchise in the hands of Moustapha Akkad.
Aside from producing David Cronenberg's film THE DEAD ZONE, Hill ventured into other genres of filmmaking for much of the 1980s and 1990s. While this included the occasional hit like ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING or THE FISHER KING, most films, like HEARTBREAK HOTEL, HEAD OFFICE and the like bombed at the box office.
In the early 1990s, she rediscovered her exploitation roots when she produced a remake of the B-movie classic ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN. Reinvigorated, she produced a series of made-for-cable movies that celebrated the rebellious, youth-oriented B-movies of the 50s and 60s. The series was known for bringing back a sense of fun lost in many modern-day features. They were helmed by talented directors and featured some rising stars. The titles included SHAKE RATTLE & ROCK directed by Allan Arkush (ROCK & ROLL HIGH SCHOOL) and starring Renee Zellweger, REFORM SCHOOL GIRL directed by Jonathan Kaplan (THE ACCUSED) and starring Matt LeBlanc, CONFESSIONS OF A SORORITY GIRL directed by Ulli Edel (CHRISTIANE F.) and starring Alyssa Milano, MOTORCYCLE GANG directed by John Milius (CONAN THE BARBARIAN, THE WIND AND THE LION), RUNAWAY DAUGHTERS directed by Joe Dante (THE HOWLING, GREMLINS) and starring Julie Bowen and Paul Rudd, GIRLS IN PRISON directed by Joe McNaughton (HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER) and starring Anne Heche, DRAGSTRIP GIRL directed by Mary Lambert (PET SEMETERY), JAILBREAKERS directed by William Friedkin (THE EXORCIST, THE FRENCH CONNECTION) and starring Adrien Brody and Shannon Doherty, THE COOL AND THE CRAZY directed by Ralph Bakshi (COOL WORLD, FRITZ THE CAT) and starring Jared Leto and Alicia Silverstone and ROADRACERS directed by Robert Rodriguez (FROM DUSK TIL DAWN, SIN CITY) and starring David Arquette and Salma Hayek.
Hill reunited with Carpenter to produce ESCAPE FROM L.A., the 1996 sequel to ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. The two were currently working on a remake to THE FOG to be directed by Rupert Wainwright (STIGMATA).
It is important to note that when Hill broke into the business in the mid-1970s, the role of producer was very much a boy's club. Women were generally looked down upon or not taken seriously as authority figures. When she took a chance on co-writing and producing the $ 300,000 HALLOWEEN in 1979, nobody paid much attention. When the fruits of her labor turned into what was then the most profitable independent film of all time, the Boy's Club blinked.
HALLOWEEN was one of those films that comes by every few years and completely re-defines the face of cinema. You have to appreciate it not only because HALLOWEEN is an incomparable classic. You also have to ask how many of the great horror films in the last 25 years would have never been if it weren't for HALLOWEEN's success?
Hill helped pave the way for women in film. She made it easier for people like Dawn Steel and Sherry Lansing not only to produce films, but take the reigns of motion picture studios.
"Back when I started in 1974, there were very few women in the industry, and everybody called me 'honey,'" Hill once said. "I was assumed to be the makeup and hair person, or the script person. I was never assumed to be the writer or producer. I took a look around and realized there weren't many women, so I had to carve a niche for myself."
Carpenter remembered Hill in a phone interview with the Associated Press, in which he called her "a real pioneer in this business."
"The ground she trailblazed in the beginning can now be followed by anyone," Carpenter said. "She was incredibly capable and incredibly talented... Unlike many producers, she came from the crew ranks. I think they're the most under-appreciated people, and they work the hardest. She had experienced the ins and the outs and had a thorough understanding of what it took to make a picture."
Indeed, she worked her way up from a lowly production assistant to script supervisor. It in this latter posistion that she met Carpenter on the set of ASSAULT ON PRECINCT 13. The two formed a lifelong friendship.
Hill was honored by the organization Women in Film back in 2003. When she accepted the award, she said, "I hope some day there won't be a need for Women in Film. That it will be People in Film. That it will be equal pay, equal rights and equal job opportunities for everybody."
Hill had been battling cancer for over a year when she finally passed away on Monday, March 7th.
03-17-2005, 09:15 AM
Thanks for the obit Scott, glad Im not the only person upset over the passing of Debra Hill. It came as a shock that's for sure.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.2 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.