King Cohen is a documentary film about someone most people haven’t heard of but whose influence has rippled through Hollywood. The maverick, writer, producer, director Larry Cohen.
What is Larry King of exactly? Well, that would be exploitation movies. The documentary film starts with JJ Abrams stating how he first met Larry at the age of 16 at a bus stop. A surreal story that sets up the feel beautifully. Throughout the film, we are regaled by stories from the man and those who know him including a man going by the name of Martin Scorsese – who that you might well say. Joking aside, Steve Mitchell’s film tries to show us the man who brought us gems such as Black Caesar, God Told Me To, The Stuff, Phone Booth.
In Cohen’s own words he said “he would be doing it even if it was free” and that shows the mark of a true artist. Yes, he coined the area of exploitative films but equally, his influence amongst those who the elite say is great is quite considerable. He was and still is subversive with a great renegade spirit and for all aspiring filmmakers out there should be held up as a hero because he never gave up. If you want to make it in the film business that should be the one lesson to learn early and remember: never give up.
King Cohen is an interesting and informative documentary of a man who should be better known in the mainstream: Larry Cohen.
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