RIP Robert Clark

As Ray Smuckles would say, “Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn!” Ofttimes my morbid habit of clicking “Obituaries in the News” over my morning coffee bears bitter fruit; in this case, the news that film director Robert Clark, along with his son, was killed in a car wreck yesterday. The other car was apparently driving under the influence and swerved into Clark’s lane.

Clark is reviled in some quarters as the director of crimes against humanity like Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things and Baby Geniuses, not to mention the seminal Porky’s movies (alright, I admit to being entertained by Porky’s 2, but that had Shakespeare in it, fer pete’s sake. But, let us hasten to add, he also directed the equally seminal Black Christmas and one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes movies, Murder by Decree.

The suddenness of the death was a shock, of course, but what surprised me even more was Clark’s inclusion in the list, taken from the AP wire, if I’m not mistaken. Usually the names are complete strangers to me, football players, diplomats, trustees of various universities – but it’s rare that people I know of via my love of genre entertainment appear there. I had to find out about writer Arnold Drake’s passing via Mark Evanier’s blog.

Then I realized: Clark directed A Christmas Story, which I believe is still shown for 24 hours on TNT every Christmas. So for once, it appears the man belongs to more than just myself and a band of geeks.

In any case: R.I.P. Bob. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn.