June 5, 2009

David Carradine, 1936-2009

A moment, if I may, to mark the passing of actor David Carradine. His Frankenstein credit comes as the patchwork racer with the grenade embedded in his hand in Paul Bartell’s delirious Death Race 2000, one of the most demented and entertaining films ever to come from the Roger Corman stable.

David father, of course, was John Carradine, the horror film icon who had his own Frankenstein credits, including the key bit part as the hunter who breaks up The Monster and the Hermit’s idyll in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935). He also claimed to have been considered for The Monster's part in the original Universal film of 1931.

The Carradine family, many of John’s sons and grandchildren, made their careers in the arts. David credited his father for instilling in him a love for sculpting. No doubt the elder Carradine’s prolific acting career was also influential. David Carradine seemed proud of his B-Movie roots and he was always fascinating in all the character parts he played.

He will be remembered, no doubt, for Kung Fu and Kill Bill. I’ll remember him, fondly indeed, as the leatherclad Frankenstein prowling an American dystopia is a souped-up, green monster Corvette, scoring points by hitting pedestrians on the way to the finish line.

New York Times obituary.

David Carradine’s Official website.

Death Race 2000 trailer.

Photo source


Christopher said...

Still unbelievable and sadening news!..The Carradine clan is one of the last links to hollywood glory days! :o(...I seem to remember an old foto in a Famous Monsters of John Carradine being visited on the set of either House of Frank or Drac..by I think his Sons..but they were older kids so only David could a been one of the lads..

David said...

I'm still bummed at his passing. I grew up on reruns of Kung Fu, and loved the show. I need to revisit this and Death Race 2000 (good movie) soon. On the subject of John Carradine: it's too bad that he never got the chance to do a full adaptation of Stoker's Dracula--he made a superb Dracula. A very talented family.