Bert I. Gordon, master of mutant monster movies, dead at 100

Bert I. Gordon, whose mutant monster movies featured giant rats, huge grasshoppers, oversized chickens and 30-foot teenagers, died Wednesday in Los Angeles. He was 100.

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Gordon’s death was confirmed to the New York Times by his daughter, Patricia Gordon.

Gordon’s B-movies, which were a staple of drive-ins during the 1950s and 1960s, included low-budget films like “The Cyclops” (1957), “The Amazing Colossal Man” (1957), “Beginning of the End” (1957), “Earth vs. the Spider” (1958), “Attack of the Puppet People” (1958), “Tormented” (1960), “The Boy and the Pirates” (1960) and “Picture Mommy Dead” (1966), according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Patricia Gordon told The Hollywood Reporter that her father died from complications that arose after he fell at his home.

His films “Necromancy” (1972)” starred Orson Welles and “The Food of the Gods” (1976) featured Ida Lupino, according to Variety.

Gordon’s movies, while full of improbable plots, inane dialogue and crude special effects, were a hit at drive-in theaters, the Times reported.

Some of the plots included a huge rat hovering over a girl in a negligee, Lupino being eaten by mealworms and locusts overrunning a city, according to the newspaper.

Born on Sept. 24, 1922, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Gordon was given a 16-millimeter movie camera when he was a child, Variety reported.

Gordon’s movies would sometimes take only two weeks to make. He would use rear-projection enlargements of animals with ordinary people in the foreground, according to the Times.

Beginning in 1955, Gordon, produced, directed and often wrote about 25 films, according to the newspaper.

Gordon was assisted in his low-budget films by his first wife, Flora Lang, and their daughter, Susan Gordon, who appeared in four of his films, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Nicknamed “Mr. B.I.G.,” Gordon was able to convince prominent actors to appear in his films. In addition to Welles and Lupino, the roster includes Don Ameche, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Peter Graves, Basil Rathbone, Beau Bridges and Ron Howard, the entertainment news outlet reported.