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  Farewell John Saxon [read more]
  Exploitation movie favourite dies aged 84
  The death of film and TV star John Saxon has been announced: he had been suffering from pneumonia. Born Carmine Orrico, he started acting early by signing a contract with Universal, and quickly became a recognisable face on the silver screen in items like The Unguarded Moment and Rock, Pretty Baby!, usually as a young romantic lead but also exhibiting the darker side that would make him such a valued villain in his later years. In the 1960s, he showed up in Portrait in Black, The Unforgiven, Mr Hobbs Takes a Vacation, before significantly travelling to Italy to star in Mario Bava's The Girl Who Knew Too Much, one of many Italian efforts he would appear in.

Next, he was in The Night Caller, Queen of Blood, The Appaloosa, Death of a Gunfighter, and into the 1970s with Joe Kidd, Enter the Dragon with Bruce Lee, slasher prototype Black Christmas, Mitchell, Moonshine County Express, hilarious The Bees, David Cronenberg's Fast Company, The Glove and The Electric Horseman, among a bunch of violent Italian thrillers that kept him in the grindhouses and many TV guest star roles in material like The Six Million Dollar Man.

Into the 1980s and Saxon was an exploitation favourite, from Beyond Evil and Cannibals in the Streets to Battle Beyond the Stars and Blood Beach - and that was just 1980 alone. Also that decade were Dario Argento's Tenebrae, The Big Score, A Nightmare on Elm Street and its second sequel, Hands of Steel, Death House (which he directed), My Mom's a Werewolf and Nightmare Beach, after which the 1990s arrived and the budgets tended to get even lower, though he was in Beverly Hills Cop III and Wes Craven's New Nightmare. A cameo in From Dusk Till Dawn led to Saxon appearing in Quentin Tarantino's CSI episode, and he was working to the end, also a popular interviewee in documentaries. A charismatic performer no matter what the circumstances, he appealed to exploitation fans thanks to his dedication and sense of humour: a great baddie, and a great hero when required.
  Graeme Clark [26 Jul 2020 at 11:11]

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