The horror and sci-fi community received some sad news Friday as reports of the death of Dan O'Bannon blazed across the internet.
If you're not a hardcore horror or sci-fi fan, the name may not be familiar to you–but I'm almost certain you've seen his work. O'Bannon is best known for writing the screenplay for Ridley Scott's Alien, and if all he'd done was give us Ellen Ripley and those terrifying creatures, his place in geek cinema history would have been secure. However, O'Bannon worked on many films during his career–and the majority of them are beloved by fans of the cinema of the fantastic.

O'Bannon's early career was marked by work on 1974's Dark Star (John Carpenter's directorial debut), the underseen Dead & Buried, the B-17 segment of Heavy Metal and the Roy Scheider vechicle Blue Thunder.

If Alien hadn't secured his place in the pantheon of horror icons, then his screenplay for 1985's Return of the Living Dead would have sealed the deal. O'Bannon, much like George Romero, played a major part in shaping the landscape of zombie cinema. In fact, it was O'Bannon who came up with the now universal concept of zombies eating human brains.

From there, he worked on films like Lifeforce and the much loved Total Recall.

Picking a favorite O'Bannon film is nearly impossible. Alien seems the obvious choice, but I adore Return of the Living Dead, too. Plus, how can you not consider Total Recall? That highlights why we're going to miss Dan O'Bannon–his work wasn't pigeonholed by genre; it spread across film categories, yet always kept us interested. Genre cinema lost a legend Friday, but Dan O'Bannon will live on in the work of the countless writers and creators who were inspired by his legendary output.

Jump past the break to read remembrances from other members of the Horror Squad.
categories Movies, Horror