Stuart Gordon is a creative horror film director who started his directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin as Madison as an Anthropology major. Unable to get in with the film teaching classes, he enrolled in the theater class. Gordon then pursued his own theater troupe called Screw Theater.
In 1969, he started a counter-culture adoption of Peter Pan as a political statement and form of protest. Gordon dropped out of the university and moved his theater group to Chicago where he organized the Organic Theater, which put on satire shows with comic and violent themes. The group performed in theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and even in Europe. Gordon’s Organic Theater troupe performed in a play by David Mamet titled “Sexual Perversity in Chicago,” which launched Mamet’s playwriting career. The improv-based comedy “Bleacher Bums” ran for seven years in Los Angeles. And the short-lived hospital comedy play, E/R (1984) became a short-lived TV series produced by Norman Lear.
He joined with Charles Band and his Empire Pictures to make the company’s first big hit, Re-Animator (1985), a modern-day version of the H.P. Lovecraft story with Jeffrey Combs in the lead role. Gordon stayed with Empire and helmed another Lovecraft film, From Beyond (1986), and tackled the murderous Dolls (1987) the same year. He directed Robot Jox (1989), but it was a disappointment and Empire Pictures folded after the release of that film. Gordon found work writing the script and creating the story for Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), a major hit of 1991. He then returned with Band and his new company Full Moon Pictures for the remake and more graphic version of The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) the same year. Other works of his include Fortress (1992), a major hit of 1994, and the screenplay for The Dentist (1996).
In 2001, Gordon returned to the H.P. Lovecraft territory with Dagon (2001), and in 2003, directed King of the Ants (2003), a comic thriller about a painter-turned-hit man, and the David Mamet Edmond (2005).
In 2005, he contributed to be one of the directors for an episode of the horror anthology series Masters of Horror (2005) with the episode “Dreams in the Witch House,” another horror story based on a short story by H.P. Lovecraft. He returned to the series in 2007 with the episode “The Black Cat,” based on Edgar Allan Poe‘s story by the same name.
His wife, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, was used in a supporting role in his films.