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Influential Filmmaker Bob Clark Dies in Car Crash

"Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at it's zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters decend upon us." (one of many great lines from Bob Clark's The Christmas Story)

Canada's most beloved expat filmmaker Bob Clark and his 22 year old son were killed in a tragic car accident last night. The collision happened around 2:00 AM along the Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Although an American, Clark made some of the most well-known and successful Canadian films of all time. His 1974 cult horror classic Black Christmas is often cited -- alongside John Carpenter's Halloween -- as one of the pioneering entries in the slasher genre. Its playful tagline, which reads "If this movie doesn't make your skin crawl... It's on too tight", aptly exemplifies the director's wry sense of humour -- a distinct characteristic that generally imbues his work.

His biggest commercial success would arrive years later when he channeled his rumbustious youth in the raunchy 1982 sex comedy Porky's, still the highest grossing Canadian film internationally. The smash hit is of course notorious for the "glory hole" scene (a cautionary lesson for all young men), and would later become the influential blueprint for the American Pie movies.

But perhaps Clark's greatest cinematic achievement is The Christmas Story, one of the best and most essential holiday films ever made. Bittersweet, nostalgic and gently peppered with Clark's signature offbeat humour, the memorable classic about a bespectacled boy named Raphie who longs for a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas is, for many, an annual tradition and a treasured comfort classic.

Before his death, Clark was working on remakes of Porky's and his early horror film Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things. He is dearly missed.

(Photo: Mike Guastella / WireImage.com)


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