A Look Back At Don Dohler

Don Dohler’s admittedly cheap’n’clunky low-budget independent horror and science fiction pictures will probably never be acknowledged as true works of cinematic art, but his films still nonetheless possess a certain raw energy and infectious feeling of pure go-for-it Do-It-Yourself enthusiasm that’s both endearing and entertaining in comparable measure. Dohler was born on January 27, 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland. Dohler became interested in fantastic films at a very young age (Dohler was a longtime reader of the popular horror magazine “Famous Monsters of Filmland”). He began making 8mm shorts at age 12. Dohler also published a “Mad” magazine type spin-off called “Wild” in his teen years. Dohler’s initial forays into filmmaking include the stop-motion animation short “Mr. Clay” and the sci-fi effort “Pursued.” Both films won awards from the amateur filmmakers club the Washington Society of Cinematographers.

In 1972 Dohler launched the movie magazine “Cinemagic,” which had an eleven issue run which lasted until 1979. Dohler made his feature length debut with the enjoyably crummy “The Alien Factor.” Don’s follow-up films were a pretty fun and eclectic bunch: the creepy horror offering “Fiend,” the gloriously gaga “Nightbeast,” the goofy “Galaxy Invader,” and the outrageously gruesome “Blood Massacre.” After a regrettably lengthy absence from movie-making, Dohler bounced back with the belated sequel “Alien Factor 2: The Alien Rampage.” In addition, Don served as both writer and producer on the straight-to-video fright flicks “Harvesters,” “Stakes,” “Crawler,” and “Vampire Sisters.” Moreover, Dohler was managing editor of the newspaper the Times Herald. Don Dohler died at age 60 of cancer on December 2nd, 2006.